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Feb 27 2023

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel: What’s the Difference? 

Aluminum and stainless steel are both metals that are used in various industries, ranging from construction to manufacturing and more. While both of these properties are in high demand for various applications, they have some distinctions that should be confused. At Belson Steel, we recycle both aluminum and stainless steel, and can help you to understand the different properties of these two metals, whether you’re buying or selling—

Property Similarities and Differences

There are similarities and differences between aluminum and steel. These include: 


  • Corrosion resistance. Both aluminum and steel have the ability to resist corrosion, particularly when the steel is enhanced with carbon. As such, they are both popular choices for projects that will be exposed to the elements. 
  • Application. Another similarity between steel and aluminum is that they are often both selected to be used on a single project. For example, building a home or a car will require both aluminum and steel. For larger projects, it’s rare to see only one metal type used. 
  • Recyclability. One of the coolest things about aluminum and steel is that they can both be recycled an infinite number of times without the strength or other properties of the metal being compromised. This makes them highly sustainable. 


  • Conductivity. While aluminum is a good conductor of electricity, steel is a fairly poor one due to its protective oxide layer. 
  • Temperature tolerance. Stainless steel has a much better ability to stand up to high temperatures in comparison to aluminum, although aluminum has an advantage over steel with cold temperatures. 
  • Durability. While both metals are used commonly, steel has an advantage over aluminum when it comes to strength. Aluminum is more flexible but less durable and tough. 
  • Magnetic capability. Because steel is ferrous, which means it contains iron, it is magnetic. Aluminum is not. 
  • Cost. The value of these metals depends on if you’re looking at cost per weight or cost per volume. By weight, aluminum is more costly; by volume, it’s cheaper than steel. 

Buy and Sell Metal Products with Belson Steel

To learn more about buying and selling metal products with Belson Steel and to learn more about our recycling programs, reach out to our team by phone or online. You can also visit one of our scrap yards in person at your convenience. We can answer all of your questions about metal characteristics, and always provide fair pricing based on current market prices when purchasing metal. 

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