Scrap metal recycling is an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient practice when compared to the process needed to create virgin metals. Metal recycling can also help you or your company earn some extra money! While steel and aluminum both hold scrap value, knowing the difference between them is important when trying to calculate how much your scrap metal is worth. One of the most noticeable differences between the two metals is that aluminum is both lighter and softer than stainless steel. In this article, we’ll further break down the differences between these two common metals!
Differences Between Steel And Aluminum
Aluminum is softer than stainless steel, in addition to being lighter. As a result, aluminum is often found in various applications, including gutters on your home, automotive engines, and more. On the other hand, you will find stainless steel in applications where strength and rigidity are important. Because of its strength and durability, stainless steel is a popular option for custom-made items.
When it comes to appearance, the two metals are similar, but there are a few ways to tell the difference. Aluminum typically has more of a greyish hugh, especially after it is exposed to elements. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is highly reflective and has more of a silver color. Even if exposure to the environment dulls its luster somewhat over time, stainless steel will nearly always be more shiny and silver than aluminum.
Aluminum is about half the weight of stainless steel when comparing two pieces of the same size. Aluminum is also more commonly found in light, thin sheets while stainless steel is more commonly found in heavy, thick applications.
As can be inferred from the weight differences between aluminum and stainless steel, aluminum is less dense than stainless steel. This also means that aluminum is much more malleable and easier to scratch than stainless steel.
Contact Second Street Iron & Metal!
If you’re ready to start recycling scrap metal in the Greater Boston area, Second Street Iron & Metal is here for you! We’re always looking to buy a wide variety of different types of scrap metal, including ferrous & non-ferrous metals, appliances, equipment, junk vehicles, and more! In addition to scrap metal purchasing, we also provide our clients with roll-off dumpster rentals! Contact us today by giving us a call at (617) 387-1188 or by filling out the contact form on our website!