Understanding Stainless Steel and Aluminium: Applications and Differences

Stainless Steel vs Aluminium

Understanding Stainless Steel and Aluminium: Applications and Differences

Stainless steel and aluminium are two versatile metals that play pivotal roles across various industries due to their unique properties and applications. At Allied Metal Recyclers, we recognise the importance of understanding the distinctions between these metals, both in terms of their composition and practical uses. In this comprehensive blog, we explore the characteristics, applications, and comparative advantages of stainless steel and aluminium, highlighting their roles in modern manufacturing and construction.

1. Composition and Basic Properties

Stainless Steel:

  • Composition: Stainless steel is an alloy primarily composed of iron, chromium (at least 10.5%), and varying amounts of nickel, manganese, and other elements. The addition of chromium provides stainless steel with its corrosion-resistant properties.
  • Properties: Known for its durability, strength, and resistance to corrosion and staining. Stainless steel alloys vary in composition, offering different levels of strength, hardness, and machinability.


  • Composition: Aluminium is a lightweight metal predominantly composed of aluminium itself (at least 99%) with small amounts of other elements such as copper, silicon, magnesium, and zinc.
  • Properties: Lightweight, non-magnetic, and corrosion-resistant. Aluminium alloys can be tailored for specific applications, offering excellent thermal and electrical conductivity.

2.Corrosion Resistance

Stainless Steel:

  • Applications: Widely used in environments requiring high resistance to corrosion and oxidation, such as marine applications, chemical processing, and food processing.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Stainless steel’s chromium content forms a passive oxide layer that protects the metal from corrosion, making it suitable for harsh and corrosive environments.


  • Applications: Used in aerospace, automotive, construction, and packaging industries due to its lightweight and corrosion resistance.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Aluminium naturally forms a protective oxide layer when exposed to air, providing good resistance to atmospheric corrosion. However, it may corrode in acidic or alkaline environments.


3. Strength and Durability

Stainless Steel:

  • Strength: Stainless steel is generally stronger than aluminium alloys, particularly in terms of tensile strength and resistance to deformation.
  • Durability: Offers excellent durability and toughness, making it suitable for structural applications where strength and longevity are paramount.


  • Strength: Aluminium alloys vary widely in strength, depending on alloy composition and processing techniques. Some aluminium alloys can rival mild steel in strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Durability: While not as strong as stainless steel, aluminium alloys offer sufficient strength for many applications and are favoured for their lightweight properties.


4. Weight and Density

Stainless Steel:

Stainless steel is denser and heavier than aluminium, making it more suitable for applications where weight is less critical but durability and strength are essential.


Aluminium is lightweight, approximately one-third the density of steel, making it ideal for applications where weight savings are crucial, such as aerospace and automotive industries.


5. Applications Across Industries

Stainless Steel Applications:

  • Construction: Structural elements, roofing, cladding, and reinforcement bars.
  • Transportation: Automotive exhaust systems, railcars, and marine vessels.
  • Food and Beverage: Processing equipment, storage tanks, and kitchen utensils.
  • Medical: Surgical instruments, implants, and medical devices.

Aluminium Applications:

  • Aerospace: Aircraft fuselage, wings, and interior components.
  • Automotive: Vehicle bodies, wheels, engine components, and heat exchangers.
  • Construction: Window frames, doors, roofing, and façades.
  • Packaging: Beverage cans, food containers, and foil packaging.

Recycling Stainless Steel and Aluminium: Promoting Sustainability

At Allied Metal Recyclers, we facilitate the responsible recycling of both stainless steel and aluminium, ensuring these valuable metals are recovered and reused efficiently. By recycling stainless steel and aluminium, manufacturers and industries contribute to:

  • Resource Conservation: Reduce the demand for virgin materials and conserve natural resources.
  • Energy Efficiency: Lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with metal production.
  • Environmental Protection: Minimise landfill waste and mitigate the environmental impact of metal extraction.

Why Choose Allied Metal Recyclers?

At Allied Metal Recyclers, we are committed to promoting sustainable practices and supporting industries in maximising the value of their scrap metal. By choosing our services, you benefit from:

  • Expertise: Trusted expertise in the recycling of stainless steel, aluminium, and other metals.
  • Efficiency: Efficient metal recovery processes to meet your recycling needs.
  • Sustainability: Contributing to a circular economy through responsible recycling practices.


Join Allied Metal Recyclers in advancing sustainable metal recycling practices. Whether you have stainless steel or aluminium scrap from construction projects, manufacturing operations, or industrial applications, recycling with us ensures optimal resource recovery and environmental stewardship. Contact us today at (08) 6272 2000 to discuss your recycling requirements or schedule a pickup. Let’s collaborate to create a cleaner, more sustainable future through effective metal recycling solutions.


Together, we can make a positive impact on our environment and support the circular economy through responsible metal recycling.