How Custom Aluminum Extrusions Compare to Steel

Posted By: Admin | Date: 16-12-2022

As you design new mechanisms and products for construction and manufacturing, component parts play a significant role in the functionality of these items, leaving engineers and designers searching for the best option for their needs. A popular component product is custom aluminum extrusions. While steel is often considered, the non-ferrous alternative is usually performed for many reasons, sending manufacturers to OD Metals, one of North America’s leading aluminum extrusion suppliers.

So what is the difference between aluminum and steel, and why are custom aluminum extrusions so popular? Read on to find out.

Weight of Aluminum Extrusions

Typically, steel will weigh more than extruded aluminum, which can make it unfit for many applications. Because custom aluminum extrusions are designed to retain their strength at lower weights, making them well-suited for construction projects and architectural design. At OD Metals, we are experienced custom aluminum extrusion suppliers equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the requirements of various industries and applications. Compared to steel, aluminum has almost double the strength of steel at the same weight, which means you can get more out of less, allowing easier portability and assembly. 

Aluminum is Corrosion Resistant

Unlike ferrous metals, aluminum is highly favorable because it does not rust. In contrast, with ferrous metals or iron alloys, oxidation causes rust over time, which impacts both the aesthetic of an item and its functionality. When steel, an iron alloy, begins to rust, it disintegrates, leaving behind orange flakes that can clog mechanisms and interfere with product use. On the other hand, when aluminum oxidizes, it produces a chemical coating known as “aluminum oxide,” which creates a protective layer around the aluminum, strengthening the metal. 

Customize More with Aluminum

While you can definitely customize steel, there are more opportunities for custom aluminum extrusions and often less machining required for production. Where aluminum can be extruded based on specifications for its applications and a custom die, steel must be cut or drilled to be altered for a given customization, which can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

Aluminum extrusions do not require any coatings or paints for protection because of their unique oxidation characteristics. Still, the finish of the metal can be enhanced with anodized, powder, polish, chemical, or painted coatings. At OD Metals, we will help you customize everything from the shape and profiles of your custom aluminum extrusions to the coating and color for the best finish and application.

Your Choice Custom Aluminum Extrusion Supplier

Offshore Direct Metals is a leading supplier of custom aluminum extrusions across Canada, the USA, and the Caribbean for our high-quality work and reliability. When you choose OD Metals for your custom aluminum extrusions, you can depend on reliable customer service and high-quality materials. 

To get started on your custom order, contact us today. 

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