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The difference between steel and aluminum: comparing profiles

Written on by Roberto De Lorenzi in Extruded profiles
Although they have the same shape and may seem identical to an inexperienced eye, aluminum and steel have apparent differences: physical and mechanical characteristics that make them, in some ways, two truly polar products. Here is a brief overview of the similarities and differences between steel and aluminum to help you choose the Profall profile that best suits your needs.

Let’s take a closer look:

 

The difference between steel and aluminum in 6 parameters

Weight

The first difference between steel and aluminum is in their weight. Aluminum profiles are lighter than steel profiles. This makes them more suitable for small structures, which are often provisional and positioned on intermediate floors. On the other hand, steel profiles are more suited to stable and durable structures, such as building systems made of concrete.

Corrosion resistance

Steel is more subject to corrosion than aluminum; therefore, aluminum profiles have more excellent corrosion resistance. However, if the steel profiles are made of stainless steel, a material that does not corrode and resists weather very well, the difference between aluminum and steel is more negligible, and the profiles have the same corrosion resistance.

Cost

Aluminum is more expensive than steel. For this reason, aluminum profiles are usually more expensive than steel ones. In any case, the cost of a profile depends not only on the raw material but also on the treatments and processing that the material must undergo; thus, the cost of aluminum and steel profiles varies according to the specific application needs.

Manufacturing ease

Another difference between steel and aluminum is manufacturing ease. Aluminum profiles are easier to make because aluminum is a much more malleable material than steel. As a result, processing costs are generally lower.

Installation ease

Aluminum extrusions are assembled through joints, while steel extrusions are usually welded together. Thus, aluminum profiles are easier to install and disassemble: that is why they are often used for temporary structures.

 

Can't choose between aluminum and steel?

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Why choose Profall aluminum extrusions

Besides the differences between steel and aluminum, there are also significant differences between the various aluminum profiles. Should I choose from standard or custom? It depends. At Profall, we carefully study your needs to make sure that the aluminum profiles fully meet your application needs.

We use 1050, 1070, 3003, 3103, 3004, 6060, 6063, 6005 aluminum alloys. As you can see, the range can cover all the technical needs of the reference sectors.

From our catalog, you can choose between aluminum profiles that are:

  • standard. These are profiles with simple shapes, or those that are most commonly used in most production sectors: round or square bars, flat bars, round, square or flat tubes, simple U or double E channels, H, Z and C profiles.
  • image-Aluminum corner extrusion with even sides
    Aluminum corner extrusion with even sides
  • image-Aluminum corner extrusion with uneven sides
    Aluminum corner extrusion with uneven sides
  • image-aluminum double duct profiles
    Aluminum double duct profiles
  • image-Aluminum flat bar
    Aluminum flat bar
  • image-Aluminum flat bars with rounded edges
    Aluminum flat bars with rounded edges
  • image-Aluminum H section
    Aluminum H section
  • image-Aluminum rectangular tubing
    Aluminum rectangular tubing
  • image-Aluminum round bar
    Aluminum round bar
  • image-Aluminum round tubing
    Aluminum round tubing
  • image-Semicircular elements
    Aluminum semicircular elements
  • image-Aluminum square bar
    Aluminum square bar
  • image-aluminum square tubing
    Aluminum square tubing
  • image-Aluminum T-track
    Aluminum T-track
  • image-Aluminum u channel
    Aluminum U channel extrusions
  • image-aluminum z bar
    Aluminum Z bar
  • special. All aluminum profiles made to a specific design and with complex technical characteristics intended for various sectors. For examples, these could be glazing bead profiles, automotive edges, joint covers, frames, handles, handrails, etc.
  • image-Special U-profiles
    Special U-profiles
  • image-Aluminum glazing extrusions
    Aluminum glazing extrusions
  • image-Borders with screw attachments
    Aluminum borders with screw attachments
  • image-Borders for motor vehicles
    Aluminum trim profiles for motor vehicles
  • image-Transition strips with shank
    Transition strips with shanks
  • image-Aluminum picture frames
    Aluminum picture frames
  • image-extruded aluminum handles
    Extruded aluminum handles
  • image-Drainers and water deflectors
    Aluminum drainers and water deflectors
  • image-Aluminium curve profiles
    Aluminum curve profiles
  • image-Corner elements with special cross-sections
    Corner elements with special cross-sections
  • image-Handrail-extrusions
    Handrail extrusions

Both types of profiles can then be customized depending on your specific needs. For example, we can make profiles with new shapes that have never been seen before, very thin profiles or profiles with tolerances that the majority of suppliers cannot offer. The feather in our company’s hat is the manufacturing of custom aluminum profiles even with minimal dimensional tolerances and high technical complexity, which you will hardly find elsewhere.

Our services for aluminum profiles make the difference

Customization and the high technical complexity of production are not the only pluses of our company. The service quality is another central aspect that distinguishes the Profall brand.

When you choose our profiles, you will receive:

  • a request analysis and feasibility feedback quickly
  • quick prototyping and pre-serial production
  • delivery of finished products in approximately two weeks
  • after-sales technical support

The processing and post-production treatments that we can provide you

The experience of our engineers and specialized technicians, who are thoroughly familiar with the characteristics of aluminum, its advantages and differences with steel, allows us to offer a high degree of customization and a very advanced level of detail. All your requests - profiles with extra-standard shapes, characteristics, tolerances - will be cared for by our designers.

Among the processing that we offer, you will find:

  • aluminum cutting, with different types of saws and very tight tolerances
  • shearing using cutting-edge software
  • aluminum surface treatment, with advanced brushing techniques to remove any impurity and guarantee any color, hardness and sheen
  • aluminum packaging, with the possibility of applying logos, bar codes and specific identifications according to the various needs.

 

Are you looking for a high-quality aluminum profile?

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