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Aluminum versus Steel: Which is Better for Construction?


Time to Read: 2m 10s

 Among the most used materials for construction, aluminum and steel remain highly useful metals. From interior options to exterior structures, both aluminum and steel can benefit your construction project.  But which metal is better, aluminum or steel?

“Better” is subjective, especially when it comes to construction. The purpose, environment the material will be used in, and overall design are factors to consider when choosing which metal material is best suited for your construction needs.

Check out our aluminum and steel products for construction

Aluminum for Construction Uses

With its high strength-to-weight ratio aluminum is widely used for a variety of construction uses. Two of the common alloy grades used for construction include 6061 aluminum and 6063 aluminum.

6061 Aluminum Alloy

A versatile, all-purpose aluminum alloy, 6063 aluminum is ideal for the following construction applications:
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Bridge decks
  • Infrastructure
  • Framework

6063 Aluminum Alloy

Ideal for ornamental purposes, 6063 aluminum works well for:
  • Window frames
  • Door frames
  • Architectural trim
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For detailed information on aluminum grade comparisons, check out our aluminum infographic.

Steel for Construction Purposes

With its high strength, carbon steel is ideal for building structures and frames. The ductility and flexibility make it ideal for construction applications such as:
  • Building frames
  • Commercial skyscrapers
  • Industrial and commercial garages
  • Reinforcing bars
  • Infrastructure projects like railways and tunnels
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Considerations for Aluminum and Steel Construction Projects

When considering which metal material is best for your construction designs, it is important to note the differences between the two metals. Aluminum provides a high-strength, lightweight alternative to steel. It also provides a level of corrosion resistance not found in carbon steel.

Carbon steel is ideal for construction applications that need to withstand heavy traffic or applications that require a weldable, fatigue-resistant metal. Additionally, steel rebar is commonly used to reinforce concrete or masonry.

Both steel and aluminum offer environmental benefits including being recyclable and energy efficient.

Find High-Quality Steel or Aluminum

While the best metal material for construction will be determined by your project needs, finding high-quality metal shouldn’t be difficult. Industrial Metal Supply stocks a wide range of aluminum and steel products, perfect for any construction project.  
 

Our Aluminum Shapes for Construction

Carbon Steel Structural Shapes for Construction

  1. Steel Bar
  2. Steel Threaded Rod
  3. Steel Plate
  4. CR and HR Galvanized Angle
  5. Hot Rolled Steel Beam
  6. Hot Rolled Steel Tee
  7. U Shape or C Shape Steel Channel
  8. Steel Pipe

Custom Cut Steel & Aluminum for Your Construction Needs

As a trusted metal supplier, we understand some construction projects require custom cut aluminum or steel. We offer different metal services, tailored for all your metal cutting needs. Request a quote on your steel or aluminum shape to custom cut your metal or contact us to discuss your custom cut project or to learn more about our value-added services.