Stainless v galvanised steel: the differences
Stainless steel and galvanised steel can look similar; however, there are many important differences between the two. They are both useful in their own right but are different in terms of composition, weight, strength and cost. Here we take a look at how you can differentiate between galvanised and stainless steel.
Galvanised steel is produced by dipping ordinary steel into molten zinc in the case of hot-dipping or into a solution of electrolytes that contains zinc in the case of electro-dipping.
Stainless steel is produced by mixing molten steel with molten chromium and allowing it to cool. When it has hardened, any impurities attached to the surface are removed with acid. Different ratios of steel to chromium are used, depending on the quality of the stainless steel.
A coating of zinc added to the surface of steel galvanises it and prevents corrosion. Stainless steel is composed of a mixture of steel and chromium.
Stainless steel is stronger than galvanised steel because it contains chromium, which helps to protect against rusting. Galvanised steel only has an outer layer of zinc, which can wear away over time.
Stainless steel is more expensive than galvanised steel. The price can vary according to the percentage of chromium it contains.
Both stainless steel and galvanised steel have advantages for use in different situations. According to the Galvanizers Association, galvanized steel is often used in circumstances in which corrosion resistance is required without the expense of stainless steel.
As it is weaker, galvanised steel is often used for lower-cost projects than stainless steel. It is used in domestic buildings in the construction of fittings and pipes and is commonly used for chain link fencing, metal roofs for buildings, and in the manufacture of air conditioning equipment such as ductwork parts. These are available in both stainless steel and galvanised steel from companies such as https://www.dustspares.co.uk/ductwork-parts/.
Galvanised steel also has the advantage of being relatively light and able to withstand adverse weather conditions.
Stainless steel is more expensive but stronger and is used for larger budget projects where thick components or heavy lifting are required. It is used for high-end applications such as the building of bridges, cars, monuments, railways, and even skyscrapers.
Both types of steel are suited to their own applications.