Without actual contact, aluminum and antimicrobial stainless steel sheets look relatively similar in appearance, but in reality they are completely different metal materials. When deciding which type of sheet metal you intend to use in your project, the following differences need to be kept in mind.
The first is the strength-to-weight ratio. Aluminum sheet is usually not as strong as antimicrobial stainless steel sheet, which is only about one-third the weight of antimicrobial stainless steel sheet under the same conditions. And this is the main reason why aircraft are mainly made of aluminum.
The second is corrosion. Antimicrobial stainless steel sheet is composed of iron, chromium, nickel, manganese and copper. The addition of chromium provides good corrosion resistance. In addition, because it is non-porous, the corrosion resistance of the material will also be improved. Aluminum sheet also has a high resistance to oxidation and corrosion, mainly because of its passivation layer. When aluminum sheet is oxidized, its surface will also turn white. However, in some extreme acidic or alkaline environments, aluminum can corrode rapidly, with disastrous consequences.
In terms of thermal conductivity, aluminum sheet has better thermal conductivity than antibacterial stainless steel sheet. This is one of the main reasons why aluminum sheet is commonly used in automotive radiators and air conditioning units; in terms of cost, aluminum sheet is usually cheaper than antibacterial stainless steel sheet; in terms of serviceability, aluminum sheet is quite soft and easy to cut and shape. Whereas antibacterial stainless steel sheet may be difficult to use due to high wear resistance, antibacterial stainless steel sheet is also harder and more difficult to shape than aluminum sheet; in terms of weldability, antibacterial stainless steel sheet is easier to weld, while the welding process of aluminum sheet is more difficult; in terms of heat resistance performance, antibacterial stainless steel sheet can work at much higher temperatures than the maximum working temperature of aluminum sheet, which usually becomes soft at or above about 400°C.
Electrical conductivity, compared with most metals, antibacterial stainless steel plate is very poor in electrical conductivity. And aluminum sheet is a very good material for electricity. Due to the high electrical conductivity, light weight and corrosion resistance, high voltage overhead power lines are usually made of aluminum. In terms of strength, antimicrobial stainless steel sheet is stronger than aluminum sheet if weight is not a factor to be considered.
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