Stainless Steel and Aluminum Casting

Investment casting is an excellent process for both stainless steel and aluminum casting, even though the two alloys are very different. Consider the following properties:

  • Weight vs. Strength – Steel is stronger than aluminum, but it weighs about three times as much. As a result, aluminum is a great option when the strength-weight ratio matters.
  • Workability – Stainless steel is less malleable and more challenging to work with than aluminum.
  • Welding – Aluminum is more difficult to weld than stainless steel.
  • Heat Resistance – Depending on the alloy, stainless steel can withstand significantly higher temperatures than aluminum, which softens at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Electric Conductivity – Stainless steel is a poor conductor of electricity, while aluminum offers very good conductivity.
  • Cost – Stainless steel is usually more costly than aluminum, but in some applications is well worth the additional expense to get its special properties.