Comparing Stainless and Galvanized Steel Properties, Part 2

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Comparing Stainless and Galvanized Steel Properties, Part 2

stainless galvanized steel properties

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics and differences between stainless steel and galvanized steel. These are two of the most commonly-used steel and metal products when it comes to corrosion and rust resistance, but they accomplish this purpose in very different ways and, as such, have differing common applications.

At Wasatch Steel, we’re proud to offer a wide range of steel products, from steel plate to stainless steel tubing and many others. If you’re looking into the best steel product with corrosion resistance in mind for your next project, we’re happy to help you source it based on your precise needs. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over some of the simple practical differences between these two products, plus the applications they’re most commonly used for within this realm.

Practical Differences

We spent most of part one going over the mechanical and chemical differences between stainless and galvanized steel, which are significant. How do these differences translate into practical applications, though?

When it comes to corrosion resistance alone, stainless steel usually holds the edge over galvanized steel – though both are of great quality here. Stainless steel can maintain corrosion resistance around a scratched area, but zinc layers on galvanized steel may struggle with this and leave parts of the steel exposed. There are also moderate risks of certain parts of the steel being left exposed during the galvanization process, which usually involves dipping metal sheets into zinc and then cutting them to size.

Now, galvanized steel has one major benefit as well: It’s generally less expensive than stainless steel, often significantly so. For applications where damage or scratching aren’t major risks, and especially if aesthetics aren’t a concern (stainless steel tends to look better), galvanized steel is often the ideal choice.

Stainless Steel Applications

Stainless steel is generally used in the applications where the greatest corrosion resistance is needed. It’s also common in areas where damage or scratching are risks, as these impact galvanized steel in more direct ways. Some common stainless steel applications include:

  • Food processing equipment
  • Aerospace engine parts
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Various fasteners or holds

Galvanized Steel Applications

Galvanized steel, on the other hand, is often used in situations where corrosion isn’t desired, but small amounts might be okay. Also, aesthetics usually won’t be a large concern for such applications, as galvanized steel doesn’t always look great. These uses include:

  • Ductwork
  • Certain fasteners
  • Automotive equipment
  • Structural beams
  • Metal cabinets
  • Railings
  • Walkways
  • Traffic signs
  • Electric poles

For more on the differences between stainless and galvanized steel based on your corrosion resistance needs, or to learn about any of our steel products or services, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.