Aluminum vs. Steel: Which is the Better Material for Extrusions?

Aluminum vs. Steel: Which is the Better Material for Extrusions?

23 Feb 2023

When making extruded products in the modern world, manufacturers can choose from a wide range of materials. However, two of the most commonly used materials are aluminum and steel. Both metals have their pros and cons, which makes it hard to figure out which one is better for a given application.


Aluminum and steel are two of the most common materials used to make extruded products, and both have their pros and cons. Choosing the right material for your application is crucial to ensuring the durability, functionality, and cost-effectiveness of your product. In this article, we'll talk about the good and bad things about aluminum and steel to help you decide which one is best for your extrusion needs.


Aluminum Extrusions: Pros and Cons

Aluminum is a lightweight and corrosion-resistant metal that is widely used for extruded products. Aluminium extrusion sections are also highly versatile and can be easily formed into complex shapes. Here are some of the pros and cons of using aluminium extrusion products:



  • Lightweight: Aluminum is about one-third the weight of steel, making it an excellent choice for products that require lightweight components.
  • Corrosion-resistant: Aluminum naturally forms a protective oxide layer, making it highly resistant to corrosion.
  • Versatile: Aluminum can be easily formed into complex shapes and is highly ductile.
  • Recyclable: Aluminium extrusion products are infinitely recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly choice.


  • Less strong than steel: Aluminum is less strong than steel and may not be the best choice for applications that require high strength.
  • Limited temperature range: Aluminum has a lower melting point than steel, limiting its use in high-temperature applications.
  • More expensive than steel: Aluminum is generally more expensive than steel, which can be a significant factor in cost-sensitive applications.

Steel Extrusions: Pros and Cons

Steel is a strong and durable metal that is commonly used for extruded products. It is also highly resistant to wear and tear and can withstand high temperatures. Here are some of the pros and cons of using steel extrusions:



  • Strong and durable: Steel is one of the strongest and most durable metals, making it an excellent choice for applications that require high strength.
  • Resistant to wear and tear: Steel is highly resistant to wear and tear, making it an excellent choice for products that are subject to heavy use.
  • High-temperature resistance: Steel can withstand high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for high-temperature applications.
  • Less expensive than aluminum: Steel is generally less expensive than aluminum, making it a good choice for cost-sensitive applications.


  • Heavyweight: Steel is much heavier than aluminum, making it less suitable for lightweight applications.
  • Corrosion-prone: Steel is prone to corrosion and requires protective coatings to prevent rust.
  • Limited versatility: Steel is less ductile than aluminum and is more difficult to form into complex shapes.
  • Not as environmentally friendly: Steel is not as recyclable as aluminum, making it less environmentally friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can aluminum be as strong as steel?

A: While aluminum is not as strong as steel, it can be made stronger by alloying it with other metals.

Q: Can steel be made corrosion-resistant?

A: Zinc or paint can be used as a protective coating to make steel resistant to rust.

Q: Which material is better for extrusions: aluminum or steel?

A: The choice between aluminum and steel extrusions depends on the specific application. Aluminum is better for lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and versatile applications, while steel is better for applications that require high strength, high-temperature resistance, and durability.


When it comes to extruded products, both aluminum, and steel have pros and cons that are unique to them. The choice between the two ultimately depends on the specific application. If you need lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and versatile components, then aluminum may be the better choice. However, if you need high-strength, wear-resistant, and high-temperature-resistant components, then steel may be the better choice. 

Zeao is one of the leading manufacturers and custom aluminum extrusions suppliers that makes high-quality aluminum extrusion design for many different industries. No matter the architectural aluminum extrusion profiles, aluminum extrusion hardware, triangle aluminum extrusion, or aluminum T channel extrusion, there will be the ideal one for you. We know how important it is to choose the right aluminum extrusion design for your needs, and we're here to help you make the right choice.