What’s the Difference Between Galvanised and Stainless Steel?

By superadmin on October 13, 2021 in Blog

It is not uncommon for customers to ask whether galvanised steel or stainless steel would best suit their application. There are many factors which need to be considered when deciding between the two, and by weighing up the key differences you will be able to make an informed choice. To help you make the right decision, Mascot Steel will be sharing some insight into both these products and how they are used.

The Basics of Steel

Steel is comprised of two base components, being iron and carbon. You may have heard the term ‘alloy’ before, and steel is a prime example of an alloy as it requires both a base metal and element. There are a number of benefits which alloys offer, with one of the most common being rust resistance.

The construction industry makes extensive uses of steel as a building material, as it offers the following benefits:

  • Durability
  • Strength
  • Easy to Recycle
  • High quality and aesthetically appealing

There are a variety of processes which can be used in steel production, and some applications may benefit from galvanising.

What is Galvanised Steel?

The key difference between regular stainless steel and galvanised steel is that the latter has a layer of zinc coating. This additional layer of protection safeguards against moisture and oxygen, which can lead to the development of rust on the metal surface. Rust is a problem, because it steadily wears away at the structural integrity of the steel and can create serious safety issues.

Galvanising helps to add some more versatility to steel, allowing it to be used across a wide range of applications. Utilising a hot-dip galvanisation process, fabricators are able to achieve a strong and effective coating from molten zinc. Alternatively, thermal diffusion galvanising can be used for small pieces of metal and those with a more intricate design.

It is important to note that galvanised steel is not as strong as stainless steel, although this does make it easier to manipulate. The zinc coating also wears down over time, especially in highly acidic or saltwater environments.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel already has built in defences against rust and corrosion, as it utilises iron, carbon and chromium in its composition. Stainless steel is typically more expensive, and pricing can vary depending upon the grade/composition specified and corresponding level of resistance against corrosion and damage. This makes stainless steel a better choice for demanding applications/environments such as caustic chemical exposure, salt water, acidic environments and high temperature zones.

Whilst the manufacturing process is more involved and therefore more expensive than galvanised steel, you will benefit from having a stronger product with built in rust/corrosion resistance as well as having the ability to customise the final appearance. This makes stainless steel ideal for use in architectural features, facades and other indoor/outdoor design elements.

Making a Decision

Ultimately, the ideal product will depend upon your specific project. Galvanised steel will provide you with a unique patina, better workability and reliable performance in everyday environments. On the other hand, stainless steel is stronger, can withstand harsher environments due to enhanced corrosion resistance and offers more customisation options.

If you are still unsure about which may be best for your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Mascot Steel have been serving Sydney customers for over 40 years, and we would be happy to offer professional advice to help you make the right decision.

Get a Quote for Steel in Sydney Today

Mascot Steel are one of Sydney’s leading steel fabricators, with branches in Mascot and Penrith to cover the greater Sydney region. To obtain a quote, please call (02) 9313 1313 or email sales@mascotsteel.com.au today.