stainless vs galvanized

Stainless vs Galvanized Steel: Understand the Difference

There is a lot to factor in when choosing what type of metal you should be using for your project. No type of metal is better than another, however, there are certain materials that fair much better in certain conditions.

Let’s get into the differences between the two top quality types of steel: stainless vs galvanized.

We will discuss the manufacturing process of both styles from the base product, how they interact with each other in welding and bolting, and what weather, climate, and load type should be applied to either.

You may be surprised at the differences between the two. Consider the factors presented here to make the most of your project!

Why Steel?

Steel is one of the strongest materials known to our world. It is a product used in structures, tools, machinery, weapons, mobility devices and can be found in nearly every part of the world’s infrastructure.

Steel is an alloy, or a mixture of metals, compromised mainly of iron. The addition to the mix is carbon and often times manganese.

These elements restructure the iron and create the density, ferrous, conductivity, and sheen that you know to be steel.

Steel is often a combination of recycled scrap that is melted down. This molten metal is then run through several process to ensure it is the proper substance to produce the desired steel.

The end result can vary. Different ratios and materials added will produce different types of steel.

Steel is used for numerous things around the world and having the right tensile strength, flexibility, rigidity, memory, melting point, conductivity, and corrosion resistance will let allow for greater use of this cost-effective structural wonder.

Stainless vs Galvanized

Steel is often times altered to take on traits that allow it to withstand elements and dangers to its structural integrity. The two most common variations you see are stainless steel and galvanized steel.

Both of these materials have undergone a process that makes them usable in numerous circumstances. 

Lets first talk about galvanized steel. Galvanizing is a process that plates steel in a manner that protects it from rusting or corroding. This makes galvanized steel great for indoor and outdoor use.

It also means that you can brace the galvanized strap or metal piece in a manner that makes contact with another metal or material, and do so using a contrasting bolt or screw. 

Galvanizing steel consists of dipping a finished steel product into a hot bath of zinc. In this process, a bond occurs, joining the zinc into the surface of the steel. The zinc plating bonds in a manner that builds up until the outer layer is pure zinc. 

The outer layer of this new steel product is actually harder than the steel in which it is bonded to. The steel now has an armor plating protecting it from rust and corrosion. The look of galvanized steel is easily recognizable, as the substance you see is, in fact, zinc!

Stainless steel is a totally different type of steel alteration. As the name suggests, this steel does not stain! It also possesses properties that make it nearly impervious to corrosion, oxidization and rusting. 

Stainless steel is a steel alloy. In addition to the carbon added to the iron, stainless steel has another secret ingredient called chromium. This chromium is what allows the steel to not rust and corrode. 

What to Consider With Strapping

Both galvanized and stainless are some of the best materials for longevity and strength. This is especially true for metal strapping. However, there are certain criteria you will want to take note of when choosing between the two.

Metal strapping is used within various systems. From hanging conduit to strapping signs poles, you will want to consider the location, abuse, and conditions the stapping will be subjected to in order to select the best material for you.

Let’s say for example that you want to use metal banding to strap a cardboard package for shipment. As the package will likely be exposed to the elements for only as long as it sits at a doorstep, galvanization is not necessary.

Though the package may sit on a shelf and be subjected to a range of humidity, the stainless steel band will withstand these conditions easily.

Stainless steel is a great option for packaging because it is able to sustain flexibility over a greater period of time. Bending and being manipulated in transit will affect the stainless much less than the galvanized material. 

Stainless strapping is as professional as it gets when looking to tie down objects box-bound or coiled, and there are tools that make it incredibly easy.

When it comes to strapping pipe, conduit, and other potential non-similar metal surfaces that may be exposed to the weather, galvanize strap is a go to.

Galvanized strapping is one of the quickest, easiest, and safest ways to run pipe, duct, plumbing, and electrical work. It is compatible with whatever type of screw you apply towards it and has great tensile strength.

The galvanized strap is meant to be bent around works and used in a manner so that the weight load is perpendicular and square, as that is where thin strap is its strongest. Once in place, this strap is meant to last.

Unlike the stainless steel strapping, galvanized strapping should be formed and left. This keeps the zinc exterior bond its strongest and protects the steel from rust. 

Endless Uses

Whether it’s an emergency fix, a heavy shipment, or a long term project, both galvanized and stainless steel have a place in the hands of a tradesman and hobbyist alike. 

Projects will always call for specifics depending on the application. Knowing which metal variation is right may just save you time, money,  and a headache down the road. 

For all your metal strapping needs, check out IndMetal and get just what you need, in stainless vs galvanized