Zinc Alloys vs Stainless Steel
6-minute read | Author: M.hagaman
The differences and benefits of Zinc Alloy vs Stainless Steel. What are the pros and cons of Zinc Alloy and Stainless Steel?
Zinc Alloys vs Stainless Steel. Why is one better than the other?
When comparing Zinc Alloys vs Stainless Steel, we realize both are two popular construction materials used in everyday products such as screwdrivers, knives, and mobile phones. These are also popular alloys for automotive, construction, and electronic industries.
But what is the difference between Zinc Alloys vs Stainless Steel? Here are the details you need to know about each one, and what type suits your applications best.
Stainless steel is a metal alloy that includes at least 10.5% chromium. This addition forms a thin, invisible, and permanent protective layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the metal alloy.
There are two main types of stainless steel: Austenitic and Ferritic. Austenitic has higher tensile strength and is more resistant to stress-corrosion cracking. This type works best in hot and cold environments.
Ferritic has a lower tensile strength but can withstand high temps. This type is often used in cooking utensils.
Top 5 Benefits of Stainless Steel
- Corrosion resistance – Making it great for kitchen appliances
- High strength even with thin applications
- Impact resistance
- Aesthetics – With proper care, can keep its pleasing aesthetic appearance for many, many years.
Does Stainless Steel Rust?
While zinc alloys are cheaper than stainless steel, they are also susceptible to more rust when exposed to moisture.
Stainless steel can rust from excessive, prolonged exposure to water, but because it has much more resistance, this makes it a better alternative for most applications that may face exposure to water.
It is also used to make most surgical instruments because of its resistance to staining.
Stainless Steel vs Zinc Alloys
The cost of stainless steel can be the biggest determinant for many industries. Because stainless steel is made from Choronuim, it costs more to manufacture.
Another drawback of stainless steel is that it’s not as easy to work with as other metals, and you’ll need special tools to shape and finish them.
Zinc alloys cost less because they do not contain Chromium. However, this does make them more susceptible to corrosion and not the best choice for manufacturing items that come in contact with prolonged water usage.
Zinc alloys are easier to work with for most manufacturers. No-Bake Sand Castings and Plaster Mold Castings are great manufacturing processes for zinc alloys and help keep costs lower than Investment Casting or Die Castings.
Zinc alloy is a combination of at least two metals, such as zinc and aluminum or zinc and copper. The resulting mixture has properties that are different from pure zinc or another component.
Zinc Alloy Benefits
The main benefits of zinc are that it has a relatively high melting point, good corrosion resistance, superior strength-to-weight ratio, low cost compared to other metals, and other characteristics that provide manufacturers with better ways to design products such as weight optimization.
Zinc alloys are very light and strong. According to Matmatch.com, zinc is the 4th most used metal in the world, behind aluminum, iron, and copper. Zinc alloys are found to be stronger than carbon steels, particularly in shear strength. Additionally, zinc alloys have non-magnetic properties.
This makes them ideal as structural support and load-bearing components in machines where magnets may interfere such as in medical devices or computer equipment
So Which is better? Zinc Alloys vs Stainless Steel
The decision to use zinc alloys vs stainless steel will come down to the companies manufacturing needs, costs, and applications. Working with metal experts helps engineering teams make the best decisions.