Steel is a massive market. Given its virtually infinite applications, the steel industry as a whole generates in the vicinity of 900 billion dollars every year.
That huge number continues to rise as unemployment rates keep dropping and consumer spending remain bullish.
Whether you’re putting up a high-rise or are creating pipes to add plumbing to a house, chances are, you’re going to turn to steel for solutions. Unfortunately though, simply walking up to a producer and asking to buy steel isn’t going to move things along for you.
That’s because there are a variety of steel types out there, two of which are stainless steel and galvanized steel.
Which steel varietal you choose to work with will likely come down to cost. We’ve outlined the cost of stainless steel vs. galvanized steel as well as other pros and cons in order to help you make an informed buy.
Like any steel, galvanized steel is produced in steel mills across the world. It is derived from ore, coal, or steel scraps that have been collected from junkyards and building sites.
What makes galvanized steel unique in comparison to other steel types is its “galvanization process”.
When this type of steel is galvanized, it is coated in zinc. Its zinc layer works to protect it from rusting and premature erosion.
Galvanized steel has become a go-to steel type for many business owners due to its relatively low cost (more on that at the end of this article).
Here are a handful of pros and cons that you can expect when working with this steel varietal:
Pro #1: Lightweight
When you’re moving tons of steel from a mill to a job site, weight matters. Galvanized steel’s simple production process makes it so very few materials are added to its steel base. That simplicity translates into a low weight which makes transportation simple.
Furthermore, low weight also means good malleability. If your intention is to bend the steel, you’ll find that galvanized steel will make for a simpler material to work with than its stainless steel counterpart.
Pro #2: Simple to Clean
Depending on your steel’s application, you may want to consider how easy it will be to clean. Galvanized steel excels when it comes to simple cleaning because of its durable zinc coating.
You can take any bleach based cleaner and use it to wipe down your steel without any worries of degradation.
Con #1: Shorter Lifespan
When compared to stainless steel, galvanized steel doesn’t last for quite as long. Despite its zinc layer, galvanized steel still finds itself more prone to erosion and rusting than stainless steel.
If long term viability is your primary consideration when leveraging steel, galvanized steel may not be right for you.
Much like galvanized steel, stainless steel finds its origins in ore and coal. In addition to those base elements, this type of steel also has a variety of unique compounds melded into it.
Some of those compounds include chromium, nickel, silicon, carbon, and manganese.
Stainless steel is one of the most popular steel varietals and is commonly found in household fixtures like utensils.
The cost of stainless steel is one of the most primary conversations that swirl around this steel iteration. There is more to know about this steel type though which we will briefly outline below:
Pro #1: Aesthetics
There’s a reason why stainless steel is popular among consumers. That reason is that it looks good.
From utensils to jewelry, stainless steel can be found just about everywhere. If your aim is to create items that you can sell to the general population, you’d be hard-pressed to find better steel to leverage than stainless.
Pro #2: Durability
As its name suggestions, stainless steel is built to retain its condition for long periods of time. Much of stainless steel’s durability comes from its chromium infusion.
Many fixtures that leverage steel by the ocean opt for stainless steel because the salt that’s in the air can’t erode its facade the same way that it can erode galvanized steel.
Con #1: Hard to Work With
Stainless steel’s durability comes with a massive downside. That downside is that it’s very hard to work with.
Not only is stainless steel much heavier than galvanized steel but it doesn’t bend easily which makes molding it difficult and costly.
So, Which Steel Costs More?
Examining the cost of stainless steel versus galvanized steel is the big question of this article. So then, after presenting you with each steel’s pros and cons, which one do you think costs more?
The answer is stainless steel.
The cost of stainless steel can easily be four times or more than the cost of galvanized steel. Much of that increased cost is due to stainless steel’s increased durability and wider applications when it comes to building general consumer brands.
You can learn more about the differences between these two steel types and their cost considerations by diving deeper into the vast array of competitive literature that’s out there on the subject.
Wrapping Up: The Cost of Stainless Steel vs. Galvanized Steel
The cost of stainless steel may trump the cost of galvanized steel. That cost though may still present a better value if you consider things like stainless’ lifespan.
We hope that our comparison has helped you better understand which steel type might better suit your needs and we wish you the best of luck in your future projects!
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