Comparison of Galvanized Steel with Stainless Steel

Comparison of Galvanized Steel with Stainless Steel

By:  Jake Hyet

Even though both galvanized steel and stainless steel are technically steel, they are very different from each other and have many different applications.  It is important that you know the difference, particularly when you have to decide which material to use for a home improvement or construction project.  Here is an explanation of what each steel is composed of and their uses.

Uses for Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel is frequently used for home construction projects.  It is also commonly used in framing homes.  Nails, nuts and bolts are made from galvanized steel.  You may not know this, but it is also an established and commonly used choice for ornamental fencing.  What people believe is iron fencing is often really galvanized steel tubing.  It is frequently preferred due to its capability to resist rust.  Galvanized Metro Steel has many uses outside of the home and garden too.  It is used to frame heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses, and parts of it are even used in automobiles and commercial construction vehicles.

Because of its rust-resistant properties, galvanized steel is also used in household appliances that may be exposed to water and therefore more easily corroded, such as washing machines and dish washers.

When Not to Use Galvanized Steel

Galvanized Metro Steel does have a variety of uses, but it is not the answer to every job.  It is usually the perfect choice in situations where there may be exposure to water, but it performs badly when exposed to salt water.  What happens is that the salt turns the zinc coating ineffective and down the road will leave you with a rusted product.  Also, galvanized steel nails shouldn’t be used when building cedar fencing.  The zinc coating reacts to a naturally occurring enzyme found in the cedar, and gradually this will cause black stains to run from the nail down the length of the cedar picket.

Uses for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the primary metal used in construction.  It is used often for building applications because of its strength and ability to resist rust.  Skyscrapers are framed with it and homes are built with it.  Also, it is used to make pipe for building and plumbing.  It is used for most hardware, saw blades and hand tools. The list of its uses could go on and on.

A Stainless Metro Steel sheet is an excellent material to use in marine environments as well.  It doesn’t rust and holds up well in wet and salty environments.  It makes up the mechanics and exteriors of household appliances, and most cutlery is made from it.

When Not to Use Stainless Steel

Stainless steel should not be used when any two pieces have the potential to rub together.  The reason is that friction can break down the oxide layer of the steel and the pieces could actually weld together.  Also, stainless steel is a bad choice if there is the possibility of exposure to chlorine.  Chlorine will eat through the oxide layer of stainless steel, thus leaving it no longer rustproof.  For this reason, a Stainless Metro Steel sheet or any other should never be cleaned with a solution that contains chlorine bleach.



Biography:  Jake Hyet is considered an expert on virtually anything to do with steel, having worked for various steel companies and had experience with both Galvanized Metro Steel, and Stainless Metro Steel sheets.


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