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    Do you want to know what is the better choice – galvanised steel or stainless steel? The answer is not that simple.

    It all depends on its application. Let’s see which kind of steel works better for your industry. This article will explain definition of galvanised steel and stainless steel, advantages and disadvantages of both the metals, the difference between the two and some of frequently asked questions.

    What is galvanised steel

    Galvanised steel is a steel that undergoes a chemical treatment for corrosion prevention. Steel is coated with a layer of zinc to safeguard steel from rust and corrosion. There are various methods of applying zinc coat on steel including dipping steel into molten zinc. Since it offers protection against corrosion, galvanised steel is ideal for outdoor and industrial applications.

    What is stainless steel?

    Stainless steel is an alloy that contains chromium along with iron. Percentage of chromium changes per the application of metal. It is popularly known as non-corrosive and tarnish-free metal. Due to these features, stainless steel finds applications in industries such as aerospace, food processing, etc.

    Benefits of galvanised and stainless steel

    Here are some of the advantages of galvanised steel and stainless steel.

    Advantages of galvanised steel

    • Zinc coating offers protection against mechanical damage, rust and corrosion.
    • Since it is protected from damage and rust, it automatically increases durability.
    • Products and structures made from galvanised steel require low maintenance.
    • It is cost efficient as compared to stainless steel.

    Advantages of stainless steel

    • Stainless steel is corrosion, fire, and heat resistant.
    • It has better aesthetic appeal and hence can be used to enhance style and elegance of real estate properties.
    • Although it is expensive, it offers value for money by being a durable material.

    Cons of galvanised steel and stainless steel

    Here are the disadvantages of galvanised steel and stainless steel:

    Disadvantages of galvanised steel

    • It is not water resistant if it comes in contact with saltwater.
    • Welding process is harmful and releases toxic fumes that may affect the health of the welder.
    • Welding process removes zinc coating and then the steel is subject to corrosion.

    Disadvantages of stainless steel

    • It is difficult to manufacture and hence it is expensive as compared to galvanised steel.
    • Dust, stains and smudges can easily be seen on stainless steel and hence it needs regular cleaning.

    Difference between galvanised steel and stainless steel

    The different forms of steel get their properties based on how steel is manufactured . As such, there is a basic difference between the manufacturing process of galvanised steel and stainless steel. Galvanised steel is coated with zinc while stainless steel is an alloy.  As a result, cost of galvanised steel and stainless steel differs. Stainless steel is about four or five times costlier than galvnanised steel. Hence, if suitable then galvanised steel becomes cheaper option.

    Galvanised steel Stainless steel
    How it is made It’s dipped in molten zinc to apply a coating. It’s an alloy with chromium.
    Water resistance It is fresh water resistant but cannot withstand saltwater. It is fresh and saltwater resistant.
    Cost Economical choice. Expensive as compared to galvanised steel.
    Corrosion resistance Zinc coating makes it corrosion resistant. Stainless steel is more   corrsion resistant than galvanised steel.
    Applications ·         Hinges, gaskets, and fasteners like nuts, bolts, screws, and nails

    ·         Structural beams

    ·         Walkways

    ·         Railing

    ·         Electric pole

    ·         Outdoor applications such as balconies

    ·         Marine

    ·         Aerospace

    ·         Specific automobile use such as exhaust pipe

    ·         Food processing

    ·         Pharmaceutical equipment

    ·         Kitchen appliances


    Also Read:Steel vs stainless steel

    Frequently asked questions

    Here are some answers to some of the frequently asked questions with regards to the use of galvanised steel and stainless steel.

    Is galvanised steel stronger than stainless steel?

    No. Generally, galvanised steel is not as strong as stainless steel.

    Can galvanised steel and stainless steel be used together?

    Although there is some compatibility between galvanised steel and stainless steel, welding conditions for both are different. Moreover, if in contact with moisture, salt water or acidic environment in any way, corrosion is assured. Hence, it is recommended to take an expert’s advice before using them together.

    Which type of steel should I use?

    It is important to understand the requirements well. Also, weather conditions play an important role. Therefore, understand advantages and weaknesses of each material. Match it with the expectations, requirements and other conditions before selecting a material for your project/product.

    Closing remarks

    As mentioned above, galvanised steel and stainless steel have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the business owner to choose rightly.

    For example, galvanised steel can be used for components that may not need aesthetic appeal and would be deployed in right weather conditions.

    Procurement of raw materials is the first step towards efficiency. As such, when purchasing steel or any other raw material, understand your requirements, evaluate risks, and procure.

    Swati Deshpande

    Swati is a passionate content writer with more than 10 years of experience crafting content for the business and manufacturing sectors, and helping MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) navigate complexities in steel procurement, and business services. Her clear and informative writing empowers MSMEs to make informed decisions and thrive in the competitive landscape.