Stainless steel and aluminium are widely used in decoration and building. Which one is better? How shall it be chosen?
In most of the cases, aluminium is, of course, much better than stainless steel in terms of decoration.
The density of aluminium, 6063 for example, is about 2.7g/cm3 while stainless steel, 304 for example, is over 7.9g/m3. Therefore, at the same weight and of the same size, the pieces of aluminum trims will nearly triple those of stainless steel. While the prices for both base metals are pretty close per Kg, it can be regarded that an aluminium trim is about 1/3 of the price of a stainless steel trim as long as their dimensions are the same.
As aluminium is more active than steel in the view of chemical performance, aluminium strips are easier to be 'tinted' than stainless steel. Aluminium is also much softer than steel and therefore it is much easier to be shaped or profiled. Therefore, the production cost of aluminium strip is much less than that of stainless steel. In most situations, they can be made to look the same.
In eco-friendly term, aluminium is also easier to recycle at lower cost than stainless steel, since it can be melt at about 600 centigrades.
In all, aluminium trims are definitely the better one for decoration.
However, if there is strict requirement on the performance in collision, fraction and erosion resistance, stainless steel will be much better.