There is often robust debate over the merits of stainless steel conveyors versus aluminum conveyors. Which is better for business? Is one more viable than the other, and if so, why? There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and it is often up to the client to decide which they feel more comfortable dealing with. Fortunately, it is simple enough to break down the differences between the stainless steel and aluminum conveyors.
Stainless Steel Conveyors: Sturdy, Durable, Weighty
It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out, but stainless steel is a hardier material than aluminum. It follows, then, that stainless steel conveyors are designed to be washed down frequently and in applications involving highly corrosive materials. Stainless steel conveyors can come in a variety of finishes, and can be designed to support any amount of freight. These conveyors are used in many different industries, from food to pharmaceutical.
Pros of Stainless Steel Conveyors
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Sturdy and durable; unlikely to show wear and tear, even after years of use
- Can be manufactured to fit any needed specifications
- Because stainless steel is standard material, it easily meets most recommended government standards and regulations
Cons of Stainless Steel Conveyors
- Can be expensive
- Once set in place, can be difficult to move or replace
- Can be difficult to integrate into existing conveyor systems
Aluminum Conveyors: Fast, Economical, Customizable
The aluminum conveyor offers an easy, more inexpensive alternative to a stainless steel conveyor. Aluminum conveyors are just as easy to construct as their stainless steel cousins, and while not as immovable, aluminum conveyors are nearly as durable. Whether it’s in the automotive industry, packaging, metalworking, manufacturing, or others, an aluminum conveyor is an efficient system that is easy to customize, assemble, and rearrange in whatever fashion.
Pros of Aluminum Conveyors
- Relatively light yet still durable, this material is less expensive than stainless steel due to lower shipping costs, yet offers comparable benefits in similar industries
- Simple to customize; an aluminum conveyor is often constructed modularly, to fit with whatever is needed in any context, depending on production requirements
- This material has a faster turnaround time and means that assembly and distribution of aluminum conveyors is comparatively faster than stainless steel conveyors
- Can easily be integrated into existing systems, whether stainless steel or aluminum
- Recycled aluminum is a great option and opportunity for environmentally conscious individuals
Cons of Aluminum Conveyors
- More easily corroded or damaged than stainless steel
- May not be able to stand up to certain production requirements in certain industries, particularly more heavy-duty industries
There are obvious benefits to both stainless steel conveyors and aluminum conveyors. Simply put, an aluminum conveyor system is the more economical, environmentally friendly solution, while a stainless steel conveyor system will last for a longer period of time (with proper maintenance). The applications that both aluminum and stainless steel conveyors can be used for are nearly equal. There are advantages and disadvantages to either, and a shrewd client will weigh both options carefully before deciding on one or the other.