If you’re looking for something stronger than aluminum, steel probably isn’t the way to go. That’s not to say it’s not very good material. Steel is a very durable metal with a lot of advantages over aluminum, including high strength-to-weight ratios. However, it’s also a much less efficient material for high-tempered steels. Additionally, while aluminum crumbles and rusts easier, steel will dent if it gets too rusty.
Different steel properties depend on the amount of carbon present in the alloy. For instance, stainless steels which are less corrosion-resistant and have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than iron are significantly more carbon rich. This means that steel itself is coated with carbon before it’s formed into a part. Carbon can be added as a coating after the part is shaped, but most of it will be on the surface of the steel. The more carbon present, the harder the part becomes to bend. Because stainless steel is also a lot more carbon rich than iron, the surface area is also larger, meaning the part will take on a high polish when it’s newly formed. You can also use Bending Machines like the ones from Cotswold Machinery Sales to create the desired shapes for your products.
While it’s true that carbon steel won’t rust or corrode like iron, there are still a number of problems with using steel with a lot of carbon on it. Since carbon steel corrodes at a slower rate than iron, you run the risk of galvanic corrosion, where the exposed steel corrodes slowly from the inside out. Even with galvanic corrosion, though, steel still tends to swell up in water, which can lead to clogging and pitting of the forming edges. Overall, though, the extra coatings help protect against these kinds of problems while adding a bit more strength to the metal itself.