The Differences Between Aluminum & Steel Enclosures

Aluminum or steel metal makes up various prefabricated enclosures. However, the metals have different performance capabilities. And understanding the differences between aluminum and steel enclosures can help people select the best option.

Strength and Weight

Aluminum is a lightweight metal, and steel is heavier, almost weighing three times the weight of aluminum. It’s important to note that the weight of the material contributes to its strength, meaning steel is the stronger contender. However, aluminum is ideal for lighter components of products, like bicycle parts and shelters. At times, steel is too heavy to work with, and aluminum is more malleable.


Any prefabricated enclosure residing outside needs durable and corrosion-resistant metal. After all, one of the biggest factors people must consider when choosing a metal for enclosures is corrosion resistance. Steel has manganese, copper, iron, chromium, and nickel. And chromium adds corrosion resistance, which makes rust easy to wipe off. Aluminum has components that resist oxidation and rust, however it’s not unbeatable against different types of corrosion.

Thermal Conductivity

Another difference between aluminum and steel enclosures is thermal conductivity. Aluminum conducts heat way better than steel, making this metal a common aspect of car radiators, LED lighting, and prefab shelters. Although steel doesn’t conduct heat the same, manufacturers use this metal for ovens and conveyors. As far as enclosures, aluminum is the best choice for thermal conductivity because it can handle enclosure accessories like solar lighting and exhaust fans.

Overall Aesthetic

Steel offers a sleek look to enclosures while possessing the heavy-duty weight and strength trait. However, aluminum enclosures can also take on the attractive appearance of steel while being lightweight and malleable. Ultimately, the decision comes down to wanting an enclosure that’s strong or one that appears strong. Although aluminum appears strong, it’s still a great contender for enclosures.

Though you can make your decision on these metals, if you’re interested in high-quality aluminum shelters and prefabricated enclosures, you should consider Handi-Hut! With over 40,000 prefab shelters installed worldwide, we guarantee excellence. Get started on your order by calling us today.