Steel vs. Aluminum Calibration Gas Cylinders thumbnail image

Steel vs. Aluminum Calibration Gas Cylinders

MESA Gas - July 23, 2021

In the production of calibrated cylinders, there are several options to choose from. One of those options is steel, which is readily available and highly used in the industry for cylinders of all kinds. Another popular option is aluminum, which is a competitor with steel. Therefore, the big debate has always been comparing steel vs. aluminum calibration gas cylinders and which type might be the most suitable for an individual’s needs.

Steel as a Resource

A solid choice for any airtight cylinder would have to be steel. Steel is simply the melding of iron with another metal for enhanced properties. So there are many different steel varieties available on the market that a company can use for making cylinders. There are a few notable disadvantages of using steel, however. Because it’s so tightly fit and heavy, water tends to become trapped in the crevices between spaces. This is a huge issue because it makes the steel susceptible to corrosion.

Aluminum the Alternative

Another choice for a calibrated cylinder is aluminum. Because of its lack of density, aluminum alone can’t hold pressurized calibration gas, but it can hold quite a bit more gas overall compared to steel. Depending on the application of the cylinder, this could be positive or negative. Aluminum also has a lower chance of sparking, which makes it ideal for holding gas. Because aluminum passes cylinder inspection so frequently, it’s less likely to rust, making it preferable to steel. One disadvantage would be that it’s roughly three times more expensive to produce aluminum than to produce steel.

No matter what you’re in the market for, there are some factors to consider before buying a calibration gas cylinder. Both choices have great potential to serve you. But their effectiveness will depend on how you use them and what you use them for. Steel might be the better choice for diving, as it’s more buoyant due to its lack of weight, while aluminum might have a better application making sodas and balloons with the level of capacity they hold. The debate between steel vs. aluminum calibration gas cylinders is an ongoing one. However, as long as you’re aware of how you want to use your cylinder, the choice should be clear that Mesa Gas will always be there for all of your gas-related needs.