When assembling aluminum panels, you want to use the strongest fasteners possible to ensure that your project holds together in high winds and winter weather. Despite the dissimilar metals and risk of corrosion, stainless steel screws are the recommended fastener for aluminum panels.
Galvanic corrosion occurs when an electrically conductive liquid, such as water, connects the anode -- aluminum -- with the cathode -- stainless steel. Because the anode, or aluminum, corrodes quickly in comparison to the stainless steel, using aluminum screws in stainless steel would quickly weaken the structure as the aluminum degrades. Exposure to saltwater increases the rate of corrosion, as salt is a better electrical conductor than plain water.
To prevent a corrosive electrochemical reaction between the stainless steel screws and aluminum, you can protect the connecting points from exposure to water with tape or paint, seal the metals at the points of contact or use rubber or plastic washers. Once you've removed the electrical conductor by preventing contact with water, the stainless steel and aluminum are relatively inert, even when in direct contact. Because stainless steel is stronger than aluminum, it is safe to use stainless steel screws as fasteners.
- Photo Credit Ovchynnikov Igor/Hemera/Getty Images
Screws Compatible With Aluminum
Can You Use Stainless Steel Screws in Aluminum? How to Get a Screw Unstuck in Aluminum; How to Remove Broken Stainless Steel...
Types of Sheet Metal Screws
They are also used for quick and strong fastening of metal to plastics, aluminum, ... stainless steel for sheet metal screws is...
How to Remove Broken Stainless Steel Screws
Torque Specifications on a Stainless Steel 6-32 Screw. ... Once metal screws become corroded, the rust can bind the screws to the...
Will Regular Drywall Screws Work With Metal Studs?
Steel studs have many advantages over wooden ones. They are lighter, easier to store and assemble and are ready-cut to length. They...
How to Use Self-Drilling Metal Screws
Self-drilling or self-tapping metal screws increase productivity by reducing the number of steps required to screw together pieces of metal. A self-drilling...
How to Remove Steel Bolts From Aluminum Block
How to Remove Steel Bolts From Aluminum Block. ... Stainless Steel Bolt Torque Specs. Tightening bolts to the proper torque is extremely...
How to Drill a Hole in Metal for a Screw
Drilling holes through metal can be a tough task, depending on which type of metal you are drilling through. If the metal...
How to Bond Aluminum to Stainless Steel With Loctite
Loctite epoxy plastic bonder, though made primarily to bind together plastic surfaces, can work just as well on aluminum and steel. Though...
How to Prevent Steel Screws From Rusting
Can You Use Stainless Steel Screws in Aluminum? Homemade Rust Preventive. Homemade Rust Removal on Steel. How to Remove Rust From Stainless...
The Effects of Cadmium Plating 304 Stainless Steel
Can You Use Stainless Steel Screws in Aluminum? Stainless steel screws can be used in aluminum.