The debate between steel and aluminum air compressor tanks is the old one.
The main difference between aluminum and steel tanks is that steel is heavier but also offers higher resistance against rust and corrosion: Whereas aluminum is lighter and can be transported more easily, but the aluminum tank is less strong and can corrode over time.
Ultimately, the decision between a steel or aluminum tank comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your business.
This page will compare all the key differences between steel and aluminum tanks to make your decision easier.
Comparison of Steel Tanks vs. Aluminum Tanks:
Here are the detailed comparison of both tanks:
Noise Level Difference Between Steel & Aluminum Air Compressor
I’ve had both steel and aluminum air compressor tanks, and I can tell you first-hand that there is a significant difference in noise level. Aluminum tanks are much quieter than steel tanks.
The difference is so noticeable that I got rid of my steel tank air compressor and replaced it with an aluminum one. The thing is, I live in an apartment complex, and the noise from my steel tank was really starting to annoy my neighbors.
With the aluminum tank, though, the noise is hardly noticeable. So if you’re looking for an air compressor that won’t disturb your peace, go with one that has an aluminum tank.
Portable Advantage of Steel And AluminumTank
When working as a technician, I constantly had to move my air compressor from one job site to another. As a result, portability was a major factor that I considered when choosing a tank.
Steel tanks are much heavier than aluminum ones, making them difficult to move around. In addition, steel tanks are more likely to rust, leading to problems down the road.
Aluminum tanks may not be as durable as steel tanks, but they are much easier to transport. In the end, I decided that the benefits of an aluminum tank outweighed the disadvantages.
Air Pressure Dissimilarities
The air pressure is always different in each tank. This means that the air compressor will have to work harder to achieve the same air pressure in a steel tank as it does in an aluminum tank. This can be a significant consideration for those who need a high level of air pressure.
Mostly steel tank air compressors produce a pressure of around 120 psi, while aluminum air compressors produce a pressure of around 150 psi. But according to my experience, this depends on the model of the air compressor.
The Price Difference of Both Steel & Aluminum Tank
So far, I have looked at the noise level, the portability, and the air pressure differences between steel and aluminum tanks. Another key difference between the two types of tanks is the price.
Now, let’s take a look at the price.
Aluminum tanks are typically much cheaper than steel tanks. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re always a better value.
After doing some research, I realized that there are some big advantages to steel tanks worth the extra cost. In many cases, the higher price of steel tanks is offset by their increased durability.
Let me clear this in simple words: Steel tanks are also more durable, which means they will last longer and require less maintenance over time. As a result, steel tanks may be more cost-effective in the long run.
Furthermore, steel tanks are typically covered by a longer warranty than aluminum tanks, giving you an extra level of protection for your investment.
So when deciding between a steel tank vs aluminum, be sure to consider all the factors, not just the initial price tag.
Weight Difference in Steel and Aluminum Tanks
As mentioned earlier, steel tanks are much heavier than aluminum tanks. This can be a major consideration for those who often need to move their air compressor around.
A steel tank can easily add 50 pounds to the weight of the air compressor. This may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference if you have to move the compressor up and down a flight of stairs.
Which air compressor tank is right for you?
That’s a question that doesn’t have a simple answer. The best way to decide is to consider all the factors that are important to you. If noise is a major concern, then go with an aluminum tank.
If you need to move your compressor around often, go with an aluminum tank. And if durability is important, then go with a steel tank. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all answer, so be sure to weigh all the pros and cons before deciding.
My Recommendation on aluminum vs steel air compressor tank
I would recommend an aluminum air compressor tank over a steel one for a few reasons. For one, aluminum is much lighter than steel, so it will be easier to move around. Furthermore, aluminum is not subject to rust and corrosion like steel, which will last longer.
Finally, aluminum is a better conductor of heat than steel, so it will cool down quickly after being used. Overall, I think aluminum is the better option for an air compressor tank.
How to install the tank on the air compressor:
Now that you’ve decided on a tank, it’s time to install it on your air compressor. The process of installing a tank varies depending on the air compressor model that you have. For example, if you have a Campbell Hausfeld compressor, the instructions can be found in the manual. However, most air compressors follow a similar installation process.
Here are the steps that you need to take:
- Shut off the power to the compressor.
- Disconnect the air hose from the compressor.
- Detach the old tank from the compressor.
- Reconnect the air hose to the new tank.
- Attach the new tank to the compressor.
- Turn on the power to the compressor.
- Test the compressor to make sure that it’s working properly.
Tank installation tips
Here are a few tips to help you get the job done right:
- Read the instructions carefully. This is probably the most important tip of all. Make sure you understand the instructions before you start the installation. This will help prevent mistakes and ensure that the tank is installed correctly.
- Wear safety goggles. When working with air compressors, it’s important to protect your eyes. A small mistake can cause serious injuries.
- Follow the proper installation procedures. This will help ensure that the tank is installed properly and will function correctly.
- Use the proper tools. Make sure you have all the tools you need to complete the job. This will help prevent frustration and make the installation process go more smoothly.
- Check for leaks. Once the tank is installed, be sure to check for leaks in compressor tank. A leaky tank can cause damage to the air compressor and may even cause a fire.
If you find a leak, repair it immediately.
- Keep the tank clean. Over time, the tank may become coated with dirt and grease. This can cause problems with the air compressor. Make sure you clean the tank regularly to keep it in good condition.
- Keep the tank well lubricated. This will help prevent corrosion and keep the tank in good condition.
- Keep the tank cool. The tank can become very hot when the compressor is running. Make sure you provide adequate ventilation to keep the tank cool.
- Keep the tank in a safe place. Ensure the tank is stored in a safe place where it can’t be damaged or accessed by children or pets.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to install your air compressor tank with ease.
Tips for Maintaining air compressor tank
No matter which type of tank you choose, it’s essential to keep it in good condition. This means performing regular maintenance and cleaning. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your tank:
Clean the tank regularly
As anyone who has used an air compressor knows, the tank is crucial for the machine. Not only does it hold the air that is being compressed, but it also helps to regulate air pressure and keep the compressor running smoothly.
The best way to do this is to disassemble the compressor and clean the tank with a brush. Be sure to check the manual for instructions on how to disassemble your compressor properly.
Replace the oil and filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations
Oil and filters should be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It will prolong the life of your air compressor and ensure optimum performance. Furthermore, it is vital to regularly check the pressure release valve to ensure that it is functioning properly.
Always use the correct type of oil. Using the wrong oil can cause damage to the tank and compressor
My last maintenance tip is to check and change the oil regularly. This helps to keep the compressor running smoothly and prevents excessive wear and tear.
There are a few different types of oil that can be used in an air compressor, so it’s important to consult your owner’s manual to determine which type is best for your model. Once you’ve chosen the right oil, check the level regularly and top it off as needed.
Check the valves and seals regularly for signs of wear and tear.
Valve and seals prevent air pressure from escaping the tank. If they are not working properly, the air pressure will drop, and the compressor will have to work harder to maintain the same level.
It can cause premature wear and tear on the compressor and increase energy costs. To check the valves and seals:
- Start by visually inspecting them for any damage or leaks.
- Use a leak detector to check for any air leaks.
- When you locate any leaks or damage, replace or repair them as soon as possible.
I have shared with you some important tips for choosing and maintaining an air compressor tank. I hope this article has been helpful and informative.
What is the difference between a steel and aluminum tank?
The main difference between aluminum and steel tanks is that aluminum is affordable, portable, and has a low weight. Steel tanks are more potent and less likely to corrode, but heavier and more expensive.
Is a bigger tank better for an air compressor?
Yes, because a bigger tank holds more air and can run for a longer period before needing to be refilled. Larger tanks are more suitable for industrial use.