Aluminum vs. Steel- Steel is three times the weight of aluminum, making it more difficult to handle and more costly to transport. Aluminum railing and fencing will not rust and when powder coated, painted with baked enamel, or anodized, provides a superior long lasting maintenance-free finish. Steel, however, must be re-painted every few years and even if properly maintained can still be prone to rust. Out in the field aluminum railing and fencing materials can be easily cut using a standard miter saw.
Aluminum vs. Wood– Aluminum will not rust or rot and with a properly applied finish and minimal maintenance, will not have to be repainted over the life of the product. Wood needs to be treated or painted every few years. Inevitably, wood rots and eventually will have to be replaced, adding to long term overall costs.
Aluminum fencing and railings will not splinter or split, and unlike wood does not need to be treated with pesticides or chemicals, thereby eliminating health concerns and possible environmental impact.
Aluminum vs. Vinyl– Vinyl materials over time will warp and or shrink, thereby losing their original desired shape. Fencing and railing materials have minimal expansion and contraction characteristics and remain consistent throughout extreme hot and cold temperature fluctuations.
Aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat.
Aluminum reacts with the oxygen in the air to form an extremely thin layer of oxide. This layer is provides excellent corrosion protection. This layer repairs itself if it is damaged. Anodizing increases the thickness of the oxide layer, thereby improving the strength and value of the natural corrosion protection. A thickness between .015 and .025 mm is common for outside use. Aluminum is extremely durable in neutral and slightly acidic environments.
Bonding, friction stir welding, fusion welding and taping are used for jointing.
Aluminum has a relatively large linear expansion coefficient in comparison to other metals.
Aluminum’s superior malleability is essential for extrusion. This property of aluminum is also exploited in the rolling of strips and foils, as well as other forming operations.