Aluminium vs Steel Windows and Doors – How Do They Stack Up?Jason Siddall
In a world where wood has long been king the aluminium vs steel debate is part of the takeover in architectural design. Steel and aluminium are both strong and durable materials; metal always makes it easier to do more with a whole lot less actually.
Think of it, smaller frames allow bigger windows and bigger glass doors that don’t weigh a ton. That all translates into more light, which has another spin-off in reducing your electricity bill.
Aluminium was discovered way back in 1808 by one Sir Humphrey Davy. It still took forever for the world to get what a priceless treasure it was. Only in 1886 did patents for its industrial extraction start to make a show. Terry Cavanagh wrote about the first London statue to be cast in aluminium by sculptor Alfred Gilbert as a memorial to the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley-Cooper in 1893; “Gilbert has here taken full advantage of the lightness and tensile strength of aluminium — such an extreme displacement of the figure’s centre of gravity could not have been sustained by one slender ankle had bronze been used.” It was finally unveiled by the Duke of Westminster on June 29, 1893, as the focal feature of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccalilli Square.
Put that in the aluminium vs steel debate and we can all go home!
Aluminium vs Steel – What the Statistics Say
- Security – doors and windows are classic weak points when it comes to entry points for miscreants. Aluminium facilitates excellent security fittings, including deadbolts and more than one locking point. Varying resistance categories, anti-lift and anti-drill features make Aluminium highly desirable. Besides, let’s point out a ‘no-brainer’ here and remember that sliding security doors are made of… wait for it…yep- aluminium.
- Strength – admittedly it’s hard to overcome the proverbial ‘strong as steel’ saying but seriously, comparing ‘apples with apples’, aluminium is much lighter and can be made thicker and stronger without adding significantly to the weight. With the aluminium vs steel debate, it must be noted that pound for pound, aluminium can be forged to be stronger than some steel. After all, are aircraft made of steel or aluminium? Let’s rest that case.
- Insulation – the thermal efficiency is over the roof. Steel cannot be manufactured with thermal breaks. It draws in cold and leads to corrosion. Aluminium, on the other hand, is manufactured these days with thermal break technology.
- Cost –Let it be said that the price of metals is a shifting sands scenario and steel can come out cheaper as a metal. But we’re talking aluminium vs steel door and window frames here and we’re weighing up overall costs in the building. Everybody knows that steel frames are going to cost more than aluminium will, in fact, on that score aluminium wins hands-down.
Aesthetics of Aluminium
Lighter than steel but just as strong for door and window application, tips the aluminium vs steel scale in favour of aluminium. Today’s sleek lines are facilitated by classy, slim aluminium frames with glossy powder coat finishes. We’re talking blurring the lines between the great outdoors and the comfort of indoors when it comes to panoramic views. So, let’s see… aluminium or steel?
It isn’t really a question any more is it?
Doors and windows are necessarily exposed to the elements and aluminium is uniquely unaffected by UV light. That means the subtle colour choices (yes, aluminium wins here too) are going to hold their original colour for longer than most of us will live. Neither does aluminium rust. The saving in maintenance alone makes it a great choice.
May we return to history once more to point out another stellar example of aluminium’s fortitude? When covering the dome of the San Gioacchino Church in Rome, which was built in 1897, aluminium was chosen over the more traditional lead. We have a 122-year-old testimony that, without words, speaks to the superiority of aluminium in a way little else can.
In conclusion, aluminium isn’t going anywhere.
It is the third most abundant metal under our feet in the crust of our planet. 96 per cent is recycled when its product life is over and that statistic shows that our current supplies of the plucky metal will last a couple of hundred years. So, how does the aluminium vs steel issue stack up for you?
Visit us at https://www.origingroup.co.za/ for visuals of the beauty of aluminium and see for yourself.