Aluminium is the second most widely used metal in construction, after steel. From commercial buildings to domestic dwellings, aluminium has proven to be a useful material for every type of construction project. Architectural aluminium systems include balustrades, casements windows, curtain walling, sliding windows and doors, insect screens and sun-control solutions. Installation of these systems increases the functionality of the buildings. (Information credit: www.alsysco.co.za)
So, what makes aluminium an important part of construction projects?
High Strength-to-Weight Ratio
One of the major advantages of aluminium is its high strength-to-weight ratio. It has a density of 2.7, which is one-third of steel. Consequently, the aluminium sections are thinner and lighter than the steel sections. While the material is lightweight, it offers high strength and rigidity, which is essential for architectural systems. The strength of the metal makes it less susceptible to damage or decay.
Usually, aluminium construction products are coated or treated to add more stability and durability. Anodization is a coating technique that enhances resistance-to-corrosion of the metal. Due to its high degree of corrosion resistance, it can withstand aggressive or inclement weather conditions. Aluminium curtain walls or casement windows stay in a good condition, even in such environments, requiring zero to low maintenance.
Another key reason for the growing popularity of aluminium is its compatibility with modern construction techniques. The factory-finished sections also allow for quick and easy erection at the construction sites. Consequently, the construction projects are completed earlier with lower cost for construction.
Versatility in Design
Aluminium is a versatile material that can meet the requirements of modern architecture. The reputed aluminium systems suppliers work with architects and fabricators to present smart designs to the clients. With such a high-quality material, sustainable and economical construction products are created for both domestic and commercial buildings. The designs are made to improve the utilisation of natural light.
Several Finishing Options
Anodization is mostly used as a coating or finishing of the product. After anodizing, the metal allows for the use of colouring agents like electrolytes, or metallic or organic dyes. This results in hundreds of colour options, such as bronze, gold, black, grey or blue. Powder coating is also used often, especially for curtain walling or cladding panels.
Recyclability of the Metal
The recyclable nature of aluminium is also an important factor, as the constructors often decide to remodel older buildings instead of destroying them. As aluminium is 100% recyclable, the recycled material is like a new product. This makes it a cost-effective option when a building is remodelled. In addition, when aluminium is melted, it requires very low energy, which is good for the environment.
Having high resistance-to-corrosion, aluminium performs well even in an extreme environment. In addition to natural performance, quality control is done to enhance the overall performance. For quality control, the aluminium extrusions are subject to hardness testing, conical bends and other processes.
Aluminium meets the needs of clients of different types of buildings by meeting the requirements of architectures. It has made the use of it inevitable in the industry.