Is Steel Or Aluminum Fencing Better?
Steel or Aluminum?
Steel and aluminum are the two metals most commonly used for fencing. They are attractive and durable but there are some vast differences between the two, and the question often asked by customers, is steel or aluminum better?
There is no other fencing metal stronger than steel. If the joints are welded together rather than connected with screws, steel is can make an extremely hardwearing and robust fence.
Steel is a heavy and durable type of metal and this makes it a perfect material to use for big jobs. Large properties, children’s playground fences, security gates and enclosures for animals are the types of areas that would benefit from a strong steel fence.
Steel fencing can also be recycled as scrap metal which is economical and easy to discard, not to mention great for our overall carbon footprint. Tubular steel however is very light, made from hollow steel bars and still quite strong. It is easier to work with, but not as strong as it counterpart solid steel. Overall steel is a great choice for commercial and industrial type fencing.
However, like anything, there are always pros and cons. Lets look at those for a moment. Steel fences can typically be harder to repair than most fences made with other materials. This type of metal is incredibly heavy and that alone can make it more expensive to ship and harder to work with. There is a higher installation cost and there are fewer styles available, which can make steel a less appealing choice for residential areas and commercial properties in more exclusive business parks.
Steel requires regular maintenance such as sanding and painting and it is also more vulnerable to corrosion, particularly from salty water. A thin layer of zinc sorts the problem but also increases the cost.
Aluminum is highly corrosion-resistant. It will never rust unlike other metals or peel, bubble or crack. Aluminum can stand up against moisture such as rain but as well as this is not affected by garden chemicals or salty beach air.
Aluminum can be crafted into many shapes and designs because it is easily malleable. Aluminum can also be painted and sold in a various range of colours with either a matte finish or a gloss finish.
Similar to steel, aluminum can be welded rather than screwed, making stronger joints.
Aluminum is light, meaning it is easy to ship. It can be easily transported and installed and it is less complicated than steel to repair. However, because of this, aluminum can be easily bent or dented and is not ideal for areas where there are harsh weather conditions or vulnerable to heavy wear and tear. Aluminum has a low impact resistance so can be damaged quicker than materials like steel. An aluminum alloy would improve its strength but increases the weight and can often reduce its resistance to corrosion.
Aluminum is very durable and long lasting and a lifetime warranty is usually given on aluminum fences. Aluminum is also 100% recyclable also.
You can use Aluminum fences for privacy, decorative garden fences, small animal enclosures and pool enclosures.
So which is better?
Both metals have different qualities that make them good fencing material. But the question remains is steel or aluminum fencing better?
Steel is definitely stronger but it is more expensive as compared to aluminum, which is cheaper and easier to maintain. Steel would be better for security fencing but if you wanted a simple garden fence, aluminum comes in more styles and is more affordable.
What it really comes down to is deciding the purpose and nature of what type of fencing you require and making a decision based on those considerations. Steel and aluminum have different properties, which benefit different types of fences.