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Aluminium: characteristics and advantages

Aluminium: characteristics and advantages


Characteristics of aluminum

Discovered in 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy, aluminum is a light and solid metallic material widely used in construction (residential and office buildings, airports, railway stations, sports complexes, etc.). Second most used metal in this field, after iron, aluminum has many qualities: easy to work, aesthetic, robust...

In the field of construction, aluminum can be used in two forms:

- The profiles: allow the realization of joineries, verandas, etc.

- Rolled: reserved for doors, roller shutters, cladding, heating and ventilation equipment, panels or roofing.

Aluminum is a soft metal that must be combined with other metals, especially copper and zinc, to be more resistant.

Advantages of aluminum

A light material

Aluminum has a density of 2.7 g/cm3, which is about one third that of steel (7-8 g/cm3) or copper (8.96 g/cm3). This material allows for more airy constructions thanks to the larger glass surfaces. For example: verandas and windows made of aluminum are much more open and elegant than those made of PVC.

A durable material

Aluminum has the advantage of being completely recyclable and therefore has an infinite life cycle. In addition, this material has an oxide layer that naturally protects it from corrosion.

A material that is easy to work with

Aluminum is very malleable, which makes it easy to work with at low temperatures. It can be deformed without breaking, and is easy to forge, extrude and transform into many shapes. 

An aesthetic material

Aluminum is available in a large number of finishes: shiny, colored, matte, smooth, textured, metallic. It is mainly found in two versions:

Anodized: a surface treatment is performed on the aluminum, to form a uniform layer of aluminum oxide by electrolysis, very resistant, colorless or colored, depending on the desire.

Powder coating: a specific surface treatment is carried out in three phases: a chemical treatment to improve the adhesion of the paint, followed by an electrostatic powder coating and finally a polymerization in the oven. Thanks to this surface treatment, the aluminum can take on the desired appearance.

An easy to maintain material

Aluminum is easy to maintain thanks to its excellent resistance to corrosion. It does not require chemical products, but only an occasional washing with water and a mild detergent.

Disadvantages of aluminum 

Although aluminum has few disadvantages, it is important to consider them when choosing a material. 

Aluminum is more expensive than wood or PVC. A budget 3 to 10 times higher will be necessary for certain windows, railings, stairs, etc., or for certain finishes. Aluminum is also not very resistant to shocks. This material being easily malleable, with a weak thickness, it supports badly the blows and tends to sink or to be deformed. Choose a thicker product with a stronger alloy to avoid dents. Finally, aluminum has a high conductivity. It is a very good conductor of heat and electricity. It is therefore often used in the realization of works requiring a transmission of heat or in that of electric wires. However, if aluminum is used to manufacture joinery, it must be associated with other insulating materials to avoid thermal bridges.

Aluminum has many advantages for your renovation or construction projects. Light, resistant and easy to install, this material can withstand the elements without rusting! 100% recyclable, aluminum is a metal that does not fear scarcity!

Discover our aluminum products available at Sedpa: profiles, accessories, awnings, etc.

Do you have a question? Sedpa advises and guides you in your choice of building materials. Please contact us for more information.