Aluminium systems distributor Aluprof explains why the best material choice for windows and doors is aluminium.
Aluminium is extracted from Bauxite ore and is the most abundant metal on the planet as well as the third most common metal in the earth’s crust. In terms of its material properties, it is extremely strong while also being flexible and easy to mould and shape, making it perfect for construction.
Compared to other materials such as uPVC, aluminium may not be as commonly used, but it offers a lot of advantages, especially when used for windows and doors. Unlike other materials, it is strong yet lightweight and is becoming a more popular choice for construction and architecture. Here are some of the main advantages of using this material.
Good Thermal Efficiency
Windows and door frames are where buildings lose the majority of their heat, leading to inefficiency and wasted energy. To help ensure a building is energy-efficient, it’s important to choose the right materials. Aluminium windows can be easily fitted with a thermal break to prevent the loss of heat and ensure a higher degree of thermal efficiency. The same measure can also be used for door frames, helping to keep a building thermally secure and preventing wasteful energy usage. In comparison, timber frames are far less efficient as they can shrink in cold weather, allowing draughts to enter the residence through microscopic gaps between the frame and casement. The efficiency of uPVC frames can vary a lot depending on the manufacturer.
Pure aluminium on its own isn’t that strong, but it can be combined with other metals to form high-strength alloys suitable for construction. The tensile strength is roughly 90 MPa, but as an alloy, it can reach over 690 MPa. In fact, when utilised as an alloy, aluminium, which is already one of the lightest technical metals, has a significantly greater strength to weight ratio than steel. Typically, elements such as manganese, copper, silicon and magnesium are used when producing aluminium alloys for construction. Another interesting feature of aluminium alloys is that they also get stronger when colder, unlike steel or some other materials. This makes it a perfect material for construction projects in colder climates.
The material isn’t just ideal due to its properties but also the fact that it can be recycled extremely easily. When uPVC or timber window frames and doors are no longer wanted, they can only be scrapped and sent to a landfill. On the other hand, aluminium doors and windows can simply be melted down to produce new aluminium. The strength of recycled aluminium is just as high as that of brand-new material, meaning it can be recycled and reused endlessly. Nearly 75% of all aluminium that’s ever been produced is still in use today, which means this material is also incredibly sustainable. Demand for the material is growing, but the energy costs to produce new aluminium are very low compared to steel and uPVC.
Resistant to Corrosion
Construction materials need to be resistant to weather and corrosion to build long-lasting and hard-wearing projects. Doors and window frames, in particular, are exposed to the elements, so they need to be able to withstand corrosion. Aluminium can easily be anodised or powder coated to give it a strong look and ensure it stands the test of time. Anodisation creates aluminium oxide, which is durable and corrosion-resistant. It also cannot chip and peel, although it will need to be coated in sealant for extra protection when used outside.