To those outside the construction industry, building with aluminum might seem like one of the unsafest things in the world. After all, who wants to erect a home or a building that is going to crush like a soda can, right? The truth is industrial-grade aluminum is one of the most ‘go-to’ materials in the industry. As building demands soar, that popularity seems to be only on the rise. Here are some of the reasons why:
Aluminum Already #2 Metal
Besides steel, aluminum is already the second most procured metal building material. Aluminum products are found in commercial buildings, but also residential housing as well. Aluminum is very versatile and can be manufactured to a number of different strengths, capabilities, and other features.
Aluminum is Used in a Wide Array
Almost everybody has heard of the popularity of aluminum windows. With due note as well because the products are affordable, lightweight, easy to install, and have some thermal advantages over vinyl. Aluminum is also found in the construction industry in roofing, cladding, curtain walls, in structural glazing and in many interior components associated with the furnace, air conditioner, solar heating, etc.
Aluminum Has Ecological Advantages
Part of the reason aluminum is affordable as a construction material is because it is very sustainable – specifically, recyclable. In many modern construction projects the urge to ‘go green’ is a very important part of the design. Timber is very sustainable, but how recyclable is it really? Aluminum can be smelted and reused for years upon years at a much longer life span. Plus, using the somewhat thermally resistant aluminum in a build helps lower energy consumption compared to other products in the industry.
Aluminum is Stronger Than You Think
Properly manufactured aluminum will in no way crumble like a soda can. In fact, aluminum has a greater elastic property than steel which helps it achieve weight rations of 1:2 and higher. This doesn’t mean that aluminum is necessarily stronger than steel outright, but at a weight 66% lighter than steel it technically ‘does more with less’.
Aluminum is Durable
If there’s a strong hail storm you might experience some damage on your aluminum windows, doors, or gutters. There are different definitions of durability however. For example, aluminum is resistant to expansion and contraction which means doors and windows will not stick or rot. The alloys that make up aluminum construction products also help them create a layer of invincibility resistant against corrosion and other weather events. UV rays do not wear exterior aluminum building products either.
Other Aluminum Intangibles
A natural aluminum finish is reflective, which helps those features to provide a natural light in a room when the sun’s rays bounce off it. Aluminum does not burn either which is great for use in both internal and external home and commercial building features. Aluminum can also be surface coated in a number of different finishes, which can give products customizable properties for use in various elements and situations.