Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Aluminium Garden Furniture vs. Iron Garden Furniture


At Outside Edge Garden Furniture all of our furniture is made of cast aluminium as opposed to iron furniture, wrought iron furniture or steel furniture.

To start with, here are a few physical and chemical properties of aluminium relevant for the metal garden furniture business.

Aluminium is a relatively lightweight metal. It is also a soft, durable, ductile & malleable metal with colours from silvery to dull gray, depending on how rough the surface is.

Below you have a table with some interesting material densities - so you can easily work out what is the difference between Aluminium and Iron in particular.

As a quick conclusion you can see that iron (7870kg/m3) is almost 3 times heavier than aluminium (2700 kg/m3).

ρ (kg/m3 or Kg per Cubic Meter) – Density of Material
1.2 kg/m3
240 kg/m3
700 kg/m3
916.7 kg/m3 At temperature < 0°C
Water (fresh)
1000 kg/m3
Water (salt)
1030 kg/m3
1175 kg/m3
2700 kg/m3
7870 kg/m3

Aluminium is resistant to corrosion because it naturally forms a thin surface layer of aluminium oxide Al2O3 in contact with oxygen in the atmosphere through a process called passivation, which creates a physical barrier to corrosion or further oxidation in most environments.

With iron the story is different - it doesn't have this property of coating itself with a protective layer of oxide - so it keeps on rusting until there is nothing left or until you apply all kinds of protective layers (like paints) to stop the oxygen corroding your piece of metal.

Also iron is not that soft or malleable as aluminium therefore it is more brittle than aluminium. Should you drop a piece of furniture made of iron it is more likely to crack than aluminium furniture.

Another consequence of this fact is the relative difficulty of making tubular furniture out of iron because there are various issues regarding strength and resistance of iron - it is possible, but it is very expensive. 
On the other hand aluminium is flexible or soft or malleable enough to allow manufacturing of tubular aluminium furniture.

Obviously it's easy now to understand why aluminium garden furniture is superior to iron garden furniture - there is considerably less maintenance work to do and is almost 3 times lighter.

All this without saying anything about the prices.
Aluminium furniture is cheaper than iron furniture to manufacture and there are no compromises made when it comes to quality. 

So you get better quality garden furniture for less money - and you don't have to worry about maintenance all that much.

Below there is a link that will take to see our full range of aluminium garden furniture

All the best,

Outside Edge Garden Furniture Team