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Steel or Aluminium: What’s Right for Your Fence?

Steel or Aluminium: What’s Right for Your Fence?

Aluminium and steel can both be used for high quality fencing and gates. However, as most people aren’t up on the properties of various metals you may be finding it difficult to choose between the two! There are pros and cons to both aluminium and steel fencing, which make each of them better suited to certain premises more than others. While they are both durable, choosing the most appropriate fencing material for your specific needs will ensure that you are satisfied with your fencing for years to come.

Aluminium Fencing and Gates

Aluminium is a lightweight, durable, and versatile material. It’s not susceptible to corrosion, so aluminium fencing and gates will look great for years despite being exposed to the elements. The drawback to aluminium is that it can be easily bent, so it’s not as effective for fencing in premises that require tough barriers or security, such as industrial or commercial settings. It is best used for aesthetic purposes, such as residential garden, yard or pool fencing. Its resistance to corrosion makes it the ideal choice for seaside or waterside homes in particular.

 

Alloy Gate Easily Bent

Alloy Gate Easily Bent

Will powder coating stop corrosion?

No – Only the use of the correct substrate for the application, professional fabrication, proper pre treatment and priming to specification prior to applying the top coat in conjunction with regular maintenance will prevent corrosion.

Note if the coating is scratched or not applied in correctly it will flake off.  Salt-laden moisture and oxygen penetrate through the coating to the substrate, causing corrosion of aluminum under the coating film. Corrosion then progresses along the interface while pushing the coating off the substrate.

Once these failures have occurred on site, it is very difficult and costly to re-mediate the problem, and often, replacement is the most economical and feasible approach

 

This photo shows a failed powder coating on a handrail post base, with crevice corrosion penetrating under the failed coating and propogating it further.

This photo shows a failed powder coating on a handrail post base, with crevice corrosion penetrating under the failed coating and propogating it further.

Steel Fencing and Gates

Steel is a strong, powerful and long-lasting fencing material when coated correctly, perfect for protective fences. It is heavy and resistant to damage and wind. Most steel fences are also galvanized and treated with powder coating to prevent rusting. Fenced Out only uses pre-galvanised Australian made Bluescope steel in it steel tubular fences. Steel is impact resistant, so it is the perfect material to use for security gates. If you’re looking to purchase a fence that will last for a lifetime or more, steel is the way to go.

Tubular steel is another option that has become more popular. Manufacturing fencing and gates from tubular steel bars with hollow centres will give you that tough steel exterior, but will make the gate more lightweight, making is more suited to high-traffic commercial and residential premises than solid steel fencing and gates.

Due to its weight, steel fencing may be more difficult to install than aluminium fencing, and less practical for home and family uses, making it a better fit for industrial premises. It is also more expensive. However, the peace of mind from installing a steel fence may be worth the additional cost if you’re protecting valuable stock and machinery within.

Steel is a stronger alternative to aluminum. It is heavier and resists impact. It will not require banging out to fix dents.

While aluminum has become popular for gates and fence due to its corrosion resistance and weight, steel is a stronger alternative. With a Hot Dipped Galvanized undercoat and a baked on Powder Coat finish, a steel gate or fence will often outlast any aluminum gate or fence.

The issue is most powder coat companies will not guarantee a powder coat finish over Hot dipped galvanized steel will not flake.

 

Steel Gates Manufactured