Summertime is quickly approaching. With the warm temperatures and sunlight, many homeowners are looking for outdoor patio furniture they can use to enjoy the season from the comfort of their backyard.
Metal is the most durable material for crafting outdoor furniture, and steel and aluminum are two of the metals used most often. In this article, we’ll cover features such as the weight, durability and corrosion resistance of aluminum versus steel to outline how each one fares as outdoor furniture.
Aluminum Patio Furniture
Aluminum furniture is lightweight, versatile and easy to move. Many people choose aluminum furniture for its appearance and flexibility. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum patio furniture.
Pros of Aluminum Patio Furniture
Choosing aluminum for your outdoor furniture manufacturing offers several benefits:
- Rust-free: One of the most well-known benefits of aluminum is that it does not rust.
- Lightweight: Aluminum weighs about one-third as much as the lightest steel material. Its light weight lets homeowners move it around easily to fit their needs. They can shift the position of their chairs and tables into the shade if the sun is too hot or arrange the seating around a fire pit for a summer night party.
- Corrosion resistance: Although aluminum can corrode, any corrosion it displays is minimal compared to the rust that can appear on untreated cast iron and steel. Signs of corrosion might include reflective surfaces losing their shine or a thin layer of aluminum oxide forming on surfaces. Powder coating your aluminum is an inexpensive way to ensure the patio furniture stays durable while adding color options.
- Easy to cut and shape: Aluminum’s malleability is one of the features that make it popular among manufacturers. You can cut or bend aluminum to take on almost any shape.
- Low maintenance: Aluminum is relatively easy to maintain for people looking to purchase patio equipment. Aluminum patio furniture may develop a thin film of aluminum oxide the customer can easily remove with soap and water.
- More inexpensive for customers: Aluminum is one of the best materials for patio furniture because it’s more affordable for consumers than steel. However, patio furniture prices will still vary a lot based on factors like design, size, customized elements, etc.
Cons of Aluminum Patio Furniture
Manufacturing and selling aluminum patio furniture also comes with some drawbacks:
- Challenging to weld: Although aluminum is easy to bend and cut, it can be challenging to weld. A layer of aluminum oxide forms on its surface when exposed to natural air, preventing the arc and the weld pool from connecting as they need to. While it’s possible to weld aluminum, doing so is much more complicated than welding steel.
- Not as durable: Aluminum furniture is durable for its weight. However, it’s not as durable as other metals. It can buckle or fold under heavy weight, especially when the aluminum is thin or hollow.
- Not storm-proof: Because it is so lightweight, furniture made of aluminum might blow around, especially in strong winds. Customers will need to invest in ways to keep aluminum furniture in place, such as heavy-duty furniture covers.
Steel Patio Furniture
Steel is good for outdoor furniture because it is highly durable and can withstand harsh elements. As with aluminum furniture, using steel to create patio furniture comes with many pros and cons.
Pros of Steel Patio Furniture
Consider the advantages of choosing steel for your patio furniture:
- Strength and density: Steel is extremely strong and dense. It won’t budge easily, even when up against heavy weights or powerful winds.
- Corrosion resistance: Some steel varieties — like galvanized and stainless steel — are resistant to rust, making them an excellent option for creating patio furniture. Applying a powder protective coating to steel furniture can make it even more resistant to rust and corrosion.
- Easy to weld: Steel furniture is much easier to weld than aluminum furniture is. It’s also more flexible than other heavy metal options, such as iron.
- Damage-resistant: Because steel is so strong, it is resistant to dents or damage to its surface from stones, hail or other elements.
Cons of Steel Patio Furniture
It’s also important to consider some of the disadvantages of manufacturing steel patio furniture:
- Responds to temperature: Steel absorbs heat and cold, making it hot or cold to the touch depending on the temperature outside. People purchasing steel patio furniture can counteract this by keeping their furniture in the shade or placing cushions and tablecloths on top of chairs and tables.
- Challenging to move: While steel furniture is very strong, it is also extremely heavy. Its weight makes it challenging for homeowners to move their furniture around to accommodate guests, weather and activities.
- Expensive for consumers: Steel furniture is generally more expensive for people looking to purchase outdoor furniture.
Should You Manufacture Aluminum or Steel Patio Furniture?
As you can see, aluminum and steel patio furniture both offer various benefits and disadvantages. Here are a few factors to consider as you decide which material will work best for your business:
Your Area’s Climate
Steel might be a better option for you if you operate in a location where high winds are prevalent — especially in the summertime when people move their patio furniture outside. Aluminum furniture is lightweight and could blow around in the face of high winds, possibly damaging a home or yard.
If you live in an exceptionally warm or cold climate, customers might be concerned about their furniture absorbing heat or cold. Steel furniture that gets warm or cold based on the outside temperature might be uncomfortable for customers. In this case, aluminum may be a better bet.
Your Business’s and Customers’ Budgets
Steel patio furniture is generally more expensive. How much your customers are willing to spend is an important consideration as you decide which type of metal patio furniture you want to manufacture at your company. You should also consider any additional elements to your furniture. Including features like cushions, paint and intricate designs might raise outdoor furniture’s selling and production prices.
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PBZ Manufacturing has experience and expertise in manufacturing metals. We can manage every aspect of your project with the skills we’ve gathered since we first started operation in 1947.
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