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How Has Aluminium Improved the Construction Industry? 

In the late 1800s, aluminium was the most expensive metal in the world and a poor building material. A few decades later, it was being used to build everything. This was all thanks to the discovery of new manufacturing processes that helped create aluminium alloys that were lighter than steel but extremely durable. The high strength to weight ratio and versatility of aluminium has transformed entire industries, including construction. 

A Brief History of Aluminium 

Aluminium was very rare until almost the end of the 19th century, when a new technique for making aluminium was discovered, turning what was one of the most expensive metals in the world into one of the cheapest. Around 20 years later, another technique was discovered to produce an alloy of aluminium that was stronger than the pure metal. 

This technique, called age hardening, led to the widespread use of aluminium as a building material. This completely transformed early twentieth-century industry, allowing airplanes to be built stronger and larger, buildings to be built higher, and power lines to be built further apart. 

Applications of Aluminium in Construction 

Aluminium extruded, rolled, and cast products are used for a wide variety of purposes. The strength of the metal can be adjusted to suit different applications through proper alloying, with some common uses including: 

  • Window frames and doors 
  • Cladding 
  • Roofing 
  • Siding 
  • Cast door handles 
  • Catches for windows 
  • Heating and air conditioning systems 
  • Curtain walling 
  • Large roof superstructures for shopping centres and stadiums 

The characteristics and properties of aluminium have led to revolutionary changes in building techniques and innovations in architectural and engineering projects. Aluminium is leading the way into the future of the construction industry. 

Aluminium Cladding and Facades 

Aluminium is increasingly utilised for facades and cladding for non-residential buildings. Aluminium helps achieve a stylish, contemporary look while offering a high level of durability and providing valuable insulation properties. The high strength-to-weight ratio of the aluminium makes it ideal for cladding applications. In addition to reducing the cost of transporting aluminium, its light weight makes it easier to handle on-site.  

Rolled panels with a specific weight of 2 to 3kg/m3 can be mounted by hand, with no need to use heavy machinery. Despite how light it is, aluminium is just as strong as other metal facade panels while offering the additional benefit of being rust and corrosion resistant. The light weight and high strength of aluminium also means there is a low load on the supporting structure of buildings. This makes it a popular choice for curtain walls for high rise buildings. 

Aluminium Frames 

The high strength and rigidity offered by aluminium also makes it ideal for applications such as sash and frames of windows and patio doors. The material’s rigidity and durability ensures stability under normal loads while offering a slim, stylish look. This makes it a popular option for homes and high-rise buildings, where stability is an essential for facades, cladding and windows. 

Aluminium Windows and Doors in Sydney 

At B&W Windows, we’re the experts when it comes to aluminium windows and doors. We have over thirty years of experience custom fabricating and installing high quality aluminium windows and doors. Call us today for a quote on (02) 9540 2500 or contact us online.