Aluminium is a product with unique properties, making it a natural partner for the building industry. Thanks to its strength, durability, corrosion resistance and recyclability, it has become an essential product for the building industry and over the past 50 years its use in building applications has shown continuous and consistent growth.
Applications of Aluminium in Construction and Building
Aluminium extruded, rolled, and cast products are commonly used for window frames and other glazed structures ranging from shop fronts to large roof superstructures for shopping centres and stadiums; for roofing, siding, and curtain walling, as well as for cast door handles, catches for windows, staircases, heating and air-conditioning systems. Most recently, aluminium has played a significant role in the renovation of historic buildings. The characteristics and properties of aluminium as a material have lead to revolutionary and innovative changes in building techniques and architectural and engineering projects. Aluminium is leading the way into the future of the construction industry.
When used for construction applications, aluminium offers the design engineer and architect the optimum design flexibility.
Extruded Aluminium Products
The extrusion process, for example, allows an almost infinite range of hollow and solid profiles to be fabricated, combining a variety of design features to suit the end-use application.
Panels can also be produced flat, or in curved shapes for applications such as tanks, silos or cooling towers. Special forms can also be produced on-site with transportable rolling equipment. Aluminium can be sawed, drilled, screwed, bent, welded or soldered, either in a workshop or on a building site.
The Ability to Incorporate Design Features into Extruded Aluminium Sections
In addition, the complex shapes achievable with extruded aluminium allow the window designer to incorporate such features as grooves for joints, draft excluders, thermal breaks and glazing beads. When combined with aluminium’s high strength-to-weight ratio, the result is a high performance window system.
Flexibility in Surface Finishes
Aluminium can also be finished to meet the decorative requirements of the application. The most common means of finishing aluminium surfaces are anodising and painting, following a pre-treatment process, which enhances the natural corrosion resistance of the material and ensures a good bond with the surface treatment. A wide range of fade free surface finish colours are available, in high, medium or low gloss formulations.
Anodising Aluminium Building Products
Anodising involves the application of natural or coloured oxide films through an electrolytic process. The anodised surfaces of aluminium construction products are hard and durable, often outlasting the life expectancy of the buildings in which they are used. They offer excellent corrosion resistance and, being smooth, are easy to clean.
Painting Aluminium Building Products
Painted surfaces can be produced either by coating individual products or by continuous “coil coating”.