Types of metal: Understanding the different benefits of aluminium, steel and brass
But which metal is best suited to your project? Here’s an overview of the different types of metal and the advantages of each, including environmental benefits for this week’s Green Building Council Australia’s World Green Buildings Week (25 Sept – 1 Oct):
Aluminium is a lightweight metal that’s also incredibly strong even when perforated. Because of its amazing properties, aluminium is one of the most versatile types of metal you’ll find. It’s favoured by architects and designers who need a material that doesn’t add weight yet is stable, strong and durable.
Aluminium doesn’t rust – it’s weather-resistant, corrosive resistant and isn’t affected by temperature fluctuations unlike some other metals. It’s also fully-recyclable, and can be formed into many different shapes thanks to its flexibility.
Aluminium can be finished by powder coating, which involves applying layers of powder-based paint electrostatically to the metal. Not only does this add further protection, it adds colour too.
Take a look at these aluminium custom-perforated metal panels that we produced for the new $16m Blacktown Tennis Centre, the perforated metal screen walls we made from aluminium for the 5 Green Star rated University of Newcastle’s landmark $95m NeW Space building and the striking way our bespoke- perforated metal aluminium panels were used for Oatley Station’s new footbridge.
Stainless steel offers very high corrosion resistance that’s much more resilient to signs of wear, and is an attractive and clean metal. The most common stainless steel grades are 304 and 316, which indicates the composition of the metal. It’s important to choose a stainless steel grade that’s suited to the intended environment. 304 stainless steel is suited to most applications except in high corrosive environments. 316 has enhanced corrosion resistance – making it ideal for projects in coastal areas.
The Wynyard to Barangaroo walkway tunnel uses stainless steel perforated metal ceiling panels made by Arrow Metal, designed to achieve the architect’s vision of movement.
Steel is the foundation of many modern buildings. It’s a heavy, strong and durable metal that is most commonly used in the construction industry. But it’s not a metal that always plays a supporting role – modern architecture trends have seen steel paired with elements such as glass, wood or stone for striking residential and commercial schemes.
Steel can also be recycled which makes it a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution for all types of projects where strength is paramount.
Steel is the least expensive type of metal for perforated metal. It’s very durable, hard, can be welded and formed into any shape and will flex and give rather than break or crack under pressure. It’s most often used when a vast amount of metal is needed thanks to its cost advantages. It has low corrosion resistance however unless coated.
Industrial-grade brass is commonly used for woven wire mesh. Comprised of copper and zinc, it has good tensile strength and corrosion resistance dependent on its composition, making it perfect for industrial and outdoor use. Its stunning aesthetic appeal means it’s also a popular material for decorative and architectural projects for interior and exterior uses.
Types of metal – summary
|Types of metal||Key benefits||Applications|
|Aluminium||– Lightweight but strong and durable|
– Good weather and corrosion resistance
– Can be powder coated or anodised to add colours
– Fully-recyclable – an environmentally-friendly solution
|Outdoor applications due to its good weather resistance|
|Stainless Steel||– Heavy and strong|
– High corrosion resistance
– Resilient to sign of wear
– An attractive and clean metal
|Grade 316 stainless steel has enhanced corrosion resistance – great for projects in coastal areas|
|Steel||– A cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution|
– Heavy, strong and durable
|Commonly used in construction industry, a foundation for many modern buildings|
|Brass||– Aesthetically appealing|
– Industrial-grade brass is commonly used for woven wire mesh
|Decorative and architectural projects for interior and exterior uses|
Metal advice: Talk to the Arrow Metal experts
Not sure which metal you need? We can help ensure you use the right types of metal for your projects that have exactly the right properties you need, finding you the most cost-effective metal solutions that perform.
Speak to our friendly customer team on (02) 9748 2200 or send us an online enquiry and we’ll get back to you promptly.Posted: September 26, 2017