Aluminum is one of the more popular patio furniture
materials because of its resistance to corrosion and relatively light weight.
Indeed, aluminum is among the most important metals in the world due largely to
these very properties. Actually, at one point in history aluminum was considered
even more valuable than gold and Napoleon had his table set with aluminum plates
when important guests arrived-but I digress.
Obviously, patio furniture will be subjected to the elements-rain, snow, sun,
and possibly the neighborhood kids. The property of aluminum that makes it so
valuable for outdoor uses is its resistant to rust due to the thin layer of
oxidation that forms when exposed to air. The dull, silvery appearance that is
the hallmark of aluminum is actually the product of this oxidation. Also, though
the aluminum is lightweight, it is strong enough to be the primary building
material in commericial jets!
Because of the benefits of aluminum over wrought iron, you will find that
sets of aluminum patio furniture will usually cost a bit more than a
similar wrought iron set. However, many find that the benefits to using aluminum
over wrought iron outweigh the detraction of the increased cost. It is far
easier to handle the furniture because of its light weight and it can stand up
to the elements because of its corrosion resistance.
Many furniture makers actually make furniture using "cast aluminum." Like the
name implies, this type of aluminum furniture is made by pouring molten
aluminum into a cast which is made by pressing a wooden mold into sand. Once the
wooden mold is removed from the sand, the impression left is where the aluminum
is poured. After the aluminum hardens, the sand is simply knocked away leaving a
beautiful aluminum cast. This technique also allows fine detailing.
Aluminum Patio Furniture - Cleaning Aluminum - Durability of Aluminum - Aluminum Finishing - Wrought vs Cast Aluminum