Aluminum – The “Green” Choice
Advantages of Aluminum Over Steel
CST’s Innovative design concepts and selection of aluminum as the material of choice continue to solve many unique project design needs, bringing the latest in aerospace technology to the building and construction industry with lifetime cost savings and a guarantee of long-term structural integrity. Some of the most prominent benefits of using aluminum as opposed to steel in various aspects of the building and construction industry include:
- Aluminum is inherently resistant of most normal atmospheric environments, does not rust or suffer from corrosion problems like steel, and is sefl-healing if scratched. By comparison, steel requires an uninterrupted organic pain film or sacrificial inorganic film to prevent rust and corrosion. When a break in the film occurs on a steel element, the site corrodes rapidly, resulting in undercutting of the film and further corrosion. Severe rusting may necessitate repair to prevent structural failure, either local or catastrophic.
- For the ultimate in cost savings, CST can supply products that are “mill” finish should the aesthetics of unfinished aluminum match a project’s needs. Aluminum can also be painted (Kynar), if required, or chemically treated (anodized) for extremely corrosive environments.
- In comparison to ferrous metals, the lightweight nature of high-strength aluminum alloys reduces total weight. Combined with the pre-engineered, component nature of CST’s systems, most structures can be shipped for lower cost through normal cargo methods as standard freight.
- The lightweight nature of high-strength aluminum alloys also permits faster, lower cost installations. With components weighing significantly less than similar steel elements, the manpower and machine requirements to move parts as well as assemble and lift the structure(s) are reduced. Alternatively, larger frame sections can be lifted (or longer boom lengths can be used) and unusual lift and assebmly methods can often be employed.
- The use of aluminum allows for unique structural and architectural sections (extrusions) to be designed to meet unique project needs. Specific performance characteristics of a design can be readily achieved and larger projects can be “fine-tuned” for overall cost savings and absorbing the initial expense of the new extrusuion die(s).
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