Cast aluminium patio furniture is the perfect material for those wanting to invest in furniture that is designed to stay outdoors and stand up to the always erratic British climate. If you’re shopping for outdoor furniture now or you’ve done so in the past, then you’ll know that there’s a vast variety of different options when it comes to materials, styles, and price. Unfortunately, for many people, it can be a little tricky to find furniture with all the qualities and features they want in their outdoor furniture, without paying a substantial amount of money. In our experience, many consumers tend to buy cheap, but find themselves having to replace in a year or two. Its a false economy and you are better spending a little more to get better quality…
Consumers love the natural look of solid timber but are turned off by fact its not durable enough to stand up to the elements and requires regular care and attention. Or you might be a fan of timeless wrought iron patio furniture, but the issue of its weight and propensity to rust are a big problem, especially when you factor in the big ticket price. However, over the past decade or so we’ve seen the rise of cast aluminium as the go-to material for garden furniture. High in quality, stylish in appearance, and relatively low in cost in comparison to iron and timber, cast aluminium patio furniture ticks all the boxes. It is the ideal choice for the savvy consumer, bringing a little timeless sophistication to your garden or patio.
Cast aluminium patio furniture is durable
Thanks in part to its wide availability as the most common metal on the planet, aluminium has a substantial history of use in heavy industry and engineering. However, that history is comparatively short in regards to other metals such as iron. Discovered in 1807 by English chemist and inventor, Sir Humphry Davy, after he poured acid onto clay to create what he dubbed ‘alumina’. However, he had a problem – it was still bonded with oxygen – and he simply could’nt separate the two. About 70 years later, Paul Héroult of France and Charles Martin Hall of the United States of America, discovered how to get pure aluminium from bauxite by using various substances to dissolve Sir Humphry’s alumina. In 1821, the Frenchman, Pierre Berthier, also came across quantities of bauxite ore in the village of Les Bauxs, France. It is this raw material that is mined and utilised in the industrial production of aluminium today.
The outstanding properties of this silvery white, light weight, and corrosion resistant material make it one of the most versatile and widest used metals of the 20th century. And the Hall-Heroult process has been able to withstand many years and several attempts to rewrite or add to it. Their process remains as the fundamental basis of all commercial aluminum production today. It is commonly used for important components in the automotive industry, in fact aluminium is used in everything from the space shuttle to kitchenware.
Cast aluminium on the other hand is a specific metal that has gone through one of the several processes known as casting. Common methods of production include die casting, where molten metal is forced into a die-cast seal, or mould and sand casting that employ a reusable mould made from other metals and sand respectively. The process of casting is used to ‘temper’ the aluminium, in other words generate a combination of hardness and strength that’s imparted to the aluminium by a mechanical or thermal treatment. Cast aluminium is used for a number of items around the house, including cast aluminium patio furniture, where its resistance to corrosion and rust, making it the perfect choice of material.
Cast aluminium patio furniture is lightweight
As well as cast aluminium’s exceptional resilience to the elements, it is a remarkably lightweight metal when compared to iron furniture. It is easy to move around the patio or indoors for added protection during the winter, but at the same time it still has a sturdiness that means it won’t be tumbling across your lawn when the wind does pick up. If you want to move your cast aluminium chairs and table around the patio so they’re in the sun or out of the rain (not that you have to) its an easy job. Cast aluminum furniture, may have the same high quality looking finish of traditional wrought iron, but it will last significantly longer with less maintenance, is much lighter, and best of all it won’t corrode.
Cast aluminium patio furniture is easy to maintain
Yes, and I know what some people will say at this point… Aluminium might not rust, but it can discolor and develop what’s known as a ‘pitted’ surface. This is basically surface has oxidised from moisture, pollutants etc in the air and it will develop a rough surface that almost looks like it has fine grit stuck all over it. You can’t just wipe it away with a damp cloth, but trust me, it is much easier to prevent, and significantly easier to remove if it does occur, than say rusting iron or rotting timber. If the surface is only mildly discoloured/pitted, then you probably will get away with just washing it with a mixture of mild washing up liquid, warm water, and a small squirt of lemon juice or vinegar. If the furniture has been neglected for a number of years and left outside, then the surface can become heavily pitted. No type of garden furniture is totally wetherproof, in that you can leave it outside for several years with no care and maintenance. However, that’s not to say it can’t be restored.
If the surface of your cast aluminium garden furniture is heavily pitted, then start by polishing it with a soap-filled steel wool scrubbing pad, the type you’d use on pots and pans. When you’re done scrubbing, rinse it thoroughly and dry. It is vital that all of the steel wool is rinsed off and removed or the left over strands will rust and then discolour the aluminium. There’s also a selection of commercial aluminium cleaners on the market that have been designed specifically to clean the hull of boat and cars that you could try too. However, the key is to regularly care and maintenance. Always wash your furniture as needed and store inside or under a patio furniture cover during the colder months. And a great tip is to apply a light coat of auto wax, or a silicon spray such as Scotch™ 1609 to the surface. This will help to provide a little added protection to the furniture and prevent pitting from taking hold.
Cast aluminium patio furniture is classically styled
The modern production process of cast aluminium garden furniture, whereby the the liquid metal is poured into a mould, allows for greater design detail and thus exciting new shapes and forms can be created that simply can’t be replicated with other materials designs. And because weight is not an issue, as it would be with say wrought iron, you’ll find that cast aluminium garden furniture can feature much more intricate detailing and a greater degree of comfort than its wrought iron or timber counterparts. And at the end of the day, of course it needs to look good on your patio, but your bottom and back have to enjoy the furniture just as much as the eyes. As far as Lazy Susan is concerned, cast aluminium does wrought iron style better than wrought iron.
Why white cast aluminium patio furniture ticks all the boxes
One of the more popular colour choices when it comes to cast aluminium furniture is white. Lazy Susan has seen a big rise in the popularity of white metal garden furniture over the last few years and it has featured heavily in many of the leading home and garden style mags. Aluminium framed patio furniture in white creates an eye-catching contrast on any patio, and the classical lattice style of the Frances table and chairs shown above will deliver a timeless look in any traditional country garden. White cast aluminium patio furniture has never been more in vogue, it just has this sophisticated Parisienne feel to it that can’t be achieved by other materials. The demand for white cast aluminium patio furniture started back in 2011, continued through 2012 and is set to continue well into 2013. At Lazy Susan we simply love the look and we have some stunning white pieces, from benches and bistro tables, to 4 seater and 6 seater dining sets.
The beauty of our cast aluminium patio furniture is that, even in white, it will not corrode, warp, rot or lose its good looks in the British climate. Our white patio furniture range has been especially popular overseas, and we’ve even supplied a large quantity for a use at a London high society wedding, so you can’t get a much better endorsement than that. The striking, clean, timeless look of white patio furniture gives hotels, bars, restaurants, coffee shops and any other type businesses for that matter a real style edge that is guaranteed to impress and entice the more discerning customer. White cast aluminium patio furniture is definitely the new black cast aluminium patio furniture!
About Lazy Susan
Lazy Susan is a small family business that specialise exclusively in wicker, rattan and metal garden furniture, specifically cast aluminium. Visit www.lazysusanfurniture.co.uk to find out more and view our complete product range.