How is cast aluminium garden furniture made?

We want to take a closer look at how cast aluminium garden furniture is made to best illustrate why we chose it for the Lazy Susan collection and why we think it is best suited for UK patios...

Cast aluminium is one of those materials that we often think we know what it is but many of us are unsure as to why it is the perfect material for UK gardens.

By taking a closer look at how our cast aluminium garden furniture is made, we can hopefully highlight the advantages of this weatherproof metal and explain why we selected it as the core material for our range of garden tables, chairs, benches and loungers.

The Royal Society of Chemistry defines aluminium as:

“Aluminium is a silvery-white, lightweight metal. It is soft and malleable. Uses. Aluminium is used in a huge variety of products including cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames, beer kegs and aeroplane parts. This is because of its particular properties.”

Wikipedia’s entry, on the other hand, defines it as: 

“Aluminium is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common metals, at approximately one-third that of steel. It has a great affinity towards oxygen, and forms a protective layer of oxide on the surface when exposed to air.”

What is cast aluminium?

In our reasons to purchase cast aluminium garden furniture article from way back in 2012, we defined cast aluminium as:

“Cast aluminium is, in a nutshell, a metal alloy that's gone through one of the various processes known as casting. Essentially, it is created when molten aluminium is poured into a die-cast, mould or sand cast to temper the metal for use in creating the components that make up a piece of garden furniture.”

What is cast aluminium?

There are 3 common types of cast aluminium utilised in the construction of garden furniture in the UK: 

  1. Wrought Aluminium
    Wrought Aluminium is made when the alloy is formed into shapes by rolling, extrusion or forging (essentially worked with tools). The furniture created is often classic in style, similar to the traditional pieces made from wrought iron.
  2. Tubular Aluminium
    The tubular aluminium technique is probably one of the most common (and cheapest) as it is the lightest, quickest and easiest to form. Style is limited and it is mostly found in the framework of popular synthetic rattan-style furniture sets.
  3. Cast Aluminium
    Cast aluminium patio furniture is made using a process, called casting, where molten aluminium is poured into a mould. This process produces the purest and most resilient form of aluminium, allowing for more intricate patterns and shapes. 

As the casting of aluminium forms a solid piece of metal, the resulting product is heavier and arguably stronger than wrought and tubular aluminium, so it creates furniture that is better suited to the UK climate and the modern Great British garden.

These 3 different methods of production create metals with varying strengths and weaknesses, none of them will rust, but casting forms pieces that are more substantial (in weight and feel) and better suited to outdoor use, which is why it is the predominant metal/production method in our industry. 

The most common alloy used in casting is aluminium-silicon, where silicon is added to ensure great casting characteristics and produce a metal that has a higher tensile strength. In other words, cast aluminium can withstand a higher degree of stress before breaking.

The result of this production process is a metal alloy that when melted has excellent fluidity, which basically means the liquid metal flows easily and evenly into the moulds, so you get little to no defects (we quality check every piece), excellent grain structure and a nice surface finish. 

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

Our designs are classic in design, and so is the traditional sand-casting process we use to build them.

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

Sand casting is an ancient moulding method that can be traced all the way back to 4000 BC.

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

The process starts by creating wooden moulds or patterns, impressing them into the sand and then pouring the melted alloy to form the cast that is made. 

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

Once set, the material is removed and the details are carved, creating the individual parts of our furniture such as the legs, tabletops (as shown in photo below), etc.

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

The sand casting process is repeated with these moulds and the parts are harvested. 

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

Finally, they travel through each workshop being cleaned, polished, powder-coated and detailed.

How is our cast aluminium garden furniture made?

Why is cast aluminium the best material for garden furniture?

The unique qualities of cast aluminium and our method of production are what make it most appealing when it comes to choosing a material for making garden furniture. 

It is perfectly suited to the ever-changing UK climate. The special painted finish we apply as a final stage is designed to not only look good but will also further protect the metal from the elements.  

The finished products are fully weatherproof and as strong as you'd expect metal furniture to be. However, whilst designed to not blow over, it is still not as heavy as wrought iron, so can easily be picked up and moved if needed.

Why is cast aluminium the best material for garden furniture?

That painted finish (the close-up above shows our Antique Bronze) also significantly reduces the need for any maintenance. 

An occasional wash with warm soapy water is really all it will need to remove any dirt. Our preference is to just use a good quality car shampoo. 

If you want to keep it cleaner for longer and give the paintwork a nice lustre, then we would also recommend a light coat of carnauba-style car wax. Just as it would on your car, this will help the rain and dirt run off better.

If you do find a scratch in the paintwork, then you can easily touch it up with our Touch Up Paint. Super simple to apply just follow the steps in the video below: 

The great thing about cast aluminium garden furniture though is it is a great all-rounder. As we say; it is designed to live in the heart of your garden, with no rust, no rot, whatever the weather. 

All garden furniture materials have their pros and cons but the reason we selected cast aluminium as our core material is that it ticked more cons for us when it came to how we use our gardens in the UK. 

Our rigorous testing showed that it was not only the most durable outdoor furniture material but it was also the easiest to maintain and, if you keep it well-maintained (thanks to that protective painted finish) it is fully weatherproof.

Why is cast aluminium the best material for garden furniture?

The high-tensile cast aluminium we use in the construction of our garden furniture range gives us furniture that is not only beautifully crafted, but it is also low maintenance and perfectly suited to wind, rain, snow and sun. It will not split, warp, fade, rust, or rot and can be left outside uncovered if you wish.

We have created a range of dining table-style sets that not only look great on your patio but are designed for family use. Combining cast aluminium with a powder-coated protective finish produces beautiful yet highly durable furniture that has many benefits over other materials such as steel, iron, rattan, wood and plastic:

  1. It will not pit, rot or rust
  2. Low maintenance
  3. Long-life guarantee
  4. Designed to be left outside all year
  5. Protective painted finish
  6. UV & water-resistant
  7. Easy to assemble
  8. Safe to ship
  9. Aesthetically stylish and sophisticated
  10. Ergonomically designed
  11. High-quality look, finish and feel

How our cast aluminium garden furniture is made, in terms of the quality of our raw material and meticulous production process, is critical in ensuring the end product is, in our opinion, the best garden furniture money can buy.

If you have any photos of our Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture in your garden, then we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].

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