Why choose cast aluminium outdoor furniture?

Over the last decade, cast aluminium outdoor furniture has grown to become the go-to material of choice in the UK. 

Over the last decade, cast aluminium outdoor furniture has grown to become the go-to material of choice in the UK. For those of us who like to spend as much time in our gardens as the weather will allow, investing in cast aluminium garden furniture is a wise choice. Not only does it look good, but it is also the perfect material for our climate.

It is lightweight, so easy to pick up and move around the patio or into the shed during the winter. However, it is still sturdy enough to give it that quality feel and it won't blow over like plastic when the wind picks up. It will not rust like other metals, and unlike say iron or timber, it is pretty much maintenance-free. What's not to love about cast aluminium?

What is cast aluminium outdoor furniture?

Good question... Cast aluminium is a specific type of metal that has gone through a process known as casting. Basically, cast aluminium is created using various processes such as die casting, mould casting, or sand casting. In other words, heating it to its liquid form and pouring it into a mould to temper the aluminium for use in creating components for many different types of products.

Today, cast aluminium is used for several items around the home, as well as machinery and other products that are necessary in the manufacturing of a wide range of goods and services. One of the more common applications of cast aluminium (apart from outdoor furniture) is in the creation of cookware such as pans.

Generally, cookware is created using the die-cast method, and this ensures that the cookware can withstand the high temperatures required for cooking and remain useful for several years with minimal cleaning and care.

Cast aluminium garden furniture, such as the collection we sell here at Lazy Susan, might not currently have the history and heritage of traditional cast iron garden furniture, but it has significant advantages over other materials.

Where did cast aluminium come from?

Aluminium was first discovered in 1807 by Englishman, Sir Humphry Davy. He discovered this new metal after pouring acid onto clay, which he called alumina. However, it was still bonded with oxygen and he couldn’t separate the two.

About 70 years later, two men in different parts of the world discovered how to get pure aluminium from bauxite. They were Paul Héroult of France and Charles Martin Hall in the USA. They used other substances to dissolve alumina. In 1821, the Frenchman Berthier came across bauxite ore in the village of Les Bauxs, France, and this is what is now used as the raw material in industrial aluminium production.

It truly is a remarkable material, not only is it incredibly strong, but it is extremely lightweight and resistant to corrosion. Available as tubular aluminium or cast aluminium, it is a modern material. Although it was discovered in France as far back as 1821, cast aluminium was not widely available in industrial quantities until electricity became widely available.

However, since then, we manufacturers have been quick to use aluminium to construct garden furniture. Aluminium`s attractiveness is reflected by its increasing global demand. Consumption has more than doubled since 1970. Furthermore, the price of aluminium, which was initially more expensive than both gold and platinum, dropped by 90% during the 1980’s, due to the introduction of sodium into the manufacturing process.

Plants using this process would later be built in Great Britain, and this newer, more commercially viable process would take over and dominate the entire industry. The primary advantage was that is was now more cost-efficient in comparison to other cast metals. Along with this lower cost, cast aluminium also retains a high degree of durability.

While it is not necessarily true that cast aluminium will last as long as cast iron (if maintained/protected from the elements), in many applications, aluminium products will hold up well for several years. The combination of lower cost and reliable durability makes cast aluminium an excellent choice for many metal components and products in both domestic and commercial applications.

And for these reasons, it is the perfect material for the production of garden furniture.

Widespread industrial use of cast aluminium

Since aluminium is extraordinarily strong, it is fundamental to both the automobile and the air travel industries. In fact, without it, there would not be any commercial air travel at all. The Wright Bros' first aeroplane was only able to get off the ground because it modified its engine with aluminium to reduce weight.

Without the ability of the strong aluminium alloys to withstand the huge pressures and stresses involved, high-altitude flying would simply not be possible. Aluminium makes up around 80% of an aeroplane's weight. Even more amazing, the space shuttles created by NASA are constructed from around 90% aluminium.

Many of the attributes that make aluminium so good for the transport industry also make it the perfect metal for cast aluminium outdoor furniture. It is a well-known fact that aluminium does not rust. This is because once exposed to outdoor air, the surface of aluminium will quickly develop a thin, microscopic layer of oxidization, which protects the metal, making it completely resistant to corrosion.

Not only does this make the metal an appealing choice in any sort of outdoor decorative item, but it also means that the metal will not disintegrate when exposed to the elements. Thus, the material is perfect for the manufacturing of any object that must remain outdoors for long periods, such as outdoor fixtures and furniture.

It will retain, for the most part, the original appearance, along with structural integrity, without too much in the way of maintenance. With all its amazing qualities, it is no wonder that in such a short time, aluminium has become the material of choice in today’s outdoor furniture industry!

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