The glazing industry refers to fenestration units when it means any glazed product to be fitted to a building. This means curtain walls, French doors, bi-folding doors, sliding patio doors and, of course, windows. All of these product categories required two main components—the glazing itself and the frame that it is held in. Whether you are looking at single, double or treble glazed fenestration units, among the best materials you could choose is aluminium. Why is aluminium such a popular choice these days and what advantages does it offer?
Although aluminium is a good-looking material for contemporary homes and office blocks, it has been around for decades. In fact, it was first used for windows in some of the most iconic buildings of the twentieth century that were constructed in Manhattan. Compared to other materials you might choose, like PCV plastic, aluminium is classy and adds a touch of modern sophistication to the architecture of your home.
Because it is a metal, aluminium will provide a much greater resistance to damage than other options. It is highly effective against tampering and any attempt to lever it out of position from its fixing points. Window and door frames made from aluminium offer greater levels of security that put would-be intruders off. Potential access points, such as French doors, become much less attractive to burglars when they notice they are constructed with such a durable door frame.
One of the drawbacks you may have read about aluminium as a door or window frame material is its thermal transmittance. When one side of a metal frame heats up, it can transmit heat energy to the other side of the product because it is such a good thermal conductor. Although this is good in many applications, it actually causes a problem with fenestration units. Essentially, you don't want a frame to heat your house up when it is hot outside. Neither do you want to lose heat energy from inside to the exterior of your home during winter. Frame manufacturers now use hi-tech thermal inserts in aluminium products to prevent this problem. Plastics like polyamide are used to stop the outer part of the frame from touching the inner one. As such, the thermal retention of aluminium frames is just as good as other materials you could choose.
Aluminium window frames are virtually maintenance-free. Once fitted, you have to do very little indeed. Just a wipe down with a sponge once in a while is all that is needed to keep them in mint condition for years.