Aluminum may not hold a place of honor in the minds of most Americans, but it is one of the mainstays of the construction industry and widely used in multi-residential structures. The material is known for its strength, narrow profile, appearance, support for wider frame spans and sustainability.
Aluminum can be found in varying strengths in everything from soda cans to airplanes, and yes, window frames.
Found in all types of clay, it is bauxite which contains the highest levels of aluminum (from 45 to 60%). Although it is 33% lighter than steel, it can be mixed with other additives or can be cold or hot rolled to add strength. It is this quality that is attractive to builders, architects, developers, and property owners and managers, as stronger frames can support larger window openings.
Because aluminum can be bent and rolled, it offers window frame manufacturers the option to create narrower profiles compared to other materials. Having a slender frame that still can bear weight adds to the overall appearance (curb appeal) of the building.
Windows made with aluminum frames are some of the most durable windows available on the market today. Aluminum-framed windows are less affected by severe weather conditions and UV rays compared to other types of materials. And they are available in a variety of finishes and coatings. They have a typical lifespan of 20-25 years.
One of the more interesting properties of aluminum is that it can be recycled over and over again while maintaining its properties. After its lifetime as a window frame has come to an end, the material can be recycled into new window frames, door frames or other products.