Why we use Aluminium and not Stainless Steel
It is often thought that Stainless Steel is the best option for external use but some grades of Stainless Steel are subject to an aesthetic problem known as ‘Tea Staining’. To combat Tea Staining on Stainless Steel requires regular maintenance (washing and polishing). If Stainless steel is not maintained the Tea Staining may eventually result in actual pitting of the metal.
But don’t take our word for it, click on these 2 links to other Australian companies detailing the Tea Staining issue of Stainless Steel:
- This first link is to ANZOR from whom we purchase all our Stainless Steel Screw supplies http://www.anzor.com.au/blog/tea-staining-all-about-de-rusting/
- This second link is from Metforce another Australian company that supplies Stainless Steel and Glass products to the Pool fence and Balustrade Trade. Here is there pdf about Tea Staining. http://www.metforce.com.au/assets/pagesdocuments/tea-staining17.pdf
As our products are designed to be functional, and enhance your home. The visual aesthetic is a major feature of why we use Aluminium, and its ability to look good year in and year out.
Here at BoBject we have opted to remove the uncertainty and the maintenance requirement of the tea staining issue, by using aluminium as the main material.
Aluminium is not subject to rust, it can weather and go dull over a period of time, however the material we use has a factory applied coating called PVDF to eliminate this aspect.
All our Aluminium products have this PVDF coating and require no maintenance, apart from the occasional hose down like you would do on your windows to remove salt or dust build up.
They do not require polishing, and for more difficult problems like bird droppings etc, just a little bit of soapy water to soften the dropping and then a hose down will give the desired results.
Details about Stainless Steel and the Tea Staining issue
The most commonly known grades of stainless steel are 304 and 316.
316 is generally regarded as marine grade and considered the best for outdoor exposure. However there are variations within the grades of all stainless steel, and they may be subject to weathering due to variations in the raw materials used.
So, what is Tea Staining?
Tea Staining on Stainless Steel is the surface corrosion of the material giving it a ‘rusted’ appearance. This is by no means a structural problem, just an aesthetic (visual) problem
Tea staining occurs most commonly within about five kilometres of salt water however, wind exposure, pollution levels, local sheltering and higher temperatures can create environments where tea staining might occur up to 20 kilometres or more from a salt water environment.
The image to the right is not our product but shows what can happen to stainless steel. We are not saying all Stainless Steel will develop this issue, just purely pointing out why we have opted to use Aluminium for our products.
Click on the image for a closer look.
What is PVDF?
PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) coatings have excellent resistance to weathering elements in harsh environments.
PVDF coatings have extremely good gloss and colour retention, They are used extensively in commercial and residential buildings, both as external wall cladding and also as roofing.
Their high resistance to external weathering mean they are ideal for our requirements.