Improved Design Flexibility and Finer Tolerances
- Malleable - allowing for easier shaping and fabrication in the shop or in the field
- Flexibility - allows for better shapes and design capacities
- Extrudability – allows for finer dimensional tolerances creating better architectural grade (aesthetic) material
- Extrusion and cooling process - allows shape to retain tolerances to insure the architectural grade shapes
Since aluminum weighs must less than other materials commonly used in commercial applications, shipping costs will be noticeably lower. For smaller shipments the weight reduction will allow more flexibility in delivery methods. Costs are also reduced because of the ease of handling prior to and at delivery.
Likewise, installation will be easier and less costly. The handling of large sticks of aluminum can be done with one or two individuals. Other heavier materials could require the use of cranes. Once in place, slight adjustments to the fenestration are also easier with aluminum due to its lighter weight. The need for a crane requires added space besides the added cost. There is also the risk of liability due to heavier loads.
Corrosion Resistance and Lifecycle Costs
For commercial applications aluminum provides the necessary structural properties with reduced weight. The ability of aluminum to deflect from wind loads and still retain its shape can be beneficial in maintaining structural integrity while resisting water and air infiltration. This also allows the building to keep its desired appearance.
This same level of ultimate yield, which provides enough stiffness to allow deflection with integrity, also allows enough deflection to alleviate strain on connections. For example, when it comes to blast resistance design, frames that are too stiff will blow out of an opening. Whereas some flexibility will allow a frame to maintain its integrity within an opening by the way it transfers loads to the surrounding building structure.
Aluminum can be used for small frame applications such as operable windows while also accommodating large spans between floors. When used as part of a punched opening window the unit can be managed by 1 to 2 workers while providing the structural integrity required.