How to Choose Well – Useful Facts to Know About Metal Garden Furniture

From different materials that outdoor furniture can be made of (including plastic, aluminium, wrought iron, stainless steel, wood and rattan), wrought iron furniture is likely to be the most expensive. However, its luxurious feel, robust and impressive outlook and durability make it worth the extra cost.

Why – and which – metal garden furniture

Whilst plastic is cheap and cheerful, and rattan currently fashionable and light, both of them are not the most durable materials and can soon become affected by elements and look worn. Metal garden furniture is generally a lot more reliable choice; however it is also important to know that not all metal garden furniture comes with the same advantages.

What you know as ‘iron garden furniture’ is nowadays actually mainly made from mild steel. Mild steel offers the most flexibility of any material today, both for classic and modern designs. In fact, it offers a certain timeless appeal that will look equally trendy now as in ten years’ time (whilst today’s rattan, plastic and even stainless steel furniture styles might actually look outdated in a few years).

Whilst priced almost the same, mild steel garden furniture is also far better than, for example, aluminium garden furniture. Although the designs may look similar on the photos as both material offer both welded and cast design options, metal garden furniture made of steel is stronger, heavier and more luxurious. So it will not only look more impressive in your garden in reality but it also won’t fly around your garden in the wind.

Aluminium furniture also easily breaks – in fact, its suppliers often complain that up to 10% of shipment already comes damaged by the transport from the factory and have this calculated in the price. Mild steel furniture’s surface is also more scratch resistant and less likely to need a ‘touch up’ painting.

Mild steel is composed of iron and a percentage of carbon, which makes it very strong but at the same time it can be bent, twisted and welded into endless design possibilities, from traditional to classic-inspired to contemporary and minimalistic.

Anti-rust protection in metal outdoor furniture

When used for outdoor furniture, the surface treatment of mild steel furniture is very important. The main three types of protective finishing of metal outdoor furniture made of steel are:

Cataphoresis – is a very reliable metal treatment primary used in automobile industry but often used in metal garden furniture production. The components are treated in a bath, this bath is then electrically charged which basically strengthens the metal and makes it more resistant to things like acid and salt. A powder coating is then applied on the surface.

Galvanisation – is the process of applying a protective cold zinc coating in order to prevent rusting. This works as Zinc is corrosion resistant. It also makes a very nice smooth surface to make the powder coating layer look really beautiful.

Hot-Zinc Galvanisation – This technology uses hot-zinc and is the most advanced and reliable technique for rust protection. The protection is so reliable that even when the paint coat is damaged, the surface underneath will still be rust-protected with zinc’s electrolytic working. This treatment ensures years of outside use even in humid environments, and it is used for boat parts, cable cars and street lamp posts.

After anti-rust treatment, powder-coating is usually applied. It clings to the surface through magnetic charges and makes the end product durable and scratch resistant. Many metal outdoor furniture sets will nowadays offer this protection because it is better than conventional painting. However, make sure your metal patio set has one of the above treatments underneath, as powder coating on its own is not enough if you want to leave your metal patio set out in all weathers.

Stainless steel garden furniture

Stainless steel is steel alloyed with chromium and nickel, resulting in a rust-proof material with its modern satin silver finish. It is even stronger than mild steel, but therefore difficult to cut and grind, so it is more suitable for straight lines of the modern designs.

Nonetheless, a technologically advanced production line can offer even curved designs in stainless steel. For example, our Oliver metal garden chair, as well as some other products, can come in stainless steel option*.

*Please ask about this option if interested. As this requires changes in our tooling equipment, minimum order quantity is required for this option.


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