There are three categories of aluminum patio furniture: Wrought Aluminum, Cast Aluminum and Tubular Aluminum. Wrought aluminum is worked, or wrought, by hand and typically offers traditional designs and furniture styles that seem to mimic the first wrought iron outdoor furniture found in cemeteries and on Victorian porches during the early to late 1800s.
Cast aluminum patio furniture (like the Southwind Lounge Chair pictured right as an example) is solid cast aluminum formed by pouring molten aluminum into die cast molds; typically several pieces (arms, legs, parts of the frame, etc.) are created in this fashion and then welded together to form the entire loveseat, sofa or other furniture piece. Since it is not bent and shaped while it is cooling off, cast aluminum is superior to wrought aluminum in durability and lack of imperfections. But being a cast metal, this option is slightly heavier than wrought aluminum and significantly heavier than tubular aluminum patio furniture.
Tubular aluminum patio furniture is the lightest of the three categories, with tubes of aluminum welded together to form seating and table options. Today tubular aluminum is typically paired with strap or sling seating, both durable, comfortable and lightweight combinations. This type of patio furniture is quite often found at resorts and hotels placed by a swimming pool or body of water (like the Kahana Strap Bistro Set pictured below left as an example).
All three of these categories of outdoor aluminum patio furniture are currently quite popular due to their easy care requirements, function and maintenance. And all powder-coated aluminum patio furniture is considered the best of the best when it comes to outdoor furniture, offering a relatively light weight and the ability to resist rust and moisture damage when compared to wrought iron pieces of the same size. But aluminum does require some care if you wish for it to last as long as possible.
How does cast aluminum resist water and rust? When aluminum is exposed to the atmosphere oxide forms on the surface, which creates a microscopic layer of protection against water. This is why aluminum patio furniture is so popular: it can withstand outdoor elements and exposure to rain, sleet and snow without forming rust. This allows owners of this type of furniture to leave it outside during storms or perhaps entire winters without fear of weather damage.
Powder coating aluminum patio furniture adds to this durability. Not only does it create wonderful color, but powder coating layers protect against impact damage such as dings, dents and scratches. So really, in the end, all care for powder-coated aluminum patio furniture is actually caring for this powder coating layer, protecting it and ensuring that it lasts
But what about aluminum patio furniture that is not powder coated? While aluminum that is not powder coated will not rust when exposed to water, it will change colors and form surface imperfections, causing the feel of the furniture to become rough and pitted. The level of exposure to water will determine the level of color change and imperfections. So how do you care for aluminum patio furniture without a powder coat?
IMPORTANT! Only Use The Following Methods On Strictly Aluminum Pieces, Not Powder-Coated Aluminum:
Try to create a schedule where you do this cleaning after each change of the season. When it is time to clean, or when discoloring occurs, try washing the surface of the furniture with warm water mixed with a little soap. Some manufacturers recommend adding a natural acid to the mix, such as lemon juice or vinegar, while avoiding stronger substances such as vinegar and soda water.
When aluminum has formed surface imperfections the care is a little more complicated. The aluminum will have to be polished with a pad of steel wool; use soap to make the process easier. Steel wool will leave small bits of steel on your aluminum patio furniture when you do this, so be sure to remove all of these small pieces or else they will rust onto the aluminum. Try to avoid commercial cleaners, which can damage aluminum. If you wish to protect your aluminum patio furniture, try treating it with a car wax or silicone spray; they will help protect your investment until the next warm season!
Family Leisure has all types of Aluminum Patio Furniture for Sale and with Free Nationwide Shipping. View all Family Leisure Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture here; view all Family Leisure Wrought Aluminum Patio Furniture here.