Steel vs. Aluminum

Today, when choosing the right production material, the decision between two competitors: steel and aluminum is becoming more and more crucial. This battle for dominance in the world of materials brings into play various properties, advantages and challenges that become decisive factors when choosing the right material for a specific project.

Steel and aluminum both have a lot to offer, not only in terms of strength and durability, but also in terms of environmental considerations and design options. In this article, a look at this decisive battle of materials steel vs. aluminum, where we will review their unique properties, applications and impact on the construction industry and industry in general.

Two materials that are much discussed these days. Steel has been used for many years in exposed environments, as it is reliable thanks to its strength, but aluminum is currently in trend, about which various myths are spread due to its popularity, but also many true facts. In this article, we would like to bring you closer to the issue from different perspectives.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of one material over another?

Aluminum belongs to the soft metals, thanks to its low density it is light, malleable and has a low melting point. In the long term, aluminum is durable, but oxidation occurs on its surface when it comes into contact with a moist environment.

Steel is an alloy of metals, resulting in a strong and durable material with a high melting point, which takes its toll in the form of higher weight. It is subject to corrosion in a humid environment. When treated with hot-dip galvanizing, the steel is durable and rust is prevented.


But ``ALUMINUM'' is lighter....

It often happens to us that one of the main arguments for choosing an aluminum gate and not a steel one is precisely the combination of aluminum and weight.

Yes, aluminum is lighter compared to steel for the same volume. This fact is easily explained due to the lower density of the material. Aluminum is a popular material in the automotive industry, where it is used for the production of less exposed parts, as reducing the weight of vehicles brings benefits in terms of consumption as well as vehicle dynamics. However, is this aspect also necessary in the gate and fence industry? From our point of view, it is not. So that we don’t just look at the sight, let’s break down the FACTS.

Does weight really matter?

Let’s break down the individual products together to find out what they require for long-term service life. The basic product is the gate itself. Based on statistics, we know that today when ordering a new gate, 93% of clients ask for its automation. The drives themselves, as well as the moving parts of the gates, are designed with regard to their parameters, and therefore there is no need to deal with the issue of weight savings with an aluminum product. The only advantage is the manipulation during production as well as during assembly, but the client himself does not come into contact with this manipulation. But what if there is a power outage and the gate needs to be opened manually? One of our recommendations is to purchase an external battery for the automation, which will solve this problem for you. However, if you do not have this equipment, it is necessary to get out of the vehicle, unlock the automation and open or close the gate manually. When manufacturing and assembling gates, it is important to think about the fact that the gate must be easy to operate even when opened manually, and the drive itself is only a means to get it moving, it must not be “troubled” with its movement . This means that whatever material the gate is made of, its movement must also be controlled manually.

Another of the products is the diaphragm itself, which you control manually and in the vast majority of cases it is a standard wing diaphragm. The same principle applies here as with the gate. A simple example is an interior door, where the difference between a cheaper “light door” and a door made of solid wood is the difference when you grab the handle and manipulate it. In your hand, you can feel the feeling of a much heavier and stronger door, but opening or closing it is not a problem compared to the lighter “papundekl” ones.

The fence part usually hangs motionless on a brick fence or solid metal posts, and therefore there is no question of needing to manufacture a product from the material in order to save its weight.

The STRENGTH of the materials is important!

In the case of aluminum, the lower weight and associated lower density of the material takes its toll on strength. Compared to steel, aluminum is a softer and weaker material, which can have a negative effect on the life of products that are subject to constant pressure, driving force and higher temperatures (especially for products to which a dark shade of final surface treatment – ” dark color”) is applied influence.

With steel products, we do not have to worry about deformation even after long-term use or application in various weather conditions.


Every material deforms when the temperature changes. We already know from elementary school that metal “expands” when the temperature increases and, on the contrary, “contracts” to its original state when it decreases. The thermal expansion of aluminum is three times that of steel. What does it mean?

Imagine a hot summer day when your gate is exposed to direct sunlight. The steel begins to expand when heated, which can have consequences, especially if large sheet metal surfaces or long slats are mounted on the gate, when the joints are stressed. In the case of aluminum, this expansion is up to three times under the same conditions, which has an even greater impact on joints, surface treatment in joints and other exposed areas.

For an easier choice between an aluminum and steel gate, we have prepared short myths and facts that we often communicate with our clients.


Aluminum does not need to be taken care of and will survive until the end of the world – MYTH!

  • Untreated ALUMINUM is subject to oxidation, so we can see a white powder on its surface when in contact with moisture.

Untreated STEEL rusts, so we can see an orange color on its surface when it comes into contact with moisture. – FACT!

  • Steel is subject to corrosion and thus its service life in this form is shorter than that of aluminum. However, what greatly extends the service life of steel is the process of hot-dip galvanizing.

Aluminum gate = maintenance-free gate – MYTH!

  • Each product, regardless of the material used, needs care to extend its lifespan. There is always talk about the lifespan of aluminum, steel, and stainless steel, but when it comes to gate guarantees, nobody thinks about its moving parts. And it is these that need their care, as they can wear out much earlier than the product itself should oxidize or rust.

I have to paint the iron gate – MYTH!

  • This is not the material from which the gate is made, but the type of surface treatment. Most manufacturers today use powder coating, but even there it is necessary to work with professionals who know how to prepare the base for the correct application of powder paint, also the “furnace” must be properly adapted and powerful in order to be able to melt the powder itself at the right time and enters there are still many variables involved. That is why it is important to be thorough when choosing a contractor who looks at the details and can offer you a long-lasting product. In this case, of course, you do not need to paint the gate, no matter if it is made of any material.

As you may have noticed, the word UNPREPARED is often used, which means that the steel for our products is treated by hot-dip galvanizing (bath in hot zinc – galvanized both outside and inside the profile) and then treated with powder coating. Also, aluminum is subject to various treatments and, subsequently, to a final treatment with powder coating.

And the result?


Whatever material you choose for the production of your gate, look more at the technical design itself than at the material it is made of. They differ from each other in various aspects, but are these aspects so important for gate production?

Steel is stronger, but the strength of aluminum is also sufficient for this industry.

Aluminum is lighter, but weight does not play a role in gates as, for example, in the automotive or aviation industries.

The durability of aluminum is higher, but today’s technologies and various surface treatments of both aluminum and steel bring their durability to the same level.

in the production of your dream gate, it is not important what material it is made of, but how the manufacturer himself has designed and constructed these products. Does he take into account all the situations that may arise and does he also look at this product from a long-term perspective.

With today’s price cutting and discounting in various aspects, manufacturers are resorting to various changes that also affect the durability of products. Remember that every new product is beautiful and functional on the first day, but will it be the same in 10 years?

Comparison in 60 seconds