At Warrior Doors we come across a lot of misinformation that our customers have been told about materials used in security doors and products. This may be through miscommunication of information e.g. facts about mild steel being presented as facts about steel. Although it is true that mild steel is steel it can give the wrong message that all steel carries those properties when not properly clarified.
This week’s article is to discuss the pros and cons of aluminium and stainless steel when used for security products.
Mild steel is a highly corrosive metal and when used for external doors in particularly wet areas (Unfortunately that’s all of the UK) they will rust over time. This is not the case for stainless steel or aluminium. Both stainless steel and aluminium react with oxygen in the air to create a protective film over themselves. Follow up with powder coating and the risk of rust is slim to none for both. We know that stainless steel products don’t require powder coating to prevent rust though which is why we offer brushed stainless steel finishes as well as many other finishes to give our customers more freedom in the aesthetics of their product.
Stainless steel is much stronger than aluminium and its mild steel counterpart. Aluminium can be bent out of shape during an attack and it will not recover its original form. Stainless steel has shape memory and so if someone were able to change its shape during an attack it would return to its original shape. As aluminium bends out of shape and stays that way should the person who originally bent it give up on the attack, the next person would only need to carry on from where they left off whereas with stainless steel they would have to start from the beginning.
Aluminium can be welded however it is much more difficult to weld aluminium than it is to weld stainless steel and therefore it is not common practice. Welded joints are significantly stronger than any other joint type which is why every product that we produce is welded to ensure maximum strength and durability.
We often remove failed aluminium doors when we are installing our own. Fortunately aluminium is recyclable as is stainless steel. We recycle any aluminium that we remove which helps to fund our ongoing work with Africa Equip. To read more about how we take an eco-friendly approach click here.
Stainless steel is heavier than aluminium and gets heavier as you go up in security levels. We believe that isn’t enough of a reason to reduce the level of strength and security in security products so we developed our product around this potential con. A large issue with door weight is how it is supported by the hinge to prevent it from dropping over time which leads to maintenance. We develop our own full length hinges in house in the same stainless steel to ensure that they can hold the weight of the door. To read more about our full length hinges click here.
As previously mentioned, the higher the security level, the heavier the door. This means as we move up to Jewellers and CNI sector projects the doors can become quite heavy. If this is a high traffic door and you are aware that the people that frequent it may have difficulty with a door of such weight we recommend our sliding and auto-operated options. These doors open and close themselves using sensors allowing high levels of security and ease of use for all.
Stainless steel is more expensive than aluminium when looking at a one time purchase cost. We know that we are not the cheapest option for external security doors at the initial purchase cost. We do as much as we can to keep costs low but quality high for our customers and because of that we actually fall in around a midpoint price range against our competitors even though we use the highest spec and quality materials.
We believe that whole life costs are more relevant than initial purchase costs. The reason our doors are more expensive initially than their aluminium competitors is that they are of higher quality. In over 20 years of business, no Warrior Door has ever been removed or replaced. The first installed Warrior Door is still installed and in working condition and our products and design have only improved since then.
As previously mentioned we are often replacing and removing failed aluminium doors, as well as timber, uPVC, mild steel etc. so although these options may have been cheaper on initial purchase the customer now has to factor in the cost of their replacement. We have had customers take quotes from us and competitors and then go for the cheaper option. They have then returned to us a few years later for the same doorway as the cheaper option has already failed. This means that they have spent more money than choosing the higher quality option initially as well as the time and hassle involved in replacing the same door so early on. To read more about whole life costs click here.
We know that a lot of our Communal Entrance customers operate on annual budgets so it is easier for them to go for the cheaper options to leave more of the budget available for other aspects of housing. Because of this, we offer finance options as well as long term work plans. Read about our work with Solihull Community Housing where we have installed over 900 doors over the course of the last 10 years by clicking here.
To learn more about the importance of materials in security visit our Security Webinars page and sign up for “Module 2: More Than Just Certification” of our Free “Communal Doors: More than Just Security” Webinar.
To speak to a member of our team, give us a call at 0121 706 8400 or drop us an email at [email protected]
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