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What is the Best Metal for Your Outdoor Dining Furniture?


Metal is ubiquitous in outdoor spaces, like an aluminium patio sun lounger, a wrong iron chair backrest and armrest, or a stainless steel dining table frame. Understanding the basics of commonly used outdoor furniture metals is to your outdoor ambience establishment and long-term operation.

Check out this curated list of the most popular metals in the outdoor furniture industry here.

Checklist for Garden Dining Furniture: Metals


Aluminium is an excellent material for outdoor furniture due to its five physical properties:

Alfresco Dining Table and 4 Chairs Wholesale Ayers & Delia
  • Lightweight: Aluminium is lightweight, making it easy to move and transport outdoor furniture. The density of aluminium is approximately 2.7 grams per cubic centimetre (g/cm³) at room temperature. It is relatively lightweight compared to other commonly used metals like steel, copper, and brass.

  • Corrosion-resistant: Aluminium is highly resistant to corrosion, meaning it can withstand exposure to the elements without rusting or deteriorating.

  • Durable: Aluminium is a highly durable material that can withstand heavy use and rough handling, making it ideal for outdoor furniture. It is because aluminium has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, which means it is strong for its weight. Moreover, it is a relatively hard metal. The most common aluminium alloy used for industrial and outdoor applications is 6061-T6, which has a hardness of around 95 on the Brinell scale, while another popular metal counterpart, wrong iron, ranges from 40 to 70.

  • Low maintenance: Aluminium is a low-maintenance material that requires minimal upkeep to keep it looking its best.

  • Versatile: Aluminium is a versatile material that can be shaped and formed into various designs and styles in various shapes and sizes. It is because of the ductility and malleability of aluminium, two key factors that contribute to its versatility.

Because aluminium is malleable, people can draw it into wires or other shapes without breaking it. Therefore, it is useful for various applications, including electrical wiring and constructing lightweight structures.

Aluminium’s malleability also means people can easily form the material into different shapes and sizes. So, it is a popular choice for many products, including beverage cans, car parts, and furniture frames.

Finally, aluminium is also an eco-friendly choice for restaurant owners looking to reduce their environmental impact. Aluminium is a highly recyclable material, meaning that it can be repurposed and reused at the end of its lifecycle rather than ending up in landfills.

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2. Wrought Iron

Another popular choice for outdoor restaurant furniture is wrought iron. Like aluminium, wrought iron is a durable and weather-resistant metal well-suited for outdoor use. However, it has some key differences from aluminium that are worth considering.

Source: Patioliving

One benefit of wrought iron over aluminium is the iron’s aesthetic appeal. Wrought iron has a distinct, timeless look often associated with classic European and Mediterranean styles. Wrought iron is relatively soft and pliable, meaning it can be easily shaped and moulded without breaking. It has a moderate strength and is more resistant to impact than aluminium. Wrought iron is often used for ornamental and decorative purposes, such as railings, gates, and furniture.

However, wrought iron does have some downsides when compared to aluminium. One major disadvantage is its weight. Wrought iron furniture is typically much heavier than aluminium furniture, making it more difficult to move and rearrange.

Additionally, wrought iron is more prone to rust and corrosion than aluminium, which may require more maintenance to keep it looking its best. In environments with high moisture levels and exposure to the elements, the iron reacts with oxygen in the air. It forms iron oxide, commonly known as rust, which weakens the metal over time and can eventually cause structural damage. In case of corrosion, wrought iron is often coated with protective paints or coatings, or people may make it from stainless steel, which is more corrosion-resistant.

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3.Cast Iron

Cast iron is a heavy and durable material commonly used for outdoor furniture due to its attractive appearance and intricate detailing that people can achieve through casting.

Two examples of elegant shaped frames of cast iron outdoor furniture are:

French Bistro Chairs: have a classic design with curved legs and intricate patterns of flowers and vines on the backrest and seat. The armrests and backrests are cast iron, while the seat is wood or rattan.

Source: Pinterest

Victorian Garden Bench: is characterized by its ornate and intricate design, featuring decorative patterns of flowers, leaves, and scrolls. People may paint the bench in different colours to complement the outdoor setting.

However, it requires regular maintenance, such as cleaning and re-painting, to prevent rust formation, and can be susceptible to cracking or chipping if exposed to impact or extreme temperatures. Besides, it is generally more expensive than other outdoor furniture materials such as aluminium or steel.

4.Stainless Steel

This popular choice for outdoor furniture is well-known for its high resistance to corrosion and rust. It is also strong and durable, making it suitable for outdoor use.

Source: Pinterest

One advantage of stainless steel over aluminium is that it has a higher resistance to corrosion and rust, making it more suitable for outdoor use in harsh environments.

However, stainless steel is generally heavier and denser than aluminium, which may make it less practical for certain applications. (The density of steel is around 7.85 g/cm3, while the density of aluminium is around 2.7 g/cm3.)

Additionally, stainless steel can be more expensive than aluminium, which may impact the overall cost of a project or product.

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5.Galvanized Steel

This type of steel has a protective zinc coating layer, which helps prevent rust and corrosion. It is also strong and durable but may not be as corrosion-resistant as stainless steel.

Two advantages of galvanized steel over aluminium include its slightly lower average price and higher tensile strength.

However, galvanized steel is more susceptible to corrosion over time, especially in salty or humid environments.

6.Powder-Coated Steel

This type of steel has been coated with a layer of powdered paint, which is then baked onto the surface of the metal. It is perfect for a durable and scratch-resistant finish and protection against rust and corrosion.

Source: HAY

One of the main advantages of powder-coated steel is the various colours and finishes that can be achieved, allowing for greater design flexibility and customization.

7.Carbon Steel

It is a strong and durable type of steel, but it is not as resistant to rust and corrosion as stainless or galvanized steel. It can be treated with a rust-resistant coating to improve its durability and suitability for outdoor use.

To sum up, the main distinctions between these types of steel are their level of resistance to rust and corrosion and their strength and durability. Stainless and galvanized steel are the most resistant to rust and corrosion, while powder-coated and carbon steel can be treated to provide similar levels of protection. Carbon steel is the strongest and most durable but may require additional treatment to protect against rust and corrosion.

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When considering which type of metal to use for your outdoor restaurant furniture, weighing the pros and cons of each option is important.

Coets Brushed Aluminium is a lightweight, durable, low-maintenance outdoor furniture material.

Wrought and cast iron are more aesthetically appealing for ornaments and decoration, and steel is more sturdy and corrosion-resistant.

Ultimately, the best choice for your restaurant will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

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