Composites have amazing qualities, and many advantages over their traditional counterparts. While these advantages are often hailed in the aerospace industry, it is within civil engineering that we can really see the benefits of using composites on a wide scale.
What makes composites a good choice for hot climates, places that experience heatwaves, or environments with strong sunlight?
- Composites have excellent expansion qualities
- Thermoplastics are resistant to UV
- They are slower to degrade in high UV environments
- They remain colourfast for longer when exposed to strong sunlight
- Composites have a longer life once installed even in environments with extreme temperatures and sunlight
Common applications for composites in construction or civil engineering are:
- Window manufacture
- Exterior door manufacture
What are the alternatives to composites in the manufacture of windows and doors, and what are their disadvantages compared with composite products?
uPVC– Common for windows and doors, but made purely of plastic. This means they are too light for use as a front door, they require more maintenance than composite alternatives, and they do not have the weather resistant qualities or durability of windows and doors made from composites. They are prone to sagging and sashing and too much heat can rupture the uPVC frames.
Aluminium– This weather-proof and lightweight alternative to uPVC for windows doesn’t stand up to the advantages of composites either. Aluminium is less flexible and less durable than composites, and while it can stand up to the summer heat, it doesn’t score well when it comes to energy efficiency, as even the best quality aluminium windows are considered “thermally broken”.
Timber– Wooden window frames and doors are flexible, with good insulating qualities. Timber options however are costly, and require continuous maintenance, especially in extreme conditions such as strong sunlight and hot dry environments. Composites match and exceed the flexibility and thermal qualities of timber, and can replicate the look whilst being ideal for standing up to high temperatures and strong sunlight. Composites are also dimensionally stable and resistant to pests – two of the biggest drawbacks as far as timber alternatives go.
Steel– Steel window frames are durable, strong, easy to maintain, and resistant to harsh weather conditions given the right coating – so how do they compare to composite alternatives? Well, composites are lighter, stronger, more corrosion resistant, and unlike steel, can be a single piece, rather than an assembly of parts.
To find out about switching your window and door manufacturing to composites, give our sales team a call, or get in touch via our contact form.