Steel vs. Aluminium Retractable Security Gates – Which is Right for You?

When it comes to securing your property, retractable security gates have emerged as a popular and effective choice. Among the various materials used in their construction, steel and aluminium are two prominent contenders. Each material offers its own set of advantages and considerations that can greatly impact the security, durability, and aesthetics of your gate. In this article, we delve into the debate between steel and aluminium retractable security gates, exploring the key factors to consider when making this important decision. From strength and resilience to cost-effectiveness and maintenance requirements, we provide a comprehensive analysis of these materials to help you determine which one is the right fit for your specific needs. By understanding the unique characteristics of steel and aluminium, you can make an informed choice that ensures optimal security and peace of mind for your property. Join us as we navigate the steel versus aluminium debate and guide you towards the ideal retractable security gate solution.

What are security gates? 

Security gates are physical barriers designed to control access to a specific area, such as residential complexes, commercial buildings, or public facilities, with the primary purpose of enhancing security and regulating the movement of people. These gates are typically made of sturdy materials like steel or aluminium, and they often incorporate additional security features like locks, access control systems, surveillance cameras, and intercoms. By restricting entry to authorized individuals, security gates help deter unauthorized access, prevent potential threats, and provide a sense of safety for the protected area. They are an integral part of overall security systems and play a crucial role in safeguarding people and property.

Where can security gates be used? 

Security gates can be used in a variety of settings to control access and enhance security. Some common places where security gates are employed include:

  • Residential buildings: Standalone houses, gated communities, housing estates, and apartment complexes often utilize security gates to restrict access to residents, authorized personnel, and invited guests, thereby ensuring a higher level of safety and privacy. Security gates can be custom-made to fit doors, windows, passages, patios, hatches and most other building openings, keeping them safe from intrusion.
  • Commercial buildings: Office complexes, industrial facilities, and business parks may incorporate security gates to regulate entry for employees, visitors, and delivery vehicles, helping to prevent unauthorized access and protect valuable assets.

Who can use security gates? 

Security gates can be used by a variety of individuals and entities depending on the specific context and purpose. Here are some key users of security gates:

  • Residents: Security gates can be used by homeowners who prioritize safety and security for their residential properties. These gates can be designed to enhance home security and provide an additional layer of protection against intrusions. Homeowners who wish to secure their homes can opt to install security gates at their entry points, such as front doors, back doors, patio doors, or any other vulnerable access points.
  • Commercial key individuals: Commercial security gates are commonly used by property owners & managers in businesses of all sizes and types, including retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, warehouses, and industrial facilities. These gates help businesses control access to their premises, protect their assets, and ensure the safety of employees, customers, and valuable inventory.


Steel vs. Aluminium Security Gates

Retractable or sliding security gates are a practical and popular form of protection for doors and windows. They can be either steel security gates or aluminium security gates and often look very similar. So, what is the difference between the two and which one is right for you?

The difference between steel and aluminium

When comparing steel and aluminium retractable security gates, the four factors that are usually considered are:

  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Strength
  • Corrosion resistance

The difficulty in making a comparison between steel and aluminium is that all these factors have many variables within them. For instance, the cost of both steel and aluminium varies constantly, depending on world demand and local tariffs.

It also depends on the type of steel and aluminium being used to create the security gate. There are various grades of steel, from mild steel to galvanised steel. The same applies to aluminium, which is an alloy and therefore a combination of aluminium and other elements depending on the properties that are needed from the product.

In general, the following applies to aluminium and steel retractable security gates:

  • Steel tends to be cheaper than aluminium, depending on market factors. But the price will also depend on which model of steel gate is selected as there is a range of different strengths and prices. The model selected will depend on how high the crime risk is in the area as well as budget limits.
  • Aluminium is lighter than steel, but the construction of the aluminium retractable gate ensures that its strength under attack is comparable to most steel versions.
  • Steel is stronger than aluminium, but again, the strength of the aluminium gate also depends on how it is constructed, including designed-in strengthening features.
  • Aluminium is more corrosion resistant than steel, but steel can be treated to avoid rust or corrosion. Even aluminium can deteriorate rapidly at the coast if it has not been treated correctly in the manufacturing process, so query this with your supplier.

Reputable security barrier manufacturers like Trellidor make strong security gates out of both steel and aluminium. The two types of sliding security gates compare favourably with each other in all respects, so the choice eventually comes down to personal preference.

Here are some points to consider in making your decision when choosing between steel and aluminium retractable security gates.

Strength of steel vs aluminium sliding security gates

Trellidor manufactures some of the strongest steel sliding security gates in the world. There are various models in the range, with the top-end designs internationally certified for strength under attack and used in places like underground railway stations.

The Trellidor aluminium version of these retractable security gates is made from structural aluminium. These gates are assembled in the same way as the steel version, so they have the same strengthening features such as a full, four-sided frame and a strong Trellidor lock.

Both types of the gate are designed with multiple locking points within each unit for added strength.  These locking points are all engaged by using one key point to make them convenient, simple and quick to use.

Engineered for strength under attack, Trellidor steel and aluminium retractable gates are custom-made to fit the opening as perfectly as possible. The sales consultant measures the opening and orders a gate to fit. It is then installed by a trained technician to ensure that there are no weak points for criminals to lever the gate open.

Aluminium retractable security gates compare favourably in terms of strength with the steel sliding gates recommended for home use. The most obvious difference between them is that the aluminium one has a smooth appearance.  There are no rivets on the outside of the gate, so it looks neater than steel retractable gates, which have visible rivets.

The corrosion resistance of the metal

Aluminium corrodes but it does not rust. Rust refers only to iron and steel.  Structural aluminium is resistant to corrosion, which makes it ideal for highly destructive climates such as coastal areas. The galvanized stainless steel used in Trellidor retractable security gates is also corrosion resistant and suitable for coastal as well as inland conditions.

This is because during the Trellidor manufacturing process, all components, whether steel or aluminium, are pre-treated for enhanced corrosion and UV resistance before being powder coated in the colour chosen by the customer.

Together with the powder coating, this pre-treatment process helps to retain the quality finish and increases the lifespan of the retractable security gate, no matter what it is made from.

The unique properties of aluminium do give it the edge over steel for homes at the coast or in highly destructive environments such as areas with high levels of air pollution or acid rain.

Whether you choose steel or aluminium retractable security gates, remember to clean them regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will maintain their high-quality finish and appearance and help to prevent damage due to dust or corrosion.

The weight of the gate and how easy it is to operate

Aluminium is lighter than steel so retractable security gates of this type are easy to operate because they glide open and closed smoothly. The Trellidor design for these gates, however, ensures that even the steel version glides open and closed effortlessly.

This is because:

  • Both steel and aluminium retractable security gates are hung from the top track.
  • They have glass-filled Nylon wheels and sealed ball bearings, which is used in the motor industry as well as on space craft. These materials provide increased strength for resistance to attack, are longer-wearing, corrosion resistant and help the gate to glide open or closed.
  • The security gates all have flights that link three uprights together for easy opening and neat stacking to the side.

Interesting Facts about Traditional Trellidor Gates

  • Trellidor has manufactured sliding security gates for over four decades.
  • Trellidor is the only South African sliding security barrier manufacturer to achieve international ratings.
  • Traditional Trellidor Security gate locks are the strongest on the market and specially made for our gates.
  • Each Trellidor trellis gate has a computer cut key with a unique identifying number for added safety.
  • The Trellidor built-in quality control system checks Traditional Trellidor Security gates during every step of their journey to your door.
  • Our security gate manufacturing process contributes towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • With Trellidor you can choose between steel or aluminium Traditional Trellidor Security gates.
  • We fit dead locks into our sliding security gates because they are strong and robust.


The price of the product you choose

Like all Trellidor security barriers, Trellidor Retractable sliding security gates are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price for either steel or aluminium gates.

Aluminium retractable security gates are generally pricier than steel gates, but it does depend on which model is chosen. Trellidor has some very cost-effective steel retractable gates as well as high-end models for areas that require exceptionally strong protection due to the extremely high risk of crime.

Trellidor retractable security gates are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.

Find a Trellidor franchise

Get a quote

Read more about Trellidor Retractable security gates in steel and aluminium

the ultimate crime barrier

Get a Free Security Assessment & Quote

Our products are custom fitted for strength and safety, and come with up to 5 years warranty. Contact us today for a free security assessment and quote.