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

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 patented 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.

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.

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