What Are the Differences Between Aluminium and Galvanised Tubes?

What Are the Differences Between Aluminium and Galvanised Tubes?

21 December, 2023

One of the key elements of scaffolding is the tubing. There are, however, different scaffolding tubes available, with the most common namely being either aluminium or galvanised steel tubes. Although these are both suitable for use, there are differences between the two.

In this blog, we’ll explore the qualities of each type of tubing, allowing you to see which may be most suitable for your usage needs.

What is Galvanised Steel?

The process of galvanising a metal, most commonly steel (although sometimes iron), is where a protective zinc coating is added to its surface in order to prevent rusting. Galvanising is one of the best forms of corrosion resistance, so this allows steel to be used in outside applications where its qualities may be required whilst being protected from the weather.

The Differences

Aluminium Tubes

Aluminium scaffold tubes are much lighter than steel ones - up to a third of the weight, in fact. This makes these tubes ideal to use in scaffolding requirements where the impact of the total weight of the scaffolding structure may be a cause for concern depending on the ground conditions. This also makes this type of tubing easy to transport.

Not only is it lightweight, but it is naturally weather resistant, being able to withstand corrosion and rust. However, aluminium tubing does tend to be more expensive as a raw material than galvanised steel, which is worth considering depending on your budget.

Galvanised Tubes

Although galvanised steel tubing is heavier than its aluminium counterpart, it does possess better weight-bearing capabilities. Less steel tubing would need to be used in order to bear the same weight as aluminium tubing. This makes steel tubing especially useful for tall scaffolding structures, as it’s able to support the weight of so many upper levels.

Because of its zinc coating, galvanised steel is incredibly durable, making it suitable for lengthy projects whereby the scaffolding structure may be up for a long period of time, however if this zinc coating becomes compromised in any way then it may start to corrode.

There is also the benefit of steel tubing being cheaper, making it an especially attractive option for independent tradesmen and smaller businesses, as well as use in domestic projects.

Not only that, but if you’re undertaking a project that works with electricity or near a power source, then galvanised steel scaffolding will be the safer option than aluminium. This is down to the electrical conductivity of each metal; aluminium is highly conductive while steel is much less so - making it safer in this application.

Scaffold Poles at Competitive Prices

Here at TJR Scaffolding Ltd, we have a wide variety of scaffolding poles for sale at competitive prices. Check out our range of galvanised tubes.

If you would like to enquire about ordering large quantities of items, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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