The Padilla Designs blog features a series called “Featured Materials”, dedicated to sharing what we love about the fascinating raw materials that come through our studio on a regular basis. We regularly work with copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, cor-ten steel, a variety of high-end hardwoods, and enjoy teaching our clients about the wonders of these natural elements and how they can be used in our artistic fabrication process
Fun Fact: A century ago, aluminum was considered a precious metal – more precious then silver and gold.
According to The Aluminum Association, this highly efficient metal is “Lightweight, durable and highly recyclable, aluminum has become an essential element of daily life. As the sustainable material of choice, its applications span from everyday items like fuel-efficient vehicles, smart phones, zippers and foil to wiring the nation’s power grid, the apex of the Washington Monument and housing the International Space Station.”
Padilla Designs uses aluminum in a variety of different applications. Its lightweight and comes in a variety of alloys that can be rolled, formed, heated and machined. It can be easily cut with a skill saw, without the use of coolant or oil.
Structural aluminum is almost as strong as steel and considerably lighter. It comes in a wide range of profiles that make it easy to design and engineer. Unlike copper and brass, aluminum will corrode over time when exposed to salt and moisture. The organic patina or living finish is not achievable when using aluminum as the material itself must be protected for the elements. Because of this we finish our aluminum with either a powder coat baked-on finish or a two=part paint application. Our amazing powder co vender is Maui Powder Works we collaborate with them on all our projects that demand quality powder coat finishes.
Although not as durable when compared to copper or brass, aluminum material is much more affordable and its soft nature makes it easy to work with. Aluminum is the material of choice for value engineering projects in all our product categories. See the sample pictures of some of our work in finished aluminum. including light fixtures, gates, and large trellis super structures.