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Why Aluminum Canopies?
Plain and simple…aluminum canopies will not rust.
Our 60 years of experience has shown that aluminum is the only choice for commercial canopy design. Due to its unique corrosion resistance and high strength to weight ratio, aluminum is the most popular high performance metal used in today's commercial construction.
Aluminum's Unique Characteristics
Aluminum is also ideally suited for other applications in commercial construction, such as the exterior aluminum canopies and walkway covers manufactured by Mapes Industries in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mapes has been taking advantage of the performance characteristics of aluminum metals since the early 50’s with their line of all aluminum commercial canopies and walkway covers. Of particular importance with aluminum canopies is the very beneficial characteristic of not rusting the way steel metals do. It is the unique molecular structure of aluminum that prevents it from ever forming the iron oxide “red rust” that basic structural steel metals do. When aluminum does oxidize, and all routine materials oxidize or combine with oxygen in some manner, it readily forms a protective layer of aluminum oxide that bonds tightly to the base metal aluminum material and does not “sluff off” or “bleed in streaks” as a red oxide can with iron/ structural steel materials do. And for academic interest, aluminum oxide is one of the hardest known molecular configurations on earth. An anodized aluminum finish, which is commonly used on Mapes aluminum canopies as well as other commercial aluminum building materials, i.e. storefront extrusions, is simply the controlled process of creating an aluminum oxide finish on the raw aluminum metal itself.
Properly designed and engineered aluminum structures, when used for appropriate applications, can cut the weight of an equivalent steel structure by one half. Aluminum is a high performance material and thus it is vitally important to understand the performance characteristics of various metals and their capabilities in specific situations. It is not simply a matter of replacing one with the other and vice versa. Aluminum does have the very desirable characteristics that makes it extremely well suited for applications such as commercial aluminum canopies and walkway covers where a strong lightweight and rust free structure is important.
Long Lasting Factory Finishing
Mapes fully pre engineered aluminum canopies are an ideal application for the aluminum alloy metals. Commercial entrance canopies are an excellent example where aluminum would be a superior material application as compared to typical structural steel design used for this purpose. Mapes aluminum canopies are specifically engineered to be at least 1/3 less weight with equal performance criteria and just as importantly, not to rust as steel most certainly will. The finishes that are factory applied to Mapes aluminum canopies will have a much longer life span as compared to the typical field painted finishes used on common structural steel canopies. And without the concern for rusting as could be anticipated with field painted steel canopy structures. The factory finishes also allow for 1-5 yr warranties on the paint types that meet the AAMA finish performance specs of 2603, 2604 and 2605. Something steel canopies cannot offer since almost all are field finished as compared to the factory applied finishes on Mapes all aluminum canopies.
Aluminum Alloys and Tempers
The most common alloys and tempers for extruded shape structural aluminum are the 6061- T6 and 6063- T6 alloys and tempers. Both of these are well suited for architectural applications. The alloy 6061, is alloyed for a more strength than 6063 while the 6063 is alloyed for uniform appearance when anodized. Both are tempered in the same way for strength and are rated at approx 40 K yield tensile for the 6061 and 31 K for the 6063. The 6061-T6 temper is the most commonly available and used extrusion alloy in commercial construction and would be equal in strength to A-36 structural steel for all practical purposes. The 6063-T6 is the most commonly used alloy for decorative anodized finishes used in commercial construction, i.e. storefront and curtain wall extrusions. For sheet goods, there are different alloys and tempering methods that allow thinner aluminum to be shaped, bent and finished for a variety of uses. Strength and rust free characteristics are similar for both forms of aluminum products, extrusions and sheet goods, and are used in the production of Mapes aluminum canopies.
The overall conclusion comparing aluminum with steel would seem to favor aluminum for this type of application. Mapes aluminum canopies would be an excellent choice in manufactures of aluminum canopies with 50+ years of experience and respected reputation behind them. View the entire product line here or learn more by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-273-1132.
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7748 North 56th St
Lincoln, NE 68514