Most metal picture frames are made from aluminium because it's inexpensive and durable, especially when it's anodized. Corrosion resistant, lightweight and beautiful, we recommend aluminium frames for everything from awards and diplomas to keepsakes.
The four main components of the framing are the moulding (material from which the frame is made), the panel, the glazing and the base. The moulding is purely aesthetic, while the glaze, cardboard and backing play a crucial role in preservation.
Because aluminium is the most abundant material in the earth's crust, it is cheaper. It's also lightweight, meaning even a large picture frame measuring 42" x 62" would probably only weigh two or three pounds if it were aluminium.
For bicycle frames, "alloy" means aluminium alloy unless the description includes another type of material. Alloys are metals to which other elements are added to improve properties such as strength or stiffness. Alloy frames are a relatively recent introduction to the world of cycling.
Why do we use aluminium instead of steel for glass frames?
frames are crimped and have mechanical joints that allow them to be slotted and adjusted easily compared to steel. Aluminium is extremely strong and flexible, allowing for easy framing to hold glass with only a small amount of material showing.
Aluminium is commonly alloyed with copper, zinc, magnesium, silicon, manganese and lithium. Small additions of chromium, titanium, zirconium, lead, bismuth and nickel are also made, and iron is invariably present in small amounts. There are over 300 wrought alloys, 50 of which are in common use.
aluminium frames are very strong - there's a reason metal is used in construction projects around the world! We're not saying UPVC or PVCU frames aren't strong, they can easily last 15-20 years and we would definitely recommend them for certain projects, but they don't compare to aluminium.
Frames, which use Aluminium as a base, can easily last 20 to 30 years and are much less prone to weather damage. No warping, no rotting and far fewer dents. When it comes to toughness and durability, aluminium is hard to beat.
All of these great features might lead you to believe that Aluminium frames will be more expensive, but that's not the case. In many situations, it can be one of the cheapest options.
Of course, this varies by project and you should take the time to get a quote from a professional fabricator.