Aluminum is undoubtedly one of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture. It is mostly used as the framework for outdoor chairs, tables, chaise lounge, and stools. Aluminum used in outdoor furniture is usually powder- or anodized-coated to enhance the corrosion resisting ability of the pieces. Compared to wrought iron or steel, it requires much less effort in maintenance for users; and as far as professional buyers are concerned, aluminum saves them the hassles of carrying out salt spray testing too.
Even though aluminum seems to be a perfect choice as it is strong, durable, easy to clean and corrosion resistant, it also has its weaknesses. First off, aluminum patio furniture is too light to withstand strong wind — which makes it not so ideal for beaches or sea shore houses with strong winds. As mentioned at the beginning, aluminum materials are most of the time the frame or support only. Unlike wood, plastic or wrought iron, it is not meant for direct contact with skin or bodies especially for chairs or chaise lounges. And so the finished products are usually complete with other materials like plastic meshes, upholstery or cushions to make it more comfortable. And these additional materials would definitely wear out much more quickly than the aluminum frame. At last, the high cost would be a consideration for end users — which to a certain degree limits the sales of these aluminum pieces to the mid to higher end market only.
Having said that, in recent years we have seen a surge of supplies in aluminum outdoor furniture in the market, and more factories coming into production of this sector. Some of the factories in China, especially in the Guangdong province, are quite innovative in both outlook and use of materials. Years ago, there were mostly “straight-lined” or “striped” aluminum tables or chairs in the market, as the items are usually made from extruded aluminum tubes or bars. Now with the advancement of technology, the pieces can also be streamlined and curved in appearances, allowing much more flexibility for designers. And unlike before, aluminum furniture could also be made to be knock-down as well — which could make the transportation cost lower than the usual wicker outdoor furniture pieces.