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Why No Rust? Looking at Aluminum’s Resistance to Wear

Why No Rust? Looking at Aluminum’s Resistance to Wear

Aluminum is popular for a variety of applications, including seamless gutters. Aluminum’s light weight and relative strength is one reason for its popularity as a metal. Another advantage of aluminum, however, is that it does not rust like steel will when exposed to the elements.

Aluminum GuttersSteel is known to quickly begin rusting when it is exposed to moisture. Rust on steel is actually the result of corrosion that occurs when moisture comes into contact with steel or iron. While the rust forms on the surface of the metal, it will continue to wear deeper and deeper into the metal as surface layers rust away. Eventually the rust and oxidization destroys the metal.

Stainless steel avoids rust because of the addition of other elements, including chromium. This combination of elements in stainless steel actually results in a thin layer of corrosion forming on the surface of the steel when it is exposed to moisture. Scientific American notes that this corrosive layer is formed at the atomic level – so small that can only be observed with special instruments – but serves to protect stainless steel from further visible corrosion as occurs with standard steel. This means it appears rust-free, but is not truly without wear.

Aluminum behaves somewhat similarly to stainless steel. As aluminum is exposed to moisture, a corrosive process known as oxidation occurs on the surface of the metal. As a result of this oxidation, a hard, protective layer forms over the surface which actually protects the metal from further corrosion, as reported by Stanford University researchers. A similar process, known as anodizing, may be performed on aluminum that also protects the metal from corroding.

This resistance to wear is one of the many reasons that Alaska Premier Gutters uses only 0.032-gauge aluminum to manufacture our seamless gutters. This aluminum is thicker than the industry standard for gutters to guarantee long-term performance and offer additional resistance to other wear factors like heavy snowfall, driving wind and torrential rain. Plus, since our gutters are made from aluminum, you’ll never need to worry about them rusting.

Call us today at 907-272-2337 or 907-244-1338 to learn more about our gutter services or to request a quote for your home or business.