Different types of aluminum patio chairs include cast aluminum, tubular aluminum and wrought aluminum. Powder-coated aluminum is also a common option for aluminum chairs and other patio furniture.
Cast aluminum produces solid furniture pieces. Furniture producers pour melted aluminum into molds to form the pieces of the chairs, such as frames, legs and arms. They then weld the various pieces together to form a complete chair. This type of chair is very sturdy, durable and lightweight; however, it is still heavy compared to other types of aluminum furniture.
A tubular aluminum chair consists of hollow aluminum tubes and is the lightest type of aluminum. Furniture producers make tubes by forcing melted aluminum through dies and then weld these tubes together to form furniture pieces. Tubular aluminum chairs usually have sling or strap seating, producing lightweight and minimalistic pieces. The slings or straps are usually replaceable, but it is a good idea to see if replacement parts are available before buying chairs.
Wrought aluminum involves the same process as wrought iron. Producers hammer the aluminum into shapes and then weld the pieces of the furniture together. The process still involves a lot of handwork and produces solid, slightly heavier pieces. Although wrought aluminum chairs are heavier than tubular aluminum chairs, they are still lighter than cast aluminum pieces.
Powder coating is a popular option for aluminum pieces. It adds additional resistance to moisture and rain, which helps prevent rust. Although cast aluminum pieces are naturally resistant to moisture, the coating can add additional protection. It is also a very popular option for wrought aluminum pieces, which tend to be more sensitive to exposure.