Wrought Iron VS. Steel Gates – What’s the difference?
If you’re not much of a gate enthusiast, which most people aren’t, and find yourself in the market for a new metal gate, terms like wrought iron gates and steel gates may through you off. When they’re both metal, what’s with the technicality and why is it important to know the difference between them?
Whats The Difference Between Wrought Iron Gates & Steel Gates?
In amodern manufacturing sense, the difference isn’t that obvious as they’re all advertised the same, as metal gates. But scientifically speaking, and this is what will help you make the right decision, iron is an element from the Periodic Table, while steel is an alloy. Simply put, iron is the raw material that can be extracted from the earth and steel is artificially created by mixing iron and carbon.
If you’re not much for Chemistry either, right about now you must be wondering how knowing what they scientifically are helps you make the right decision? We’ve outlined the characteristics of the two substances below so you know the difference between them when you walk in to by fencing and can ask the right questions.
Wrought Iron Gates
IRON Gates – Iron is the raw element that has been excavated for centuries by all sorts of civilizations. The wrought iron that earlier civilizations forged with an anvil and a sledge-hammer no longer exists in the commercial sense, with only a few establishments in the country doing the work, and they too will normally charge a premium price. Since steel is stronger, rust-proof, and an overall superior metal, it has been the metal of choice for the last century.
This shift from iron to steel does not mean that iron is not being used in manufacturing anymore. Especially in gate manufacturing, where steel is used for the posts, railings, gate frames and pickets, manufacturers may favor sand-cast iron for post and gate frame caps, finial tips, panel brackets and other ornaments. This is because steel may be stronger, more wear-resistant, and ideal for cutting, rolling, and stamping, sand-cast iron allows easier and finer crafting and therefore takes the credit for detailed work which is not only stunning to look at but strong as well.
STEEL Gates– Steel is what most metal gate fabricators will make their gates out of, followed by aluminum. This is because, as mentioned earlier, steel is stronger metal, is rust-proof and doesn’t easily corrode. However, the quality of the material used in the gate will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, which is why you need to get the dealer to tell you exactly what the gate is made of. A majority of gate fabricators will make gates out of thinner stamped steel, with no iron components, and press the top of the picket into a flat pointy shape. Manufacturing such a gate is cheaper therefore a good option if you’re on a tight budget, but it lacks the stunning appearance of an iron tip. Manufacturer’s will also let you upgrade to finial tips for an extra charge, but even these, in most cases, are made out of plastic or die-cast and pressure-fit on top of each picket individually. This would mean that you need to get them all lined up straight if you want your gate to look good, and that becomes a problem when you have several meters of fencing.
This does not mean that these gates are necessarily poor quality. Since they’re made mostly out of steel, they’ll be strong, economical and do the job well, but will lack the stunning appearance that can be achieved by using steel for the framework and iron for the finish.
This is why you need to read the fine-print and ask lots of questions when buying your gate. We hope the clarification above has left you better suited to get a metal gate that’s right for you. And since this will be a significant investment, you ought to make sure it is the right one.
Custom Metal Gate Fabrication
If you are looking for fabricators of steel gates or wrought iron entry gates in Scottsdale, Artistic Alloys is the wrought iron gate fabricator for you. Give us a call today at (480) 941-2611 or view our wrought iron gate service page.