ALUMINIUM
Color sprayed on - will scratch, flake & peel. Color can fade/streak - can require scrubbing and/or painting or touch-up
Requires no painting/finishing inside or out--initially
Readily conducts heat and cold
Supports condensation, frosting in cold weather
Waterproof--unaffected by water, except salt water
Corrodes in moist, salt-laden air, from pollution and airborne chemicals
Impervious to insects
Subject to abrasion, corrosion that reduces ease of operation--can cause binding and sticking
Structurally rigid and stable
Conducts electricity readily
Subject to impact damage, denting & scratching
Transmits noise
Will not support combustion
Material cost fluctuates dramatically - supply is good
Material is energy intensive to produce, (8-10%), recyclable
Scrap in production is recyclable
Requires finishing which contributes to "greenhouse" effect, depletes ozone
VINYL (uPVC)
Maintenance-Free
Requires no painting/finishing inside or out--initially
High resistance to heat loss or gain
Resists condensation
Waterproof--unaffected by water.
Resistant to moist, salt-laden air, pollution, airborne chemicals
Impervious to insects
Self-lubricating properties that help prevent moving parts from "sticking"
Structurally rigid and stable. Many designs with superior wind load ratings
Will not conduct electricity
Impact resistant frames, withstands mechanical stress and strains
Insulates against noise
Will not support combustion. Will burn only while enveloped in flame
Material is competitive in cost with other window materials. PVC supply is abundant, price is stable
Material is energy efficient to produce, recyclable
Limited scrap in production - recyclable
Material requires no finishing
WOOD
Paint can fade, streak, flake, peel - must be repainted periodically
Must be painted/stained--initially & repainted
High resistance to heat loss or gain
Resists condensation
Water resistant but vulnerable to water damage
Swells, rots, deteriorates in moist, salt-laden air, from pollution and airborne chemicals
Resistant to insects, subject to insect damage
Subject to swelling from moisture, paint build-up that can cause binding and sticking
Structurally rigid and stable. Subject to shrinking, swelling, bowing, warping and cracking
All-wood units will not conduct electricity--certain clad wood products can
All-wood units will not conduct electricity--certain clad wood products can
Insulates against noise
Will support combustion - burns readily
Prices rising dramatically - supply fluctuates
Material is energy intensive to produce - not recyclable
Milling of trees produces tremendous waste. Scrap not readily recyclable. Cutting of trees depletes forests, etc.
Requires finishing and preservative treating which contributes to "greenhouse" effect, depletes ozone
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