Why choose steel?
Three times the wind load capacity of a standard aluminum curtain wall
Three times the modulus of elasticity of aluminum, allowing for smaller profiles
Superior thermal performance and reduced thermal expansion than aluminum
Significantly larger spans of glazing than traditional aluminum systems
Water-tight curtain wall framing joints with no visible weld bead
Low maintenance system
Given steel’s strength, it seems like the natural material of choice to support glazed curtain walls. However, aluminum has been dominant since the mid-1900s—outperforming steel with its lightweight, versatile and corrosion-resistant properties. Today, due to developments in manufacturing processes, steel framing is reemerging as a high-performance material in glazed curtain walls. It surpasses traditional aluminum framing systems in terms of free span size, narrow sightlines and design flexibility.
Are Fire-rated Steel Curtain Walls Available? Fire-rated steel curtain-wall frames are currently available with one- and two-hour ratings. They can provide fire protection (against the transfer of flames and smoke) or fire resistance (against flames, smoke, and heat transfer). Manufacturers can apply thermal insulation and isolation concepts to steel frames that earn the fire resistive classification.
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