Modular Aluminum Stairs
Modular aluminum stairs by REDD Team, a division of Sapa Extrusion North America, are a safe and extremely durable alternative to traditional wood stairs or stairs fabricated from steel or concrete. Corrosion-resistant aluminum puts an end to maintenance headaches and the danger of rotting. Typically constructed from 6000 series aluminum alloy with 6061-T6 for structural strength, aluminum stairs are a lightweight, durable, cost-effective, eco-friendly solution.
Aluminum vs. Concrete, Wood and Steel
Concrete and wood stairs are low in material cost, but take more time to build and install than prefabricated metal stairs. In addition, both concrete and wood have to be sealed regularly to protect them over time. This ongoing routine maintenance adds cost over the long term. It’s also impossible to remove and relocate concrete and wood stairs when the structure they are attached to needs to be moved.
Steel stairs can be installed more quickly than wood or concrete, but they are heavy to ship and move and not so easy to modify. Again, ongoing maintenance is an issue; the steel has to be painted (and repainted) to protect the metal from the elements.
Aluminum stairs, on the other hand, offer several key advantages. Aluminum produces its own natural layer of aluminum oxide that protects it from the elements. If scratched or scuffed, the oxide layer will automatically repair itself. The stairs can be used as-is and need no scraping, sanding, painting, staining, or additional finishing to maintain their appearance.
Modular walkways, ramps and stairs can be put together quickly. They arrive ready to assemble without welding, and can be adjusted to conform to slopes and site variations. They can be disassembled, moved and reassembled in a new location or reconfigured as required. As a result of aluminum’s high strength-to-weight ratio, aluminum stairs are lightweight and less costly to ship than steel systems.
Advantages of aluminum stairs and ramps:
Lightweight but durable
Portable and reusable
Rust and corrosion resistant
Will not split, rot or warp
Slip-resistant walking surface
OSHA or BOCA, ADA, local, federal and state code compliant
6061 and 6061-T6 Aluminum
The common grades of commercial 6061 aluminum are 6061-0, 6061-T4, and 6061-T6; however, tempers up to -T9 are produced. At Sapa Extrusions, we produce 6061 aluminum in a wide selection of tempers for use in standard and custom solid and hollow shapes, rod and bar products and seamless and structural pipe and tube, for use in an extensive variety of applications.
6061-T6 aluminum properties include its structural strength and toughness. It also offers good finishing characteristics and responds well to anodizing. 6061 aluminum alloy is also easily welded and joined. However, in its –T6 condition the welds may lose some strength, which can be restored by re-heat-treating and artificially aging.
Aluminum is one of the most sustainable materials in use today. The Aluminum Association estimates that nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
The metal can be endlessly recycled, losing none of its properties during the recycling process. And the recycling process takes only 5% of the energy required to produce virgin aluminum. This makes aluminum a valuable scrap metal when the time comes to recycle an aluminum stair or ramp. Building access products made from aluminum meet the sustainability guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council and can qualify for LEED credits.
Sapa Extrusions is the world’s largest soft alloy aluminum extruder. Our facilities are certified to ISO 9001:2008 and feature in-house die making facilities to serve your custom extrusion needs.
Our REDD Team design, application, engineering, and manufacturing specialists are ready to assist you with modular aluminum stairs, ramps and walkways to meet your access needs.