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Ornamental Metal Railings

Ornamental metal railings are used on the exterior and interior of buildings to surround balconies, serve as staircase banisters, and make up balustrades. They are also used to construct decorative fences. When first introduced, metal railings were far more expensive than those made from timber, so they rapidly became a way of demonstrating the superior wealth and taste of the property owner. Since metal can be worked into a wide variety of beautiful shapes, these railings are still the first choice of those who are looking to add a distinctive statement to their buildings. Specialty manufacturers make metal railings, which are generally constructed at their factories and installed on site with little or no welding required.

If you are thinking of buying metal railings, consider the following:

  • Wrought iron is older than cast iron. It is produced by heating the metal to red heat and then hammering it on an anvil. This process strengthens the metal. Wrought iron requires treatment for rust by galvanizing it or keeping it painted.
  • For cast iron railings, metal is heated until it melts into a liquid, and then the molten iron is poured into moulds and allowed to cool and set. Cast iron will rust on the surface unless it is treated with a rust resistant product, but the rust does not go deep enough to affect the performance of the railing, unless the cast iron is in contact with another metal.
  • Traditional ornamental metal railings are often reproduced in aluminum. These require less maintenance, as they do not rust. They also weigh less than wrought or cast iron, but you will not achieve the same authentic look if you choose aluminum railings.

Finally, while manufacturers make a wide range of ornamental metal railings in stock patterns, it is also possible to order custom made railings that can include decorative symbols or initials.

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