With wooden bleachers becoming a thing of the past, more sports fields and facilities are turning to either aluminum or galvanized steel bleacher systems. As each material has its pros and cons, it can be difficult to decipher the differences between the two materials with respect to your facility. Read on as we give a more in-depth look at both aluminum and galvanized steel for use in bleachers.
Aluminum bleachers have been in use for decades in ball parks, race tracks, football stadiums and many other sporting venues. When compared to the wooden bleachers we used to see at sporting venues, it’s apparent that the durability of aluminum is much greater than that of wood.
Originally, wood bleachers were able to beat out aluminum manufacturers strictly based on price. This soon changed as operators and owners of wooden bleachers found themselves spending the difference in savings on maintenance and repairs.
Safety and strength are the two most defining features of aluminum. On a weight to strength ratio, aluminum bleachers are tough to beat. Aluminum is also a non-conductive material, protecting spectators against erratic lightning strikes or fallen wires.
Aluminum bleachers are also relatively lightweight, facilitating their portability and adding to the overall versatility of the material.
Galvanized Steel Bleachers
Galvanized steel is simply steel that has been coated with zinc for extra protection and longevity. There are a few different ways to galvanize steel, but Sport Systems uses the “hot dip” method to ensure the thickest layer of zinc.
Perhaps galvanized steel's greatest advantage is its incredible resistance to rust and corrosion. When the zinc chemically reacts with air and water, it forms a protective coating over its surface. Even in the event of a bad scratch, the zinc oxidizes briefly, leaving the steel untouched. Within a matter of seconds, the zinc reacts with the air, reforms its protective barrier and puts a stop to all oxidation. Given these remarkable circumstances, it makes galvanized steel virtually a zero-maintenance product.
Given the strength and weight of galvanized steel bleachers, when looking for a bleacher system that will not be moved or where weight is not a factor, the strength and durability of galvanized steel is often a better choice.