Steel vs. Aluminum: Which Canopy Should You Choose?


Steel vs. Aluminum: Which Canopy Should You Choose?

When you buy a canopy, you're confronted by two choices - steel or aluminum. Both have their merits, but which one best fits your needs?

Determining which material is best for your project depends on a few factors: durability, strength, customization, longevity, weight, cost, and maintenance. That's a lot to take in at once, so to help, we've broken down the advantages and disadvantages of steel canopies.

Advantages of Welded Canopies


Welded steel canopies offer significantly greater durability and resistance to impact compared to aluminum. They can endure harsh weather conditions, such as strong winds or heavy snow loads. Steel is also more fire-resistant than aluminum, allowing the welded structure to maintain its integrity even in disaster.


Compared to aluminum canopies, steel canopies offer superior strength. That strength allows welded canopies to support heavier loads and resist deformation over time. This is a huge advantage for permanent canopies, especially in high-traffic areas or those that are prone to vandalism.


Just because welded canopies are sturdy doesn't mean they're inflexible. Welded canopies can be tailor-made to fit the architectural style and dimensions of a specific project. For example, the roofing can be single-sloped, gabled, hip-roof, flat, ascending, or descending. They can also be built to support existing structures, such as installing a turnstile above security to prevent people from climbing over it.


You can count on a welded steel canopy to stand the test of time. In addition to their superior durability, steel canopies are resistant to corrosion. That means that, with the typical maintenance, a welded canopy can last decades with minimal deterioration.


Like any two materials, there are trade-offs to using steel over aluminum canopies. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for deciding which material best suits your project. Consider the following costs.


Steel is noticeably heavier compared to aluminum. While this weight represents greater durability, it also presents a few challenges to a project. Due to the possible need for more substantial transportation, heavier machinery, or more labor, construction costs can increase for the steel canopy. Additional structural support may also be needed to deal with the extra weight.


Even with the more excellent durability, steel still requires regular maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion. Adding a protective coating of paint will help maintain the clean condition of the company. This paint will need to be periodically refreshed.

Why Panel Built Canopies?

When it comes to steel canopies, Panel Built has you covered (pun intended). Whether integrating a canopy system with security guard booths or other security equipment or enhancing access control with a turnstile canopy, Panel Built offers tailored solutions to address many needs. With Panel Built's unique, bolt-together canopy system design, the project components can be prefabricated at our facility and come ready for assembly or preassembled at the site.

For more information on our steel canopies, contact our team at 800.636.3873, email, or talk to us using the LiveChat feature at the bottom right of your screen.

From modular offices to military tower systems, Panel Built has experience engineering, designing, and installing structures for various commercial, military, government, and industrial customers. Panel Built operates under one mission, "To Solve Our Customers' Space Needs With Excellence And Great Customer Service."