There’s a big difference between stainless steel gates and wrought iron gates. In this article, we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of the two materials, their strengths and their weaknesses. We will also discuss the cost of using them, the durability, cost of maintenance and the aesthetics.
(Click here to know more about wrought irons.)
Wrought iron versus stainless steel
Before we compare the two materials, we need to figure out the difference between the two materials. Here is some helpful information on the background of stainless steel and wrought iron and the difference between the two. The difference between stainless steel and wrought iron is the amount of carbon in the material. Both are made from iron, but stainless steel is made from both iron and carbon, creating a mixed metal called alloy.
If we talked about overall strength, stainless steel is much harder compared to wrought iron because of the presence of carbon in stainless steel. While stainless steel is a much stronger material, it is very rigid and can give problems that we will discuss later.
The pros and cons of using the wrought iron over stainless steel when making a driveway gate.
Iron is much easier to form
One of the main advantages of using iron compared to stainless steel is that you can quickly build metal in any shape you want. Because of this, iron is much cheaper to use to make wrought iron driveway gate than use stainless steel. It also means that repairing gates made of metal are much easier to perform and cost less. Not only that, because it is softer, you have a wide range of option when it comes to customization.
Steel breaks, iron bends
Since stainless steel is a harder material between the two, it is also tough to work with. The problem with a harder object, when faced with a forceful impact like for example, a car hitting the gate, there’s a big chance that the car will absorb all the force and can cause injuries to the driver. Iron is softer and will absorb some of the impacts from the vehicle, if not all. It will cause less harm to the people inside the car. It will take a massive blow to the gate to bend or fracture a stainless-steel gate, but if it does occur, there’s a big chance that the entrance will be beyond repair. If you use wrought iron gates, the fractured portion can be repaired because it will only bend, not break.
Although stainless steel is suitable for rolling and cutting, it does not perform well with shaped detail work. Iron is more malleable compared to stainless steel, and because of that, you will have more customization options if you are using iron for your driveway gates. It is a big advantage for wrought iron compared to stainless steel. You need to remember that there are not many professional shops that specialize in intricate stainless-steel driveway gates. You can customize stainless steel, but prepare to pay a premium price if you want a detailed design that you can get from using a wrought iron material for driveway gate.
The most significant disadvantage of using wrought iron in gates is the weight of the material. Metal is very heavy compared to stainless steel. It will put more strain on the gate opening system as well as the structural components of the gate. The added pressure will lead to faster wear and tear on the moving parts, and eventually leads to more maintenance and constant repairs. The weight of the wrought iron gate will come into play, especially when it comes to logistics. Since the material is much more substantial, it is more difficult to ship them, and the cost is either doubled or tripled compared to using stainless steel.
Iron is prone to corrosion and rust than stainless steel. It means that it is also likely to wear and tear than stainless steel. Knicks, dents and dings are the most common issues of damage for wrought iron gates. It means that the maintenance cost is much higher, even though stainless steel is more expensive, using an iron gate will be much expensive in the long run with all those maintenance costs.
If you are planning to use wrought iron for your driveway gate, you need to prepare your budget for more maintenance work. Because metal is prone to rust and corrosion, there’s a big chance that your gateway will face damage problems in the long run. Stainless steel gates don’t have this kind of problem since they are almost 100% rustproof (well, except for the welding and the hinges. It gives stainless steel a clear advantage when it comes to durability and maintenance part compared to iron.