We use a large selection of materials on our street furniture projects with a key focus on environmentally friendly and recyclable products. We listed in detail the main material components that we use in our street furniture.
Materials We Use
Stainless steel is not rust free; it is as described stainless. The two main types of stainless steel that we use are grade 304 and 316. The main differences between the two grades are the composition of the stainless in manufacture. Grade 304 contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel, whereas grade 316 contains 16% chromium, 10 % nickel with the addition of 2% molybdenum. It is the molybdenum in grade 316 that helps to resist corrosion from salt in seawater and winter gritting. Grade 316 is usually referred to as Marine grade as it is better suited to coastal areas than 304.
Stainless Steel Polishing
Stainless steel usually arrives as descaled or unpolished stainless tube or plate. This requires the steel to be polished by using a compound and linishing belt to remove the outer metal in various stages. A standard polish is a 240-grit polish known as a satin finish, and this is standard finish on most bollards that are made in stainless steel. There are various grades of grit from coarse to fine depending on the final finish that is required. The longest process would be to produce a mirror finish stainless product and this needs 6-7 stages of polishing to achieve the correct finish.
Mild steel is magnetic and can be referred to as a low carbon steel as it contains small amount of carbon and a high amount iron and ferrite. Because of its composition it has high tensile strength for impacts and will bend or deform rather than crack. If you were to add additional carbon to mild steel, it would in essence become cast iron. There is little chromium or molybdenum in mild steel or other alloy elements such as those in stainless steel. The result is that the iron element it contains is subject to rusting (oxidation) if not treated with a hot dipped Galvanising to ensure corrosion resistance.
Hot Dipped Galvanising
Hot dip galvanising is the process of putting mild steel products into a liquid bath of molten zinc at approximately 450 degrees centigrade. This process provides a metallurgically bonded coating for the steel to protect from corrosion and rust and leaving a silver finish to the Steel. This can be left as a final finish or PPC RAL Colours can be added to product if required.
Corten steel is often referred to as Cor–Ten and broken down into two key elements. Cor refers to the corrosion resistance and Ten is for the Tensile strength. This is also known as “Atmospheric Corrosion Resistant” enabling the surface to “rust” whist maintaining its structural integrity. The surface rust (known as oxidation) can take up to six months to appear, however applying a vinegar-based solution can accelerate the oxidation to hours rather than months. The rust that forms offers a protective barrier and prevents further rusting while giving a natural aged effect to any product it is used in (seating, Sculpture etc). Consideration needs to be taken where to locate the finished product as over a long period of time, weathering can make the colour run.
We offer a wide range of colour coatings, applied as a dry powder delivered by air fed machines electrostatically and then baked and cured in a large oven under heat. This create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint and it is resistant to chipping and scratching offering a high quality finish to any external furniture projects. Powder coating can be applied to all furniture where there is a metal element such as aluminium, mild or stainless steel. The process is environmentally balanced as the powder is applied in a contained and controlled environment with no pollutants or contaminants released into the air. We can offer a large selection of RAL colours to suit any Project. Click here for a full range of available RAL colours.
PETG and PET Sheets
Plastic sheets are used on our cycle and smoking shelters and are of the highest quality and made from amorphous Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET. PETG sheets are similar except that they are modified by adding glycol (the G) to the process. These products offer both long term weather durability and are scratch resistant and UV light tolerant. PETG is a more flexible product and both can tolerate a tremendous amount of pressure without cracking whilst offering exceptional mechanical thermal and chemical properties. Available in a variety of thicknesses and as a single and twin wall option. Sheets can be clear or coloured transparent and white opal with a glossy or textured surface. Environmentally friendly pure natural plastic products, nontoxic & fully recyclable.
A comprehensive range of both modern and traditional Bollards, posts, seating, and tables can be manufactured from highly recycled material. This material is highly durable, UV stable and has excellent impact and shatter resistance characteristics and is 100 % recyclable. The colour options of usually black, brown, or grey are pigmented into the plastic and classed as a ‘maintenance free’ material.
The Key Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood
There are hundreds of trees that all reproduce using seeds and this is common to both Softwood and Hardwood species, but there are variations in the way that this is done. It is these variations that can affect the final composition of the material and its properties. These properties are the strength and flexibility or rigidity of the wood and if it is resistant or not to splitting or cracking.
Softwood in not always a softer material than hardwood and a Hardwood is not always harder or denser than a softwood. Timber species and qualities vary dramatically and in botanical terms they are categorised as angiosperm or gymnosperms.
Softwood trees are fast growing gymnosperms and reproduce from cones, usually keeping their foliage all year round such as evergreens like, Thermowood, Douglas Fir, Larch and Cedar pictured below.
ThermoWood is a modified wood (either whitewood or redwood) made by heat treating softwood in a kiln at a high temperature. The heat dries out any moisture and resin. Reducing the moisture content of approximately 8-10% and enhancing a product that is 50% more stable than untreated softwood.
This process makes the product very stable and offers a high resistance to decay and fungal attack. This product is ideal for external cladding of Bin stores, with no need for additional treatment. However, it can be easily stained, just as any other softwood.
Hardwood trees grow from seeds or fruit using nature for pollination and are much slower then softwood species to grow which is why hardwood products are more expensive than softwood. Hardwoods are angiosperms and deciduous trees which lose their leaves annually like Oak, Iroko, Sapele and Cumaru pictured below.
A dense wood can split when drilled or nailed whereas a softer less dense timber will be more accepting of a nail.
You need to consider a variety of factors when choosing a wood finished product for a project. A large amount of timber species used externally can fade to a nice silvery grey colour over time when left untreated. Some wood will turn black overtime when exposed to the elements and some timber can turn blue when in contact with metal. For advice on the best species for your project click here
Machining and cutting timber for a variety of products can be CNC machined and finished off manually with our joiners to your individual requirements. We source our timber from sustainable and traceable forests, ensuring it is environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Sedum or Green Roof Bin Stores
EPDM is a waterproof roofing membrane for commercial, industrial and residential roofs. It is lightweight, flexible, durable and flame free also being low maintenance and eco-friendly.
A lot of architects are specifying a sedum roof on a bin store as an alternative to a galvanised roof as they are an environmentally friendly alternative. The sedum can be applied in a tray system or in individual layers from the EDPM waterproof membrane, the fleece protection layer, the drainage substrate soil and finally sedum plants. We can offer a mix of varieties of sedum roof plants and a selection of 8-10 of these is usually in the “Sedum Mix”: They can be any of the following: Acre, Album, Aizoon, Czar’s Gold, Ellacombianum, Floriferum, Fabaria, Hispanicum, Hybridum Montanum, Oktoberfest, Oreganum, Pulchellum, Rupestre, Sexangulare, Spurium, Stoloniferum Telephium.
Additional Materials that we use on products include a variety of UK quarried stones that can be either Natural or we can offer a large dull or silk finish polished stones in a pebble form.
Feature Rocks and Stones
Bespoke street furniture has a role to play in highlighting its design and quality, and it should be able to withstand extreme temperature conditions and retain its look and appeal We can supply an attractive range of rockery stone in all sizes to suit any project. We offer a wide range of shapes and sizes with many large pieces that can only be moved by heavy machinery.
Granite and Stone Furniture is elegant and durable and can be cut in various sizes of Seats and Benches
Mixing two natural products into a street scene will contribute to a highly visual but natural element for any scene where you want to make a statement or for security. Stone and granite are a perfect blend and if set correctly can complement one another.
Granite: one of the most durable and attractive of all natural stones. It is consists of quartz, feldspar and mica; during formation it cooled very slowly which results in it being second only to diamonds in its hardness. Due to its resistance to flaking, scratching and scorching, granite is the number one choice in natural stone for contemporary street furniture. It is the key choice for creating furniture which can be placed in any street scene, with minimal maintenance. The beauty of granite or stone products is that over a long period of time, it does not lose its charm appeal and elegance. It will not fade or look dated, its rustic appeal will lend an enigmatic touch to the whole project ambiance. Granite is available in various colours and tones and you can pick a variety of colours that will complement the project you are working on. Depending on your preference, you can select a colour that will blend within its surroundings or stand apart due to its contrasting appearance. If you are looking for natural beauty then choosing granite street furniture for your project is a key decision.
Available in a wide range of surface finishes to suit the project brief, granite will add elegance to any Project.
Polished finish: High gloss, smooth finish.
Honed finish: Satin sheen, smooth finish.
Water jet finish: A high pressure water jet is used on the surface of the stone leaving it with a very fine textured finish. This finish is specified where the client requires a quality surface with some “anti-slip” properties.
Sand blast finish: The stone is sand blasted under high pressure to lightly stipple the surface. The finish has a more pronounced texture and is used where a moderate “anti-slip” surface is required.
Chiselled finish: Fine regular lines are etched into the surface of the stone leaving an attractive appearance.
Flamed finish: The surface of the stone is heated with a bare flame resulting in an even, moderately textured finish.
Brushed finish: The surface of the stone is firstly heated with a bare flame and then wire brushed creating a well-worn, textured finish.
Hammered finish: The surface of the stone is hammered resulting in an even, medium textured finish.
Boulders: We can source and supply a variety of natural stone boulders ranging from a yellow York stone style to a darker grey stone from the welsh mountains. All vary in size and shape as they are a natural product but we can select products that offer a certain style or shape e.g. a more rounded or flatter or oblong or tall boulder when available.
Natural stone bench and tables: Unique benches made from natural materials that have been cut to form the seat slabs. The tops are finely polished with natural edges for added interest. Each bench is unique and we can supply individual seats as well as rock tables to match.