Solid wood is a classic construction material for windows for three very good reasons: excellent thermal insulation, superb sound absorption and reliable protection against burglary attempts. All of these advantages have already been established for centuries. However, there is one disadvantage associated with the material - persistent moisture can have a damaging effect on it. Manufacturers of composite windows soon tackled this issue and now offer composite models which compensate for this problem using metal components.
Anyone considering performing a renovation or building an entirely new house knows this problem - wooden elements are beneficial to air circulation and offer excellent thermal insulation values, but re-painting all the frames annually can be a lot of work. Aluminium and uPVC represent alternative materials that offer significantly lower maintenance requirements, with uPVC 5-chamber profiles even exhibiting similar thermal insulation values. These modern materials provide a high-quality appearance which can remain entirely untarnished for many years, typically requiring only small-scale maintenance such as cleaning.
Wood-aluminium composite windows are the perfect solution to this issue. They combine wooden frames on the inside with a protective metal shell on the outside. Thus, this combination of materials combines the benefits of both materials in a single window:
Considering the price of common composite windows, many homeowners tend to buy uPVC systems instead. However, anyone looking for all-round front door and window solutions is strongly advised to consider composite models as they exhibit an excellent price-performance ratio over the long term. This is because they are effective in helping to save money on heating and maintenance.
A modern window casement cannot simply be lifted out of the frame anymore. This is because casements are now typically built to be flush with the frame and are held tightly by mushroom cams. With composite windows, even attempts at breaking apart the frame itself usually fail, as the wooden profile and its light metal cover protect the frame from impact. The additional metal shell effectively strengthens an already very secure wooden window. Further increases in security can be achieved with robust composite glazing bars. Even ordinary triple glazing elements can significantly improve the security attributes offered by any composite window when glazing bars are included in the construction. The best possible attributes can then be achieved by adding laminated safety glass as well.
In order to optimise security, the three main targets of any break-in attempt - frame, hinges and glazing - must all be reinforced to a similar extent, leaving no obvious weak points. After all, even a robust composite frame can prove to be pointless if the windowpane can simply be smashed.
Solid wood is one of the best insulating materials for windows and front doors, only surpassed by 6-chamber uPVC systems. Wood-aluminium composite systems thus save heating costs thanks to their wooden cores, while the light metal shells protect the profiles from humidity and damages.
In order to prevent the metal shell from influencing the insulating properties of the timber core, both components are assembled without direct contact with each another. This helps to retain proper vapour diffusion attributes without negatively impacting the natural thermal insulation typically provided by wooden windows. Please always consider the quality of the glazing as well. If the U-value of the glass is too high, then the thermal properties of the wooden frame become irrelevant. In this regard, please also note that for most windows the installation depth can be a limiting factor to the number of individual glass panes that can be included in multi-glazing systems.
The anodised and powder-coated outer metal surfaces of composite windows are highly resistant to all ordinary weather conditions. The metal shell has been designed with effective rainwater drainage in mind, ensuring that the liquid does not come into contact with the wooden glazing bars or with parts of the core profile. Furthermore, outside dirt can only affect the outer shell and the glazing element, both of which can easily be cleaned off. Thus, composite windows keep their proper appearance for a very long period of time, constituting some of the most durable types of windows.
Do not use wire brushes or similar implements when cleaning the frames as they may damage the anodised surface, permanently compromising its resistance to moisture.
Wood-aluminium windows combine the most beneficial elements of both materials - this is also true as regards the aesthetics. The powder-coated outer aluminium shell can be coloured using any of the various weather-resistant lacquers from the RAL scale. This helps create a modern look and ensures that all the composite windows can be perfectly matched to an existing house façade.
The various types of timber available, meanwhile, do not only affect thermal insulation, they also help individualise the aesthetics on the inside of your home. Available timbers include:
Of course, it is also possible to colour the timber profile or to apply a wood grain decor to the aluminium shell to create a harmonious look inside and outside.