Why The Hardware On Glass Pool Fences Doesn't Rust

Posted on: 17 March 2019

Glass fences bring a beautiful modern edge to any pool area. The glass and metal elements shimmer in the sunlight and open up the landscape. You might wonder why the hardware doesn't rust, even though it's outside in all types of weather. Here's why.

All the metal parts on the fence that connect the glass panels to the ground or to each other, including any clamps, spigots or handrails are protected in one of two ways. Either the metal has an element inside its makeup that naturally prevents rust, or else the metal is covered with a protective coating of some sort.

Two Metals The Resist Rust Themselves

Stainless steel is an example of a substance that is naturally anti-corrosive due to its inner structure, which is why many hardware pieces use it. Stainless steel is an alloy, manufactured from several ingredients, iron and chromium being the main ones. Chromium is naturally rust-resistant. Because stainless steel always includes between 10 to 30% of this element, it doesn't rust. This is why the stainless steel components of glass pool fencing will last for many years rust-free, despite being frequently splashed with pool water. 

Aluminium is another metal that naturally resists rust. It is produced by mixing the alumina from bauxite with other elements. When an aluminium object comes into contact with oxygen, it naturally forms an oxide layer across its surface that repels corrosion.

Powder Coating And Galvanising Treatments

Some other metals can tend to rust if exposed to the elements. So to make them suitable for outdoors, they undergo treatments that form a protective anti-rust barrier. Powder coating and galvanising are two such treatments. 

Powder-coating both protects metal and decorates it with a smooth-coloured finish. A powder mixture containing pigments and resins is sprayed onto the outside of the object. The metal item is then baked in a furnace whereby the dry ingredients melt, providing an anti-corrosive tough, decorative cover. A galvanising treatment creates a different type of protective layer. During this process, an object is dipped into a bath of melted zinc. Once removed, the zinc remains, forming a rust-resistant shield over the surface.

Often the hardware components of pool fences are made from stainless steel which is naturally anti-corrosive, so it doesn't need any additional protective coat. Aluminium also naturally resists rust. But carbon steel (not stainless) does require a special protective covering to prevent rust.