An endless selection of materials to suit your requirements
From Poolside Loungers to Picnic Benches, our outdoor solutions are designed using materials and specifications to suit commercial environments and the UK climate. With many different materials available, which kind should you pick? Click on the images below to learn more about some of the materials we use and why.
Acrylic 1/34Acrylic is a popular and versatile polymer material. Often used as an alternative to glass, acrylic is roughly half the weight while up to 17 times the impact resistance of ordinary glass. Ideal for outdoor use, acrylic has excellent optical clarity & transparency, UV stability and highly resistant to variations in temperature.
Acrylic Canvas 2/34Our external canvas products including umbrella and awing membranes, banner barriers, and screens only use 100% solution-dyed acrylic yarn with a minimum weight of 290h/m2, offering long-lasting resistance to weather conditions and UV rays: depending on the colour will block 90% to 100% of UV rays. Even when exposed to strong sunlight, they retain their dazzling colours. All fabrics are finished with a water and dirt resistant finish ensuring our fabrics are highly resistant to stains, grease and water.
Aluminium 3/34Aluminium is a very popular choice when it comes to outdoor furniture. It’s strong yet lightweight so your furniture won’t be hard work to move around if you want to position it. Unlike other metals it won’t corrode. Our aluminium furniture can be powder coated in a range of colours to stand out from the crowd, but also offer extra protection against the elements. Additional finishes include polishing, wet spraying, enamelling, and anodising such as with our Glatz umbrella poles.
Cast Iron 4/34Table bases made from cast iron have an elegant, traditional appearance and provides excellent stability because of its weight. As an outdoor table base, left untreated it will rust very slowly and age naturally developing an antique look. However, cast iron can be treated to retain its original finish even after many years use. Due to its density our banner posts use cast iron for their weighted bases.
Concrete 6/34Concrete is universal, long lasting and resistant to even the harshest weather conditions. Although among the heaviest material used for outdoor furniture, it is extremely stable and is used as a base material for our boxer benches, especially attractive when combined with timber seating slats. We can also make bespoke concrete products upon request.
Glass 7/34Glass is chosen for its aesthetic properties, transparency and resistance external conditions – such as UV light, chemicals, weather, water and heat. For safety and strength, we use safety glass. Two methods are used based on the application. Where edges are exposed and polished for a beautiful finish, we use tempered glass. Table tops, balustrades and frameless screens are example applications. Glass is heat treated to improve impact resistance, and if broken will shatter into non-sharp particles. Where edges are concealed we specify laminated glass – two panels of glass adhered together with a transparent film and will hold together when broken maintaining functionality until a replacement panel can be produced.
Glass Reinforced Plastic GRP 8/34GRP can be used in the manufacture of some of our standard or bespoke planter products. It is lightweight, yet robust. Commonly used for the fabrication of yachts and boats it is weather proof, water resistant and will not corrode or degrade in even the harshest environments. Often powder coated, the surface is can be finished in a range of ways and used to simulate other materials.
Granite 9/34Granite is widely used for umbrella bases. All our umbrella bases are manufactured from durable and tough granite, with a polished finish in black or natural colour. They come in a variety of weight options to ensure that the umbrellas of all sizes remain securely intact with style and practicality. Granite is also an excellent option for external table tops and work tops. Easy to clean and beautiful to look at, while less porous than other external stones such as marble.
Hardwood 10/34Our Barolo range is manufactured from Courbaril hardwood. It is harder and stronger than teak commonly used for external furniture, while naturally resistant to rot requiring no treatment. The surface ages naturally to silver grey as the pigments in the surface layer of the wood fade, however can be maintained and can be left out all year round with only annual maintenance recommended. Furniture can be simply renewed by sanding and oiling. We take an ethical stance in ensuring timber comes from sustainable sources and from high quality, ethically sourced supplies. We also use Chestnut, Iroko are other types of hardwood used in various furniture standard and bespoke products across our range.
High Density polyethylene (HDPE) 11/34HDPE is UV stabilised and fade resistant, hardwearing, strong and a very versatile material. It is used in the manufacture of our play equipment as the range of colours available brighten up playgrounds and play spaces encouraging children to engage. High abrasion and wear resistance means it will not crack, split or rot, with scratches and nudges also less evident. HDPE can be machined easily, allowing our CNC routers to machine out various shapes, sizes and colours. Our machining of DHPE is zero waste: offcuts are collected and reprocessed for creation of new products.
High Pressure Laminate 12/34Multiple sheets of kraft paper are bonded together with melamine resin under very high pressure with a decorative face to create a strong and durable material, resistant to scratches, impact, and abrasion in a vast range of standard solid colours and woodgrains. Furthermore the decorative layer can be printed allowing endless array of bespoke branding and finish opportunities. Its non-porous fabrication and edging also make it ideally suited for use for table tops in outdoor environments as its solid core construction means there is no risk of peeling, cracking or delamination. Elsewhere the material is commonly used for washrooms, lockers, laboratories and rainscreen cladding. We use the material for the manufacture tabletops, our Everlast and Dura furniture is made from HPL. Our HPL meets Euroclass B fire rating.
Glatz Material Class 2 13/34Our range of Glatz umbrellas provide optimal flexibly in terms of materials and colours to suit the requirements of your business. Class 2 offers domestic grade shade and shelter protection with basic colour options, UPF 50+ protection against harmful UV rays, dirt resistant with anti-rot finishing, high colour lightfastness up to 160 days. It is 100% polyester, 220g/m2.
Glatz Material Class 4 & 5 14/34Our range of Glatz umbrellas provide optimal flexibly in terms of materials and colours to suit the requirements of your business. Class 5 is recommended for optimum commercial shade and shelter performance with UPF 50+ protection against harmful UV rays, high colour lightfastness up to 700 days, oil and water repellent, soil resistant with anti-rot finishing. It is 100% acrylic, 300g/m2. Class 4 provides excellent shade and shelter protection, UPF 50+ protection against harmful UV rays, dirt resistant with anti-rot finishing and high colour lightfastness up to 350 days. It is 100% polyester, 250g/m2.
Moulded Laminate 15/34Fully sealed laminate tabletops are practically impervious to mechanical, thermal and chemical influences. The smooth, resin surface is homogenously pressed and moulded onto a wooden core, making it easy to clean and satisfy the hygiene requirements of the professional catering industry.
Polycarbonate PC 16/34Polycarbonate is strong, lightweight and tough and has excellent light transmission. It can be easily cleaned and wiped down, essential in hospitality environments where cleanliness is demanded. Particularly attractive in clear or translucent colours, giving the appearance of taking little or no space. Many of our polycarbonate chairs are scratch, UV and high impact resistant. We commonly use long life multiwall panels in our roofing products, while solid sheets can be used in place of glass for a variety of applications.
Polypropylene PP 17/34Polypropylene is a versatile polymer material. It can be easily cleaned and wiped down, essential in hospitality environments where cleanliness is demanded. Many of our polypropylene chairs are reinforced with glass fibres for improved rigidity and strength, remaining lightweight, with a smooth moulded surface. Polypropylene chairs are available in an almost limitless range of standard and bespoke colours in vivid and vibrant colours, or muted natural tones.
Polyurethane PU 18/34This is a natural wood-look material and a perfect alternative to timber flooring and decking. There is no threat of cracking, splintering or warping making it comfortable to walk on. The non-slip surface and core is made from a solid polyurethane resin reinforced with glass fibres. It is easy to care for and very low maintenance, available in a wide range of colours and surface textures.
Polywood 19/34Made from a composite of recycled materials, the realistic wood-look finish is used in the manufacture of several of our chairs, tables and benches. Polywood is an environmentally friendly solution and perfect for outdoor use; its thermally stable, doesn’t contract or split, available in bright colours as well as neutral tones, can be UV treated with little or no fading and requires virtually no maintenance.
Polyvinyl Chloride PVC 20/34PVC membranes and textiles are used on Motorised Pergolas and Shade Sails for their excellent UV protection and a host of other features including resistance to perforation and tearing, long life, easy maintenance and flame retardance. The nonabsorptive properties of the material enable products to be wiped clean, and transparent PVC panels are used to create clear vision panels in canvas products.
Recycled Plastic 21/34A material which is increasingly being used instead of traditional materials such as timber, metal, concrete and primary plastics, recycled plastic is resistant to moisture, rotting and cracking and is impervious to salt water and stains. It is also ecologically sound, made from 100% recycled material. Our machining produces zero waste: offcuts are collected and reprocessed for creation of new products.
Stainless Steel 22/34Products made from stainless steel include Chablis parasol handles, post and rod banner barrier systems, outdoor accessories, and play equipment. Each made from grade 304 stainless steel, though we can produce products in marine grade 316 on request. Stainless steel has high corrosion resistance and if maintained correctly is a durable and attractive choice.
Steel 23/34Steel provides strength, stability, and endurance in all weather conditions. Many of the steel chairs and tables in our Designer Collection are galvanised, with a powder coated finish to help protect from moisture ingress and prevent rust. Steel furniture provides excellent stability because of its weight and welded joints give superior strength.
Play Rope 24/34Multifilament polypropylene, woven with galvanised steel reinforcement wire around a fibre core, produces a durable and safe product with an extremely soft feel. Available in a variety of vibrant colours, its tensile strength is excellent for playground environments and is used in many of our Active Play units, Fitness Trails and Net Climbers.
Stobag Collection 25/34There are hundreds of material and colour choices for Stobag awnings, each with their own unique properties depending on the precise requirement for shading, transparency, blackout and water protection. Whatever material you choose, it will be a premium quality, UV-tested, acrylic fabric.
Synthetic Rattan 27/34Rattan furniture consists of a weather-resistant synthetic fibre weave wrapped over, or inside of, a metal frame. This style of furniture lends a traditional, homely feel to your outdoor area and is much more durable than traditional wicker material. Synthetic rattan can be left out all year round and although during extreme hot or cold weather the weave may stiffer or soften, it will revert to normal elasticity under normal temperatures.
Technopolymer 28/34Technopolymer is a versatile plastic material, lightweight and tough. It can be easily cleaned and wiped down, essential in hospitality environments where cleanliness is demanded. Many of our technopolymer chairs are reinforced with glass fibres for improved rigidity and strength, remaining lightweight, with a smooth moulded surface.
Texture 29/34A popular alternative to timber, Texture is a solid non-porous and natural wood-look material. Ideal for booth seating systems, tables and planters, there is no cracking, splintering or warping as the surface and core is made from a solid polyurethane resin reinforced with glass fibres. Easy to care for and low maintenance, its available in a wide range of colours and realistic woodgrain surface textures.
Softwood 30/34One common benefit of all timber furniture is its ageless natural beauty and warm rustic appeal. We use a variety of sustainably sourced softwoods such as pressure treated redwood pine, reclaimed scaffold timber and rough sawn whitewood pine. Each provide some degree of natural weather resistance, while some are impregnated with tanalith as a preservative to protect against fungal and insect attack. Our timber products can be supplied in a wide variety of stain colours, or even painted in flat colours or with a distressed finish.
Tyres 31/34Many of our Fitness Trails use tyres to enhance co-ordination and build agility, strength and stamina. They are a highly versatile resource that can be used in play areas for children of all ages and stages. They take hundreds of years to break down if sent to a landfill site, so opportunities to re-use them make a positive difference.
Vinyl, Mesh & Canvas 32/34There are various material options when choosing a standard or heavy duty banner barrier from AEL. The most economical option is vinyl PVC, a strong, waterproof and durable banner material. Mesh banners are ideal in windy outdoor conditions, as the mesh allows airflow to pass through minimising any billowing and movement. For a premium quality finish, our acrylic canvas delivers superior performance against all outside conditions, with its resistance to water, UV stability and high lightfastness, together with a dirt-resistant and water repellent coating applied. All options can be easily cleaned and wiped down.
Wood Polymer Composite 33/34Combining the best properties of timber and plastic, WPC achieves a natural wood-look appearance with a long product life. The material is dimensionally stable, weather resistant and resistant to influences such as cold, heat, acid rain, saltwater or chlorinated water, wood-destroying fungi and insects.
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