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What Are Stair Stringers?
Metal stringers are the metal supports that run along each side of a staircase. When stringers are made out of metal they are most commonly made out of steel for it’s rigidity, strength under load, and durability. While steel is the most common material for stringers they can sometimes be fabricated out of aluminum depending on the load and application. Risers and treads are attached to the stringers or stringer supports. There are usually two stringers in a staircase. Against the wall is the inner stringer, and the outer stringer is visible on the side of the staircase.
What Is the Best Material To Make Metal Stringers?
The best metals for stair stringers are made out of steel and aluminum. They are commonly used for both the functionality and design of the staircase.
Steel Stair Stringers
Steel is an alloy made up of iron with typically a few tenths of a percent of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance compared to other forms of iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that are corrosion- and oxidation-resistant need typically an additional 11% chromium. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, steel is used in most of our metal stringer applications. Most often, galvanized steel or stainless steel are used to prevent rusting. A long-lasting zinc coating protects the steel beneath galvanized steel from corrosive materials.
Applications of Steel Stringers
There are many staircases in homes, businesses, and industries that use steel stringers. If made of galvanized or stainless steel, steel stringers can also be used outdoors. For industrial applications, prefabricated metal staircases with steel stringers are an excellent choice if the stairs must withstand heavy loads. For lightweight and functional metal stairs, bolt-together stairs are made of formed steel stringers. Commercial stairs are designed and manufactured with structural steel stair stringers.
Advantages of Steel Stringers
- Steel stingers are preferred because of their strength and durability, which can withstand high weight loads and intense traffic.
- The flexibility of steel stringers allows you to create custom staircases, such as spiral or curved, as well as modern styles.
- Steel stringers are less expensive than aluminum ones when metal stairs are desired.
- As they can be bolted together, steel stringers are easier to install than wood stringers.
- Prefab steel stringers cost less to install since they are easier to install than wood stringers – whether you hire a professional or complete a DIY project.
- Steel Stringers require minimal maintenance indoors and outdoors. Their durability makes them resistant to rot and pests.
- For egress (fire escape) stairs, steel stringers provide an additional layer of safety.
Aluminum is much lighter than steel as well as naturally anti-corrosive without needing any types of additives or extra treatments.
Stringer Applications for Aluminum
There are many reasons to use aluminum stair stringers, whether for industrial, commercial or residential staircases.
- Aluminum stairs are easier to transport and install than steel stairs because of their lighter weight, so they are a good choice when the stairs must be portable
- Stair stringers made of aluminum are easy to install, which means labor and time savings.
- Due to its malleability and flexibility, aluminum can be built in many shapes – including spiral stairs.
- Stair stringers made from aluminum have a natural corrosion-resistant layer, meaning they are durable and require little maintenance.
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