Global Aluminium Shortage – Are there alternatives?

Aluminium Shortage

Thousands of products are threatened by a global aluminium shortage. One of the key components in aluminium alloys is magnesium. These alloys are used in everything from car parts to building materials and food packaging.

Magnesium stocks have been particularly affected by the lack of supplies from China, which has a near monopoly on the magnesium market. China has reduced the output of magnesium as part of the efforts to reduce its power consumption.

What makes the shortage a pressing issue is that there are no substitutes for magnesium in aluminium alloy production.

The shortages also are leading to the price of aluminium increasing dramatically, reaching a decade high as reported in the Financial Times.

Not everything made from aluminium can be replaced by alternative materials.

However, some products can be replaced with alternatives. Such as ladders, handrails, walkways, roof access walkways. Equivalent products can be produced from fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) structural profiles and grating.

Ladders

Just like aluminium, FRP profiles can be custom fabricated into ladders to ensure they meet customers exacting requirements.

FRP profiles are available in a range of sizes, shapes and wall thicknesses, allowing the most appropriate to be selected. 

The ladders can be engineered to meet Australian Standard AS1657-2018. 

aluminium shortage alternative

Handrails

FRP also offers a solution for handrail systems. They are typically constructed from FRP structural profiles. For industry they are typically yellow, although any RAL colour is available (MOQ applies).

Typical arrangements are either square or round configurations.

 FRP Handrail components are lightweight and easy to fabricate on-site. 

aluminium shortage

Walkways and roof access

There is no doubt that working at heights presents significant risks, making roof access safety systems critical. 

Both aluminium and FRP can be used to create walkway and platform systems to suit all types of roof applications. FRP grating offers excellent slip resistance even in the harshest of conditions.

 FRP walkways offer a huge range of applications from single safety steps to elevated plaforms.

aluminium shortage
Maxi FRP Products

FRP products also offer a host of other features such as:

  • Safe non-conductive
  • UV stable
  • Fire resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Chemical resistant

Don’t let the aluminium shortage delay your next project, contact us to have a chat about how we could help you with alternatives.