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Hydro aluminium at UK seaside

Aluminium extrusions from the Norwegian aluminium producer Hydro were chosen for a sea defence railing on the popular exposed seafront in Blackpool in the U.K.

The Blackpool Coastal Defence Scheme is designed to protect 15,000 homes and other buildings on the west coast of England from flooding. The project includes a 1.5-mile-long promenade with a fence handrail of aluminium.

Aluminium has many advantages in a project like this: the anodized extrusions are extremely corrosion-resistant and installation was a snap – no welds required.

Oakham Fabrications, an architectural metalworking company in the West Midlands, sourced and installed all the materials used in the project.

Bill Barnes of Western Marketing, a consultant on the project, said that aluminium has proved to be the ideal choice made by the local council.

“In the U.K., the traditional choice has been cast iron and steel,” Barnes explains. “The problem is that they always rust. They can be newly painted in the spring, then weeping red rust by the autumn.

“Stainless steel was also considered, but anodized aluminium met all the requirements.”

Glenn McCrickerd, Hydro’s Development Manager for U.K. aluminium extrusion, says the project is a perfect blend of design and function.

“The railing is in the shape of a breaking wave. It really captured our imagination,” McCrickerd says.

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