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How does base material affect the price of hardware?

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How does base material affect the price of hardware?


Hinges and hardware can be found in a wide variety of base materials. Different materials tend to be desired or even required for different situations. Base material also tends to be the driving factor when it comes to price. If you are ever wondering why a certain hinge seems so expensive (or inexpensive), checking the base material will typically give you the answer. It is also important to know that the base material often varies from the finish. It is easy to be misled by companies which only list the finish of a product. For example, a hinge listed with a brass finish may be made of a zinc base material. The material used will be listed on our product pages whenever possible. If you see a product that does not have a base material listed, it is typically because the manufacturer has not provided this information. If you are interested in an item that does not have this information provided, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to look further into it for you.

 

When reading through this list, it is important to keep in mind that the characteristics being described are generally true within the metal, but an extremely large amount of variation does exist within each metal. This is because all metals, especially alloys (substances consisting of two or more metals), can vary quite a bit depending on factors such as the exact metals being used and the process being employed to create the metal. A good way to think about this is that the general term (steel, brass, bronze, etc.) is like a family name, where there exists many smaller variations within that family. A quick example can be found when looking at a metal as unsuspecting as steel. Steel is a material consisting of mostly iron with small amounts of carbon. The variation in carbon used (generally 0.15 – 2%) can make very big differences in the characteristics of the metal, however.

 

One last thing to note when considering specific materials are environmental variances. Exposure to sun, salt, humidity, rain, etc. make very big differences on whether a material will work for you or not. A material such as stainless steel may hold up very well for 10 years in a dry exterior environment, but that same material might see rust forming on the surface after just a few years when exposed to the harsh salt air in a coastal environment.


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