Outer Finish and Base Material

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1. What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Mild Steel Base Material?

 

The major benefit of mild steel is the price, as it is one of the cheapest base material for radiators. Mild steel products will always be finished in some form of 'skin'; either chrome plating or a painted finish. You would never see an untreated mild steel radiator, as mild steel itself is not nice to look at. Additionally every product undergoes a salt test procedure, where they are submerged in a bath of salt solution to ensure the have the highest resistance to rusting and corrosion. Products which don't pass are rejected from the line. This salt test is ASTM B117 compliant.

However mild steel can be prone to oxidisation (rusting) as it has ferrous corrosive properties. All Geyser products are manufactured from a low carbon mild steel, which is less succeptible to rusting than standard mild steel. The vast majority of low to mid end radiators are made from mild steel, therefore you have no reason to avoid purchasing it. Simply remember to ensure your central heating system (or electric product) contains the correct amount of inhibitor. Without this, the performance of the radiator will lessen over time as rust flakes off internally, contaminates the water inside and restrict water flow. Eventually the rust may completely break through forming a radiator leak.

 

2. What are the Benefits of a Stainless Steel Base Material and why is it More Expensive?

Stainless steel is a very high quality, but expensive material. There are a multitude of benefits to stainless steel, as listed below.

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Stainless Steel Benefit 1: Much Less Prone to Rust

Stainless steel is effectively a non ferrous metal, meaning that it has a much higher resistance to oxidation (rust) and corrosion than mild steel.

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Stainless Steel Benefit 2: Heat Output

Stainless steel conducts heat 15% better than mild steel. The ‘skin’ (chrome or painted finish) of a mild steel radiator acts as a thin blanket restricting heat radiation.  Stainless steel is a raw untreated material so permeates heat much better. It also retains heat for longer meaning that the radiator will stay warmer for longer after your central heating has been switched off.

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Stainless Steel Benefit 3: No Skin and Two Choices of Surface Finish, Brushed or Polished

Stainless steel is available in two different finishes: 'Brushed' and 'Polished'. The slightly dull, brushed effect is beautiful and this natural finish ensures your radiator is a subtle statement within your room. Alternatively the shimmering mirror like finish of polished stainless steel will certainly not go unnoticed. The most common brushed stainless steel appliance in UK homes is the kitchen hob or extractor hood. Imagine this finish sculptured into a fantastic radiator design. The result is simply stunning and very memorable to anyone who comes to visit. Prepare for jealous visitors.

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Stainless Steel Benefit 4: Trouble Free Maintenance

Stainless steel is very easy to clean, simply wipe it down with soap or a mild detergent and warm water. This exercise will only need to be carried out four to six times a year (or more often if this is being used in the bathroom of course). If you wipe the surface dry, you will enhance the appearance of the stainless steel. You can pick up stainless steel cleaner in supermarkets and we sell it here on our website too.

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Stainless Steel Benefit 5: Uniquely Hand Built

In an era of machines for almost all manufacturing, it is quite refreshing to know that our designer stainless steel radiators are hand built and although each model is made to the same specifications, each radiator is subtly and individually different. Only the quality of craftsmanship remains constant. The polished stainless steel products are literally polished by human hand.

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Stainless Steel Benefit 6: Material Grade 304

 

Although the term ‘stainless steel’ is regularly used, there are actually more than 150 grades of stainless steel and many are not suitable for radiators. It is important that the correct grade is used, as radiators hold water and are continuously subjected to extreme temperature fluctuations. The Geyser range of stainless steel radiators are made from a perfect blend of 304 grade stainless steel.

 

3. What are the Benefits of a Aluminium Base Material and why is it More Expensive?

Aluminium is fast becoming a preferred base material due to its heating properties and environmental factors.

Aluminium Benefit 1: Thermal Properties and Increased Heat Output

Aluminium offers much faster heat up times due its thermal properties, meaning it can heat up to the required high temperatures in a very short amount of time. On winter days when you come into a cold house these radiators will heat up very rapidly compare with their steel equivalent.  Due to their quick heat up times aluminium radiators are perfect for occasional use rooms such as the conservatory.

Outer Finish and Base Material - Alu vs Steel

Aluminium Benefit 2: Lightweight

An Aluminium radiator is much lighter in weight than a mild steel or stainless steel radiator. For the new age home with plasterboard, timber frame walls an aluminium radiator will exert much less pressure and is easier for your fitter to install. 

Aluminium Benefit 3: Costs

Aluminium can be reshaped and manipulated without compromising its considerable strength. Therefore, an aluminium radiator is much easier to manufacture, transport and install, making it a more cost effective option.

Aluminium Benefit 4: Low Water Content

Aluminium require a much lower water content to operate, meaning aluminium radiators are well suited to renewable energy systems where you'll want to minimise the demand on the system as much as possible.

Aluminium Benefit 5: Eco Friendly Option

An aluminium radiator is the eco friendly choice. Firstly because your energy bills will be greatly reduced as they use less water and heat up faster. Secondly, Aluminium is comparatively cheaper than steel and much easier to recycle, therefore the availability is higher due to all the recycling plants in existence. This availability reduces the pressure on the planet to excavate more metals from the ground. You could consider recycling your own aluminium radiator once you have tired of it and set it to use as an aeroplane or a new building?

 

4. Why a Mild Steel Radiator finished in Chrome will generate Slightly less heat output than a Painted Finish 

Any sparkling chrome radiator will give out slightly less heat output compared with a like for like model in a white, black or a brushed chrome finish. This is because the chrome plating will act as a form of insulation, thus allowing the radiator to retain more heat internally (just like tin foil wrapped around a joint in the oven). However a painted finish like white or black will permeate the heat much better.

Central Heating Radiators - White vs Chrome Finish

 

5. Why the Chrome Plating Process is Important for Sparkling Chrome (mild steel base material) Products 

Chrome plating is an expensive process and represents a large percentage of the manufacturing cost, hence why chrome radiators are more expensive than white or black painted finishes (for mild steel products). To ensure the highest quality is maintained the plating line at our manufacturing plants use a motion system rather than a conventional air driven system. This ensures better surface quality, a greater resistance to corrosion in every area, including the welded joints.

The chrome plating on all Geyser radiators and heated towel rails is 50.3 microns in total complied as follows: Matt Nickel 5 microns; Acidic Copper 25 microns; Bright Nickel 20 microns; Chromium 0.3 microns. Note: Some suppliers list their chrome plating in different ways, but be mindful of companies falsifying these figures (which we have seen many times). Our listed figures are 100% correct.

Chrome Plating Process of Heated Towel Rails

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