For over a century now, steel window frames have been in high demand by designers and architects building both commercial and residential properties. Steel is versatile, lightweight and low maintenance, and provides adequate thermal resistance as well as exudes an effortless inclination to light.
However, there are 3 main features that have caused steel to be chosen over aluminum and wood, and these include durability, strength and aesthetic appeal. The welding process used in steel window frames augments its strength thus providing unrivaled security, while hot-dip galvanization, painting and polyester powder coating increase the durability of the frame by preventing rust.
But the beauty of steel window frames is definitely the reason that these windows are a worthwhile investment. They comprise of slender lines which exude elegance, charm and style, while remaining exceptionally functional. It is with all of this in mind that we will look at the main steel window frames types, as we try and understand the place of steel in window frames.
Types of steel window frames
The steel window frames outlined below are designed to hold both large and small glass panels, regardless of the weight of the sheet of glass.
Casement steel window frames
This window frame can be side-hung, top-hung or bottom hung (or a combination), therefore allowing the window to be opened from different directions. They are currently the most sought after steel window frame type, due to their slim mullions and classic design and construction. Furthermore, they provide the greatest amount of air inflow and outflow, and can be found in many renovated and upcoming residential buildings.
Casement windows can be left-handed, right-handed or double-handed, depending on the direction of the swing.
Hopper steel window frames
Hopper steel window frames are a casement window type which opens inwards. They are bottom hinged and this allows them to pivot vertically, and they are often found in small spaces. You are very likely to see hopper steel window frames in a basement, apartment complex or a school.
Awning steel window frames
Awning steel window frames are very similar to their hopper counterparts; the difference is that the hinges are located at the top of the frame. This casement window type therefore pivots vertically and outwards, imitating an awning.
French casement steel window frames
French casement steel window frames lack a center mullion, therefore providing a clear view. They are hinged on the outside, and can be either out-swing or in-swing.
Fixed steel window frames
This window can neither be opened nor closed, due to its fixed nature. Its sole purpose is to let light filter in, and this makes it suitable for many standard commercial and residential designs. Because fixed steel window frames restrict ventilation, they are often paired with overglass vents or casement, hopper, awning and pivot windows.
A fixed steel window frame can either be composed of a large glass pane, or smaller panes divided by vertical and horizontal bars (mullions and muntins) that have strong intersecting joints.
Tilt and slide steel window frames
The size of this sliding window is often comparable to that of a door, and it has a sash that tilts inwards from the top, and then slides in a horizontal position behind the fixed pane of glass. These steel window frames are extremely popular in Europe, and are often constructed there before being exported to North America.
Tilt and turn steel window frames
This type of window either tilts inwards from the top or uses the side hinges to open inwards. You will therefore need to keep the floor space in front of the window clear of any furnishings.
Bay and bow steel window frames
These eye-catching window frames protrude from the wall, and often act as the focal point of a room or entire home. The window frame is comprised of multiple windows set at varying angles, in an effort to create a multi-dimensional space. These windows can be composed of casement, tilt and turn or fixed frames.
Diocletian (thermal) steel window frames
These semicircular steel window frames are divided into 3 separate window compartments via two mullions. The center compartment is often wider than the two compartments to either side.
Pivot steel window frames
These steel window frames have panels that rotate either horizontally or vertically about the frame. The style is particularly intricate and visually appealing, making it popular in contemporary buildings. The roundabout rotation also allows for excellent ventilation, and the frame can be combined with several other steel window frames including fixed frames.
This relatively inexpensive and low maintenance window frame can be secured via locks which prevent it from being opened from the outside. The pivot frame is highly adaptable, and can be integrated into a standard build as well as other concrete construction details.
Double Hung steel window frames
This sash window is made up of two parts that slide up and down the frame, creating a slight overlap. Spring balances support the vertical sliding windows, but there are no exposed fasteners or balances.
Space will need to be created within the reveal structure to accommodate counterbalance weights needed.
Custom made steel window frames
Just like with other interior furnishings, you have the ability to create and tailor a steel window frame to your specification. Due to steel’s versatility, your custom frame can come in any shape and size.
Partition type steel window frames
These vertical and horizontal composite frames are formed by multiple panes separated by mullions.
Industrial types steel window frames
This window frame is comprised of rolled steel sections surrounded by a projecting frame bar, and can be affixed to concrete, brickwork and steelwork. You can integrate ventilators via horizontally pivoted frames, centrally hung frames and bottom hung frames that hang on steel hinges.
Clisco steel window frames
These types of windows are meant to carry zero weight, and are commonly used in block construction. Standard steel window sections are framed by press steel surrounds, weather bars and side hung casements. Both the side-hung and fan-hung windows in this frame open outwards.
With all of these frames in mind, it should be easier for you to choose which type of steel window frame suits your home’s interior as well as your preferences. When this is done contact a window installation professional, and have your home fitted with these lovely frames.