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Road studs – Aluminium or Stainless Steel?

Choosing the right road stud

When it comes to road studs, or pelistuds as they’re often called, there are a multitude of choices regarding their design, shape, and patterns. The same can’t be said for the choice of metal as there are only two, aluminium or stainless steel. You’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re interchangeable in daily use but there are set scenarios where one performs better than the other.

Aluminium vs Stainless Steel

As metals both aluminium and stainless steel are known quantities. Aluminium is a much softer metal with higher performance in cold weather due to a hardening effect that occurs at freezing temperatures. Stainless steel is a much denser and less malleable metal and performs much better at higher temperatures.

For a guide on stainless steel click here – for a guide on aluminium click here

Road stud cost

Aluminium road studs are generally cheaper than stainless steel road studs and not by an insignificant amount. This is due to the availability of aluminium, how much easier it is to work with, and the general cost of the material.

How does that translate to their use in road studs?

Due to their differing natures, they’re suitable for different traffic scenarios. There are situations where the aluminium road studs will perform admirably and are worth that cost saving and in contrast, situations where they’re not appropriate. Installing aluminium road studs in the wrong situation may lead to re-buying stainless steel road studs, more than doubling the initial cost. This is why assessing the traffic scenario ahead of time is imperative.

Which road stud for which scenario?

In low to medium-traffic levels aluminium road studs are fantastic performers. When they’re subject to high traffic levels, the heat generated and the constant punishment from vehicles can cause them to warp and twist over time. This can lead to them becoming unseated or disfigured from their original shape.

Aluminium road studs are best installed on:

  • Side/back roads
  • Rural areas
  • On short-medium term traffic control arrangements

Stainless steel road studs shine in medium to high-traffic scenarios due to their harder-wearing nature. They can be seen as a more permanent solution when compared to their aluminium counterparts.

Stainless steel road studs are best installed on:

  • Main roads
  • City centres
  • Bypass crossings

In summary, aluminium road studs are best looked at as a more temporary measure in general but are quite suitable for the long term in low-traffic areas. Stainless steel studs are applicable anywhere and are a fantastic long-term solution across the board.