The Evolution from Corrugated Iron to Colorbond Steel

Corrugated iron was invented in the 1820s by Henry Palmer, an architect and engineer employed by the London Dock Company, and ever since it has been a mainstay of the Australian building industry. However, over the last decade or so, it seems that things are starting to change. While you are still likely to see corrugated iron being used extensively throughout the western world, it has slowly been replaced over the past decade, in Australia at least, by Colorbond steel. The following looks at the evolution from corrugated iron to Colorbond steel.

Advantages of corrugated iron

When corrugated iron first came onto the market, it represented a huge step forward as far as building materials and technology were concerned, and quickly became popular for how light, strong and versatile it was. Being easy to transport made it extremely popular among the new colony of Australia as it struggled to get enough building materials sent to help establish the blossoming settlement.

Disadvantages of corrugated iron

  • Noise. One of the biggest disadvantages of corrugated iron, especially when used for roofing, is the noise factor, as it can be extremely noisy during a wind or rain storm.
  • Expansion. Care needs to be taken with a corrugated iron roof to allow for thermal expansion, which can cause significant problems if unaccounted for.

Colorbond steel

Developed in Australia in 1966, Colorbond steel has become an extremely popular option when it comes to roofs and fences. With all the benefits of corrugated iron in terms of strength-to-weight ratio, and with the bonus of a huge colour range, Colorbond has fast become Australia’s most popular choice for fencing and roofing materials. One of the biggest advantages of choosing Colorbond is its ability to look good for longer, saving you a fortune on maintenance compared to corrugated iron roofs or timber fencing. Colorbond is also a far more energy-efficient material, making it far more desirable in today’s environmentally conscious consumer market.

Types of Colorbond steel fencing available

  • Traditional fencing. The most commonly sold type of fencing available in Australia, this classic Colorbond style mimics the corrugated iron look, and comes in 14 different colour options.
  • Lattice fencing. This popular option of Colorbond fencing combines the regular traditional fencing design with a lattice topping, which can be a huge bonus as far as getting a little extra privacy and security goes.
  • Gated fencing. Colorbond fencing is also available with gate systems painted to match, which is perfect for pet owners who head out for regular walks, or those looking to access the yard and house via the garage or an alley entrance.

Over the past decade or so, Colorbond fencing has become the standard when it comes to the needs of Aussie homes, with its energy efficiency and fashion consciousness making it the perfect choice for average Australians without a fortune available to spend. For generations, corrugated iron served average families well, though it seems that the switch to Colorbond steel has well and truly begun.


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