Steel vs. Resin vs. Aluminum

Steel vs. Resin vs. Aluminum

The question of which type material is the best for above ground pool construction seems to always be a bit of a hard decision for new pool shoppers. The most popular materials are steel, resin, and aluminum. There are valid arguments for each and every pool store will have their own advice as well. Here at Krossber Brothers we tend to lean towards the steel and resin finishes. The great thing about that is that our most popular pool, the Nova, can be offered as steel or resin.

There are a lot of variables  when comparing these different materials so the information favoring one or the other can be found to support any of the types. We spent some time researching this and have some unbiased articles below to help you decide.

The 3 types:

Above-ground pools are either made of steel, aluminum, or resin. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to each:

  • Steel is the least expensive and heaviest and most solid of all the materials. Though they may take a long time to rust, they are susceptible to corrosion and oxidization, sometimes even faster than steel not exposed to water constantly. Make sure that any supporting steel beams are dipped in hot zinc, and that resin or epoxy coats the bottom of the pool, behind its liner.
  • Aluminum, like steel, is rust-resistant, but can get corroded and oxidized. When aluminum oxidizes, it can cause surfaces to become rough and even cause holes in the bottom’s liner. You get special coats that prevent this type of damage, though it can get expensive. Aluminum is more flexible than steel, good for handling the movement of water, and is much easier to disassemble and move, as it is much lighter than steel. However, because aluminum pool walls are essentially just panels riveted together, it can create problems if they are not sealed properly.
  • Resin pools are sometimes made entirely of the material, but more often than not, resin will be just one major component in the overall plastic material or will be used only on certain parts of the pool. Resin has none of the rust, oxidization, or erosion problems of steel and aluminum, though is more expensive depending on how high resin composition is. Make sure your resin pool has the proper UV coating, otherwise, it will flake and crack; generally, though resin holds up pretty well against the elements, not even getting as hot as aluminum or steel.

Additional Benefits of each type:

Advantages of a Steel Pool

 Steel resists deformation more than aluminum and costs  considerably less. A steel pool is by far the strongest. While rust has been a problem in the past, newer steel pools have a hot-dipped galvanized coat that resists rust and come with vinyl coatings.

Advantages of an Aluminum Pool

Aluminum pools have become popular over the last 10 to 15 years because of their ability to handle inclement weather. When aluminum is exposed to air, it becomes covered with a tough, transparent layer of aluminum oxide that helps resists corrosion. Aluminum does not tarnish or rust and has an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio. It also becomes stronger and retains its toughness as it gets colder. The one biggest disadvantage is that most aluminum pools can fall victim to pitting caused by the oxidation process.

Advantages of a Resin Pool

You get the best of both worlds with the resin pools, it’s a steel wall with all resin components, these pools typically last longer than steel pools, unlike aluminum these pools will not oxidize, cheaper then aluminum,  available in many different sizes. However the downside is that resin pool parts can become more vulnerable to cracking and fading due to both winter weather, extreme cold, and UV exposure.