We’ve been thinking a lot about aluminum poles. On the surface (pun intended!), they may all look the same—smooth, sleek, metallic pole segments. But like most things, it’s what’s inside that counts.
One of the main differences between different brands/types of aluminum poles besides the type of metal is the quality of the anodization. Both of these factors influence an aluminum pole’s ability to resist stress crack corrosion, one of the most common ways for poles to fail.
We built an in-house machine based off an ASTM test procedure that allows accelerated conditioning of pole segments. It forces the poles to be cycled through a corrosive environment. And the idea is that you can strength test the poles before and after the conditioning to see how the performance drops off.
Much like the test where you drop a baby tooth in a cup of soda for a couple weeks, very bad things start to happen to low grade aluminum poles after some time in this corrosive environment. It’s important for us to have this testing in house because it allows us to see for ourselves the quality of materials we put into products and the performance of those materials over the entire lifespan of a product.
Just like we like to say with the food we eat—know what you buy, and buy what you know.