Understanding the Different Materials Used in Light Pole Manufacturing

Understanding the Different Materials Used in Light Pole Manufacturing

There are several options to choose from when deciding which materials will be used during the light pole manufacturing process.

These materials will determine some very important factors about the light poles that are produced. Among those factors are:

  • Their application (how they will be used)
  • Their cost
  • Their lifespan
  • How they will be installed
  • Their durability

Although some light poles are made of wood and concrete, we will focus this article on the three primary materials used in their construction: steel, aluminum, and fiberglass.

Steel

Steel is the most common material used for light poles. When manufacturing a steel light pole, a flat steel sheet is cut to the desired width and length, and then a tube is formed by cold rolling or pressed on a brake.

Steel properties:

  • Very strong material
  • Flexible design
  • Cost-effective

Benefits

  • Steel poles are very strong. They can handle high winds and support multiple attached fixtures.
  • Steel poles can be powder-coated and/or galvanized. This adds to their lifespan by protecting them against rust and corrosion.
  • Steel is an economical choice for large-scale projects.

LightMart offers steel light poles in a variety of styles. These include:

  • Round, round tapered, square, and square tapered shapes.
  • 10- to 60-foot pole heights (custom heights available)
  • Specialty items such as hinged, hurricane-resistant, and heavy-duty poles
  • 7- or 11-gauge thickness options
  • Multiple color options

Aluminum

Aluminum light poles are manufactured by using molten aluminum to form the poles. It is put into a mold that matches the specifications of the light pole shaft. Aluminum is very malleable which means that it can be formed into a wide variety of shapes and sizes by extrusion.

Aluminum properties:

  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Aesthetically appealing

Benefits

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Their lightweight nature makes them easy to install.
  • Resistant to corrosion and rust. Because of this, they can be installed near coastal areas where corrosion is a consideration.
  • Their long lifespan (50+ years) makes them a good long-term investment.
  • They can be powder-coated or anodized for extra protection.
  • Anodized aluminum poles come in a wide variety of colors.

LightMart offers aluminum light poles in a variety of styles. These include:

  • Direct burial or anchor base installation types.
  • Round, round tapered, and square shapes.
  • 6- to 25-foot pole heights (custom heights available)
  • Specialty items such as hinged base, transformer base, and hurricane resistant.
  • Multiple color options

Fiberglass

Fiberglass poles have two primary components: fiberglass and resin. Fiberglass cords are produced using fiberglass strands that are wound together. These cords are dipped into a polyester resin bath. They are then wrapped around a mandril. The pole is then powder-coated or painted.

Fiberglass Properties:

  • Non-conductive
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Lightweight

Benefits

They are corrosion resistant which makes them ideal for coastal areas.

  • Easy to install (lightweight).
  • Safety benefits (non-conductivity)
  • Aesthetic flexibility (can be molded)
  • Resistant to harmonic vibration.

LightMart offers fiberglass light poles in a variety of styles. These include:

  • Round tapered and square shapes.
  • Direct burial or anchor base installation types.
  • 10- to 30-foot pole heights (custom heights available)
  • Multiple color options

Materials for light pole components

The shaft is not the only part of a light pole. There are other components as well and they are not always made from the same material as the shaft.

  • Anchor bolts, nuts, and washers
    • Anchor bolts, nuts, and washers are used to secure anchor base poles to their foundations. These components are always made from galvanized steel regardless of the material used to make the pole shaft.

  • Top caps:
    • For steel poles, the tops are made from plastic, and their fastening clips are made from steel.
    • For aluminum and fiberglass poles, the tops are made from cast aluminum.

  • Base covers:
    • For steel poles, the base covers are made from ABS plastic, thin steel, or aluminum.
    • For aluminum and fiberglass poles, the base covers are made from ABS plastic or aluminum.

  • Hand hole covers:
    • For steel poles, the hand hole covers are made from plastic, steel, or aluminum.
    • For aluminum and fiberglass poles, the hand hole covers are made from plastic or aluminum.