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Differences Between Aluminum, Steel & Resin Pools

By Raul Avenir ; Updated September 21, 2017

Above-ground pools are a good alternative to the much more expensive in-ground pools. Other than the significant savings, above-ground pools are also movable and easy to install. Aluminum, steel and resin are three of the most common materials used in the construction of above-ground pools. Each type has its own advantages.

Corrosion Resistance

Above-ground pools have metal frames and posts that are typically made of aluminum, steel or resin. Some people prefer resin because resin does not rust or oxidize. Aluminum posts and frames in an above-ground pool are resistant to rust, but aluminum oxidizes and weakens over time. Aluminum becomes rough and pits as it oxidizes; the resulting texture can cause pinholes in the pool's liner. Steel is the strongest among the three materials, but steel eventually rusts, especially when it comes in contact with water.


Aluminum pools generally cost considerably less than an all-resin plastic pool. Aluminum is more abundant in supply and is more commonly used in fabricating structural frameworks. One hundred percent resin pools are generally much more expensive than aluminum. Creating resin parts for a pool involves an injection molding process which is an expensive and complicated method. Steel pools are the cheapest among the three types because steel is more abundant and is cheaper than both aluminum and resin.


An aluminum above-ground pool can have aluminum walls, uprights, bottom track and top rails. Aluminum is a lightweight material which is why it is easier to disassemble and move an aluminum pool. A resin above-ground pool has a frame and posts constructed of resin, which is a hard yet flexible compound naturally produced by plants. Steel is the strongest among the three materials which is why steel above-ground pools offer the strongest structural support.

Heat Absorption

Unlike above-ground pools made of aluminum, a resin above-ground pool does not normally become hot to the touch. With a resin pool, swimmers do not have to worry about burns caused by coming in contact with hot metal surfaces even during the hottest summer months. Aluminum tends to absorb and retain heat which is why aluminum parts can become hot during a sunny day. Steel is a good thermal conductor; it also absorbs heat from the sun. Like an aluminum above-ground pool, metal surfaces on a steel above-ground pool become hot on a sunny day.


About the Author


Raul Avenir has been writing for various websites since 2009, authoring numerous articles concentrated on business and technology. He is a technically inclined businessman experienced in construction and real estate development. Aside from being an accountant, Avenir is also a business consultant. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in business administration.