Aluminum began to spread in Italy around the 1930s, attracting great interest due to its modern impact as a light, shiny material. Initially used in the industrial and automotive sectors, it was later used in construction as well.
While aluminum was subject to early experimentation in Italy, in Europe with Le Corbusier, a Swiss architect, urban planner, painter and designer, the Fenêtre en longueur or aluminum ribbon fenestration was born. Large windows run along entire facades and promote greater interior lighting.
Around the 1950s, aluminum made its way into homes, thanks to its characteristics of slenderness, strength and longevity.
As a result of the energy crisis of the 1970s and the consequent greater demand for thermal insulation of homes, the counter-window, or a second window installed on the outer edge of the building, quickly became popular in order to improve the thermal insulation of the existing wooden window frame.
These counter-windows were made exclusively of anodized aluminum in order to achieve maximum weather resistance, thus promoting the use of anodized aluminum components for doors and windows in Italy.
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that applies an artificial oxide coating to the metal alloy, greatly increasing resistance toward chemical attack from smog and weathering. This technique was also used to color the aluminum profile, although, at the time only bronze and silver were available as colors.
With the subsequent spread of powder coating and the image sublimation method, the aesthetic results became more versatile.
In the early 1980s, the aluminum window frame took the place of the wood frame or continued to be used as a second frame to protect those already installed.
Aluminum is chosen because of the low maintenance required, but despite its versatility, it has the drawback for windows and doors that it is a very good conductor of heat and, therefore, does not provide very good performance in terms of thermal insulation.
Moreover, the absence of thermal breaks between the exterior and interior of the profiles leads to the formation of condensation on the interior facade of the windows and doors.
To compensate for such poor thermal performance, in the mid-1980s profiles began to be produced with a thermal cut, that is, with the outer part of the profile separated from the inner part by a plastic insert, thus promoting insulation and reducing the formation of condensation.
Continuous technical improvements have allowed the spread of mixed systems such as , wood-aluminum, where an aluminum profile is applied externally to the wooden window frame in order to vary the aesthetic performance and increase the life of the window/door itself; aluminum-wood, whose aluminum structure has a wood cover on the inner side, for a more natural aesthetic performance and superior thermal and acoustic insulation performance; and pvc-aluminum, with PVC on the inside to give thermal and acoustic insulation, and aluminum on the outside for an aesthetic function and protection against pollutants.
Tied to the need to improve the functional performance of its windows and doors, Agostini Group was one of the first companies to introduce the technology of coupling wood and aluminum, creating an innovative coupling system between wood and aluminum and, in the 2000s, replacing aluminum itself with the exclusive Fibex Inside technology, obtaining international certifications.