I too prefer steel. Even the thinner ones are better than plastic imho.
They don't flex, the corners are squarer so easier to seal and they come in
white which is fashionable.
As you say they aren't really colder. According to swmbo, who is the one for
baths, they are fine if you put hot only water in first.
Injection moulding is when hot, liquid plastic is injected, under high
pressure, into pre-shaped dies, usually of hardened steel. It can be used to
make very complex shapes and the bath may have strengthening ribs and / or
feet moulded in.
An acrylic bath has probably been made by vacuum moulding - a sheet of
plastic is held over a pre-shaped mould, heated until malleable, then sucked
onto the mould. The sheet becomes thinner on those parts that stretch -
probably the sides and bottom of the bath. The method can only be used for
fairly simple shapes, so these baths will probably have a plywood support
attached to the bottom with glass reinforced plastic and the feet will be
fitted separately, probably by screwing to the wooden support.
The steel bath will be formed in a press and bits like feet can be welded
on. The main disadvantage of steel baths is that they don't keep the water
as warm as plastic.
My personal choice was for an 8mm thick acrylic bath.
There are basic thin skin tin, thin skin fibergalls, cast iron and thick
acrylic or other plastic.
The thins stiff flexes, the timn is boringly shaped. The cast iron is
very cold, and brittle, and the enamel marks up. Its alos expensive./
Which is why I settled on very thick plastic - no idea whether its
injection or laid up, but its all of quarter of an inch thick minimum,
and doesn't flex, isn't cold, and doesn't chip.
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