Aluminum, the Modern Metal

Aluminum is one of the modern worlds more versatile materials. It is used in everything from soda cans to airliners. Aluminum can be molded, extruded, machined, cast, shaped and formed into such a variety of things that it is a wonder of modern metallurgical art. It was only during the 1880’s that a process was developed that made the widespread use of aluminum possible. Before the development of this process aluminum as a metal was more valuable than gold in it’s pure form.

Elementally speaking, aluminum has an atomic weight of 13 and is a member of the boron group of chemical elements. In its metal form it has a melting point of 660 degrees centigrade. Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. However it never occurs as a metal in nature because it is chemically too reactive. It is found as a compound in over 270 different minerals. The chief of these minerals being bauxite.

The ancients used alum, which most modern sources refer to as alumina from which aluminum comes from, as a astringent and a mordant for dyes. The scientist Wohler is generally credited with first isolating the metal in 1827. Alumina was used in the textile industry during the 1800’s as a mordant. It was through the discovery of a process for separating purer forms of alumina that the modern aluminum industry was born.

The Bayer process has changed very little since it was first used in 1887 and is still the chief method for separating aluminum from bauxite. The bauxite is washed in a caustic solution which separates the alumina bearing ores from the oxides and other material in the bauxite. Through the use of heat, pressure, and chemical processes, the alumina bearing ore is extracted and purified. Ultimately the ore is refined into aluminum which is used in its metal form by much of the world.

By itself aluminum is not a strong metal, however when alloyed with other metals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, silicone, and other elements, it develops very useful characteristics such as corrosion resistance, lightweight, and tensile strength. Aluminum is also insoluble in alcohol though it is be soluble in water in certain chemical forms.

In its alloyed form it has about a third of the density and stiffness of steel, which makes it useful as a structural material. Aluminum has replaced steel as the armor of choice for modern warships. It is also used as armor sheeting on many modern vehicles, due to it’s lightweight.

We are most familiar with aluminum as a metal. Its properties as a metal are highly desirable. It is corrosion resistant, nonmagnetic and non-sparking. When tempered and alloyed with the proper element, such as copper or manganese, it has enough tensile strength to be useful in many applications as a light yet durable structural material. Aluminum is also useful in the chemical industry, as an ingredient in explosives and other chemical processes. Aluminum retains its high reflectivity when powdered making it an important component in paints and coatings.

Aluminium Alloy

Aluminum is used extensively in our daily lives. The aerospace industry would be at a standstill without aluminum which makes up the material in most aircraft. The automotive industry also uses aluminum in engines, car frames, wheels and other parts of the vehicles we drive. Aluminum is in our kitchens as pots, pans, aluminum foil and various cooking utensils. Aluminum is also used in power transmission lines. Though not as conductive as copper it’s lightweight makes it ideal for power lines.

Aluminium Sheet

We live in what could be called the aluminum age, for it is the most commonly used metal in our daily lives, and is all around us in the cars we drive, the planes we fly in, the cans of soda we drink. Aluminum products are in all facets of our lives. There would be no space program without aluminum, which forms the major components of the International Space Station and space shuttle.

One of the advantages of aluminum is that it is 100 percent recyclable. All the various products made of aluminum can be melted down and reused to make more products, which when their usefulness is over can in their turn be recycled. From the soda can to the car engine, aluminum is a reusable resource.

Why Buy Aluminum Fences?

It’s better to buy aluminum fences because they quickly beautify your home, and add value to your landscape.

Another reason you should purchase aluminum products is because they are less costly in comparison with vinyl, and have a better overall appearance. You can find them in a variety of colors, which can match the design of your house. From residential to industrial type fences, you can buy aluminum products to suit your every need.

People also buy aluminum to enclose their swimming pool, protect their children and pets, and to secure their property.

Types of Aluminum Fences

You can purchase aluminum that fits your style and personality. Here is a short list of aluminum materials:

  • Picket Fence – These aluminum products are made to look like the traditional country type wooden fences with pickets.
  • Pool Fence – If you are going to buy aluminum, this fence probably should be the most important on your list. Accidental pool drowning is a major issue each year, because parents don’t safely block the pool entrance from a child, or infant. Have some peace of mind by purchasing a safety regulated aluminum pool fence.
  • Industrial Aluminum – These are the kind of aluminum that you see at shopping malls, restaurants and other public areas that need strong and secure aluminum gates and fences.
  • Aluminum Chain Link – If you wish to buy aluminum that offer more sunlight to get through, you should try an aluminum chain link fence. These are very durable, strong, and can handle any tough weather elements. They are very resistant to strong wind, and are also called hurricane fences.

Top Reasons to Buy Aluminum

  1. Aluminum is usually a very good selection for extreme climates. This makes them a great choice in many communities. Aluminum fences won’t rust like iron, and won’t enlarge like wood. It’s probably the most popular type of fencing around swimming pools across the country
  2. Aluminum fence products have a natural powder coating that helps protect the paint. It’s very strong, and you don’t need to worry about repainting it all of the time, like wood.
  3. Another reason to buy aluminum is because it’s cheaper than steel, and most wood. In addition, its durability makes it even cheaper than vinyl over the years.
  4. Do-it-yourself buyers love the fact that it is very easy to install.
  5. Aluminum is one of the most recycled materials in the world. There’s no need to chop down trees, or use other material that isn’t green friendly. If you buy aluminum fences, you are helping to protect nature, and you are being environmentally friendly.
  6. Aluminum fences have very low maintenance related work and cost. For most people, it’s pretty much a set it, and forget it fixture. There is nothing worse than buying something, which requires constant repairs and tweaking. For this reason, most people prefer to buy aluminum fences over any other.

Conclusion

Now that you understand some of the benefits you get when you buy aluminum fences, it’s a good to take your time, and find the type of aluminum fence that is best for your home, or business.

Aluminum Coil: An Earth-Friendly Industrial Material

Whether a project calls for aluminum foil (thinner than 0.006 inches in thickness) or aluminum sheet (0.006 inches to 0.070 inches in thickness), aluminum coil is behind the manufacturing process. Aluminum coil is formed by taking one continuous strip of aluminum and coiling it into a roll.

Some of the advantages of aluminum coil is that it is lightweight, heavy duty and able to resist corrosion. By a process called anodizing, whereby the aluminum surface is coated with a protective oxide, that corrosion resistance can be improved even further. As a result, manufacturers who need to increase their productivity and require parts that can withstand the elements rely on aluminum coil to get the job done.

Why might they opt for aluminum coiling over another durable material like steel or copper? At about 33% the density and weight of steel, aluminum renders parts that are much lighter, thereby reducing handling costs and shipping fees. What’s more, is the cost is about 50% that of copper.

In fact, according to the Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, aluminum versus copper has become “The Great Condensing Coil Debate.” In that article published by the industrial news source, while controversy stirs about one versus the other, one thing is clear. Condensing coils made from aluminum have made air conditioning more affordable. “That (aluminum coil) brought the cost of an a/c system down, making it more palatable to consumers and builders.”

But the heating, ventilation and air conditioning sector isn’t the only industry in which aluminum coil is used. The transportation industry, in fact, is the largest user of the product in the United States, accounting for close to 30% of all that is produced in the nation. Indeed, the average car driven in this country contains over 275 pounds of aluminum, and some luxury car makers use aluminum sheeting to make the entire bodies of their vehicles. Perhaps that’s why aluminum has become the most abundantly produced non-iron metal.

In the construction industry, aluminum coil is also being used more and more frequently as trim to cover base materials on homes. Because the aluminum can be anodized with a decorative oxide and comes in a wide variety of colors, it provides a pleasing finishing feature. Best of all, it is easy to install, making it a nice home project for the do it yourselfer. The most typical way in which aluminum coil is put to use in homes is as a trim finish for windows, soffit boarding, siding and roof edging.

Beyond these industrial advantages, aluminum is extremely kind to the environment thanks to its ability to be recycled. That ecological friendliness is further enhanced by aluminum’s ability to be recycled an infinite number of times. In the transportation industry alone, that adds up to substantial benefits to the earth. In concrete terms, the average car is made up for about 7% aluminum, yet aluminum amounts to around 40% of the total material scrap value of the average vehicle at the end of its useful life.