Aluminium also called Aluminum is one of the most occurring metals in the Earth’s crust. They are rarely found in their pure state and usually seen as bauxite ores. The nonferrous metal is lightweight, shiny, and exhibits excellent thermal and conductivity properties. We all come across this metal in our daily lives in one or another form of it. Let us discuss in detail the history, the physical and chemical properties, and the applications of Aluminium metal.
History Of The Metal
Hans Christian Oersted, a scientist from Denmark, discovered Aluminium in the year 1825. Years before that, Greeks and Romans used Alum, a naturally occurring salt that contains Aluminium for medicinal and dyeing purposes. The base of Alum was called “alumine” by de Morveau, a French chemist in the year 1761. Later by the year 1807, Davy identified the metal and named it Aluminum, but he failed to isolate the metal.
IUPAC adopted the name aluminum for the metal, which is considered as the international standard. American Chemical Society chose to call the metal Aluminum, resulting in Americans and Canadians following this spelling for the element. Whereas, the rest of the English speaking world uses the spelling aluminium for the metal.
Physical Properties Of Aluminium
The silvery and shiny metal looks like steel in its appearance and has a soft and smooth surface. Aluminium has a density of 2.68 and melts at a temperature of 640°. The lightweight metal is a good conductor of heat and electricity but is not as efficient as the metal copper. But the metal is preferred more than copper due to its lightweight and low cost.
Aluminium is one of the most ductile and malleable metals. It can be easily molded to make different shapes without breaking or cracking. Its low melting point compared to other metals, making it a cost-effective metal for molding. They are classified under paramagnetic substances due to their non-magnetic properties. Aluminium has high reflective properties; the MgF2 or SiO2 coated metal is used as a substrate for mirrors.
Chemical Properties Of Aluminium
Aluminium is a non-corrosive metal. The oxide layer formed over the metal prevents it from further oxidation. Aluminium is classified under amphoteric oxides as it reacts with both acids and alkalis. Aluminium is a non-reactive metal and doesn’t react with hot or cold water. However, the metal reacts with steam to produce hydrogen gas.
Aluminium has a high affinity towards oxygen, and so the metal is never found in its pure form in nature. The metal in pure form is fragile. Hence, alloys of Aluminium are usually used for most of the applications. Aluminium metal, its oxides, and hydroxides are nontoxic inherently.
Aluminium – The Metal of Future
Aluminium is used in our day to day life and in fact it is making modern life easier. From the smart phones in your hand to the building where you work, you can see the applications of Aluminium. Industry experts are expecting more demand for this metal in future.
Application of Aluminium
Aircraft And Space Shuttles
Aluminium has various applications in transportation, packaging, and construction industries. The winged metal is used in the construction of airplanes and airships widely, to be precise 70 to 80 percent of its structure. The objectives of aircraft designers to design a light structure, have a maximum capacity, high fuel efficiency, and don’t corrode overtime was met by using Aluminium metal.
The widely used alloy of Aluminium is 7075 made of Aluminium, zinc, magnesium, and copper. The strength of this combination is comparable to that of steel and weighs just one-third of steel. Aluminium is used in the manufacturing of space shuttles and rockets. The metal is found in the body of the space shuttle, in the antennas, in the fuel tank, etc.
Manufacturing of Cars
In modern car manufacturing, Aluminium metal has a significant role. Aluminum has replaced the steel metal that has widely been used in this industry before. When given more importance to fuel efficiency, design, and gas emission, Aluminum is chosen over steel by the car manufacturers. Aluminium was first used in the making of body parts of premium cars like Audi, BMW, Jaguar, etc. Closed-loop production facility wherein old aluminium cars parts are recycled to make new ones are highly appreciated for its environmental benefits.
By 2014 cars entirely made in Aluminium were introduced into the market with a reduction of approximately 315 kg from the preceding model. The fuel efficiency of these cars was better with a significantly lowered amount of carbon dioxide emissions. The metal has excellent shock-absorbing capabilities and is widely used in bumpers. Another reason for the wide acceptability of the metal is because the deformations are highly localized.
Aluminium in Building Construction
Modern building designs consider the aesthetic part as necessary as its functional features. From the building of main structures like the roof to interior decoration, Aluminium metal is an all-time favorite of architects and designers due to its different properties. Exceptional strength to weight ratio, low maintenance cost, easy availability, sustainability features are the main reasons for its popularity in the construction sector.
Aluminium in pure form has relatively low strength, and so alloys are used for various construction applications. The 5000 series magnesium alloys and 6000 series magnesium silicon alloys are widely used alloys of Aluminium in the construction sector. Applications in the construction sector include windows, roofing, cladding, architectural glazing, partitions, etc.
Aluminium in Packaging Applications
Aluminium is one of the most versatile metals due to its ductile and malleable properties. Aluminium foils are ideal packaging options. The thickness of the foil is between 0.004 and 0.24 mm. Even at this small thickness, it offers low permeability towards light, air, or bacteria. The nontoxic aluminium foils are best suited for packaging food items. About one-fourth of the foil produced is used for technical applications rather than for packaging.
Aluminium cans are the most recyclable kind of food containers. Within just 60 days duration, a used Aluminium can is recycled and used again. The production cost of Aluminium cans is higher when compared to that of glass bottles. But, the maintenance charges are too low. Recycled cans exhibit the same properties as that of fresh cans, and a considerable amount of energy can be saved by using recycling products.
Application In Electronics
Global electronics use Aluminium to replace plastic and steel from the products. Aluminium is more reliable than plastic and dissipates heat more efficiently than steel. Apple and other leading names in electronic products use the metal as an integral part of their tablets, smartphones, PCs, etc. The metal has a significant role in power electronics; the metal efficiently transmits the power over thousands of miles.
Unibody technology developed by Apple for the manufacture of its products has significantly reduced the weight of the product. In this technology, the entire item is made from one large piece of metal. Luxury radio and audio brands also opt Aluminium over other metals due to the vast range of design options they provide. Aluminium is used in the production of microelectronic components like capacitors. Production of antennas and radar construction demands a considerable amount of Aluminium metal.
The Making Process of Aluminium
- Bauxite Mining: Aluminium production starts with Bauxite mining. It is seen in the top layer of the soil and so we need to perform the open mining. Bauxite resources are seen in the tropical and subtropical regions.
- Refining: Bauxite needs to refine to get alumina. For that, the Bayer process is used. From 3 tonnes of Bauxite, we will get only one tonne of Alumina. During the refining process, caustic soda is used.
- Smelting: Now we have the alumina with us. To convert it into Aluminium, we do the Hall-Heroult process. It is a lengthy process and consists of reduction cells and temperature modification equipment.
- Casting: In this stage, different alloys are added to the aluminium to get desired products. It is melted at higher temperature and poured into desired packs and moulds.
Aluminium Fabrication Products and Services from Rainbow Aluminium
Rainbow Aluminium is one of the best aluminium fabricators in UAE. With 30+ years of experience in the industry, we offer the different aluminium fabrication services and aluminium products. It includes
Doors seem to be an important feature for every house and building. It welcomes the guest and so it provides the first impression. So while choosing the door, you should take utmost care. Aluminium door is one of the best choices to create a wonderful appearance. Rainbow Aluminium offers a wide range of aluminium doors.
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Placing the windows and ventilations in the right part of your house will help you to make your inner space beautiful and cool. It lets the sunlight get into the house. Sunlight being the natural antidepressant, it is very good for your health. Rainbow Aluminium offers a wide range of aluminium windows. Choose the best that suits you better.
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ACP cladding or Aluminium cladding is another aluminium fabrication work available from Rainbow Aluminium. It is available all around UAE and you can directly contact us for the service.
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Rainbow Aluminium provides the best maintenance works around the UAE. It is the best maintenance company in Dubai.
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Mashrabiya is one of the vital constructions in all Middle East countries. In the ancient period, it was made from wood and other metals. But now in this modern world, Aluminium Mashrabiya is more popular. It will protect the house from extreme climatic conditions.
In every house, glass partitions become an important part. It is used in different areas. Rainbow Aluminium provides the top range glass partition. Even after the installation, we provide the top most maintenance works too.
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In every modern house, you will be able to see a folding door. It makes your house extra elegant and provides much space and luxury. Rainbow Aluminium provides different types of folding doors made from aluminium. Contact us for enquiry.
Read about Different Types of Folding Doors available in Rainbow Aluminium.
Rainbow is one of the best aluminium sheet suppliers in UAE. You can contact us directly to get any modes of aluminium sheets.
Aluminium, with its unique characteristics, has become an integral part of our lives. As one of the most sustainable metals, Aluminium has gained popularity as a green metal with the least carbon footprint. From the simplest application of an Aluminium foil to the complicated application of space travel, the metal offers excellent versatility in applications.