An extremely versatile metal with a number of advantages, it is recognized for being both lightweight and flexible. It can be cast, melted, formed, machined, and extruded meaning that it can be manufactured into a variety of shapes and then subsequently fabricated to suit a whole variety of uses.
Due to its extreme versatility and strength, the use of Aluminum is becoming more popular, especially with the advantages it has to offer.
Advantages of Aluminum:
- Light Weight - a known lightweight metal, it has a specific weight of approximately 2.71 g/cm3. It’s about a third of the weight of steel, which makes it easier and cheaper to transport than most other metals. The strength of aluminum can be adapted using varying alloying elements to provide better benefits including higher strength or easier formability. Because of its lightweight nature, corrosion resistance and ease of fabrication, aluminum are the firm for projects like vehicle paneling, artwork, building cladding and kitchen fitting among other applications
- Corrosion Resistance - a corrosion resistant metal that naturally generates a protective coating. The coating formed is extremely thin and is generated when aluminum comes into contact with an oxidizing environment. This protective aluminum oxide layer helps protect the surface of the metal from corrosion. Additionally, getting surface treatment such as painting or anodizing can further improve the overall corrosion resistance of the metal.
- Electrical and Thermal Conductivity - it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Although aluminum is not as conductive as copper it is approximately a third of the weight meaning that an aluminum wire with half the weight of a copper wire would have the same amount of electrical resistance. As a result, it is the chosen material for power transmission lines. It is also an excellent conductor of heat and is used as heatsinks in a variety of applications such as LED lights, electrical products, computer motherboards, etc.
- Reflectivity and Ductility - another benefit of Aluminum is that it serves as a good reflector. It is used in rescue blankets and light fittings because of its ability to reflect both light and heat.
- Odorless and Impermeable - even with 0.007 mm thickness of aluminum foil, it is still impermeable and doesn’t have a substance taste or smell. This is non-toxic and often used for packaging of the sensitive products including pharmaceuticals and food.
- Recyclability - contrary to what most people think, aluminum is a 100% recyclable and during the recycling process, it retains all of its original properties. During production, it is more cost-effective to use recycled metal than prime metal out of the ground and so, during production, as much recycled material is used as possible.
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