If you’re into cooking, you probably used aluminum foil once or twice to make cooking easier and faster. Once used, you can discard the foil and replace it with another roll if you need more. But did you know that Aluminum used to be one of the most expensive metals in the world? What are the properties that make it important, and why is it used to be more expensive than gold and diamond? Read on to find more about Aluminum.

What is Aluminum, and why is it important?

Aluminum is one of the known elements that can be found on Earth. It has the symbol of “Al” and is placed in the 13th spot of the periodic table of elements. The metal is usually found in the Earth’s crust, where it is the third most abundant element. However, pure Aluminum was once hard to extract to its industrial form, making it very expensive. The oldest record of Aluminum usage is by Herodotus, in which it was then called as an alum and is used for dyeing mordant.

Back when it was not produced as easily, Aluminum was considered a symbol of wealth. Napoleon III even used aluminum plates for food servings on his state, while rank and file guests used gold or silver plates.

Common Usages of Aluminum

You can see Aluminum being used in common household items like kitchen utensils, soda cans, aluminum foils, and even wiring for electrical devices. The use of Aluminum in food packaging is widely known because of its non-toxic properties. Machinery equipment such as pipes, tools, and replacement parts are often made with Aluminum because of its strength and durability. It can also be mixed with other compounds to form more powerful ones.

Aluminum’s major uses are related to transportation. From a very simple bicycle model to the everyday automobiles and aircraft, you can find at least one aluminum part. Spacecrafts are also made with this metal because it is lightweight yet durable.

Characteristics of Aluminum

1. Color and density

Aluminum, in its solid form, is often a silvery-white and soft metal. In fact, if you compare it with stainless steel and even Silver, the difference is hard to spot for inexperienced eyes. Its density is at 2.7 g/mL, which makes it sink in the water, but it is also light enough compared to other metals.

2. Reflective

Fresh films of Aluminum can reflect up to 98% of visible light. It is one of the most reflective metals, along with Silver. In fact, because of its 98% reflectability, a beam of light is reflected with almost lossless quality. Aluminum sheets are used for protection and decoration for a lot of building structures.

3. Ductility and magnetism

Aluminum can be processed into thin sheets because of its ductility. In fact, aluminum foil is rolled down until the thickness is equal to or less than 0.2 mm. It is currently one of the most malleable metals. Unlike other metals out there, Aluminum is non-magnetic.

4. Lightweight

Aluminum is usually used in industrial applications because of its two defining physical characteristics: durable yet lightweight. It is lighter than steel, with only 2.7 g/cm3 specific weight. This property is the reason why vehicles use Aluminum, as it reduces overall weight while increasing the load capacity.

5. Reaction to temperature change

The more you expose Aluminum in low temperatures, the stronger it can become. It is usually used in colder climates as an alternative to steel, which becomes brittle when subjected to low temperatures. However, as a trade-off, its low melting point makes it unfavorable for high-temp applications.

6. Corrosion immunity

Because of a phenomenon called “passivation,” Aluminum is not affected by corrosion and rusting as much as other metals. The corrosion immunity happens because the aluminum surface naturally produces a layer of oxide that prevents corrosion. Aluminum does not react to air because of this protective oxide layer surrounding it.

7. Recyclable

One of the major reasons why Aluminum is a major industry is its recyclability. Even if the Aluminum to be recycled is old, it will be nearly identical to the Aluminum freshly processed from the Earth’s crust. Companies are not required to process new Aluminum because recycling is more viable than processing raw materials. Besides, the recycling process only uses 5% of the energy required to make a new batch.

8. Reactive with water

When water touches Aluminum, it causes the metal to react and make hydrogen gas. This reaction is usually observed in aluminum conductor strands. Although the reaction occurs, it is not the main problem when this phenomenon happens. Instead, the buildup of hydrogen gas in a container will cause high pressures and can damage the container itself (whether its wires or cables).

9. Reactive with hot acid

Additionally, Aluminum will react to several acid solutions at varying speeds and temperatures. Examples of these acids are sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. When it comes to hydrochloric acid, you only need room temperature to get some reaction. Aluminum alloys can react differently, depending on the alloy included.

10. Electric and heat conductivity

Although Aluminum has a low melting point (only 660 °C, compared to gold with 1,064 °C), it is still a good heat and electricity conductor. Aluminum wires are almost twice as good as copper and are used for power lines, as long as you’re not exposing it to more than 660 °C

What are the useful properties of aluminum?

This is because of its particular properties. It has low density, is non-toxic, has a high thermal conductivity, has excellent corrosion resistance and can be easily cast, machined and formed. It is also non-magnetic and non-sparking. It is the second most malleable metal and the sixth most ductile.

What are the properties of Aluminium metal?

Properties and advantages of aluminium
  • Thermal and electrical conductivity. Aluminium conducts heat and electricity excellently.
  • Reflectivity.
  • Nontoxic features.
  • Recyclability.
  • Finishability.
  • Strength.
  • High strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Ease of fabrication.

What are two characteristics of aluminum?

Aluminum Characteristics
  • Non-corrosive.
  • Easily machined and cast.
  • Lightweight yet durable.
  • Non-magnetic and non-sparking.
  • Good heat and electrical conductor.

What are the mechanical properties of aluminum?

The mechanical properties of aluminum and aluminum alloy
  • tensile strength.
  • yield strength in tension.
  • Tensile elongation.
  • fatigue strength.
  • hardness.
  • elastic modulus.

What are 3 physical properties of aluminum?

Physical Properties of Aluminum

Aluminum is silvery-white in color. It melts at 1220.576 Fahrenheit and boils at 4472.33. Aluminum has an atomic weight of 26.98154, and an atomic radius of 143.1 pm. It is one of the most ductile and malleable metals.

What are the disadvantages of aluminum?

Disadvantages : Aluminum requires special processes to be welded. It is abrasive to tooling, or more accurately, the aluminum oxide coating that forms upon it is. It is more expensive than steel.

How do you classify aluminum?

Aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13. Classified as a post-transition metal, Aluminum is a solid at room temperature.

What type of material is Aluminium?

Aluminum (Al), also spelled aluminium, chemical element, a lightweight silvery white metal of main Group 13 (IIIa, or boron group) of the periodic table. Aluminum is the most abundant metallic element in Earth’s crust and the most widely used nonferrous metal.

What is the most common aluminum alloy?

3003 aluminum is the most widely used aluminum alloy. It has excellent workability and corrosion resistance and reacts well to finishing such as laminating or anodizing. It is a non-heat treatable metal.

What is pure aluminum?

Pure aluminum is a soft, ductile and non-magnetic metal that belongs to the boron group and is identified by atomic number 13 because its atoms contain 13 electrons and 13 protons. To be considered pure aluminum, the metal needs to consist of 99% aluminum.

What is the most pure aluminum?

Pure aluminium of 99% or higher purity (A1 99.5, with iron and silicon as the major impurities) has many applications, for example in packaging and electronics. These alloys have good formability and corrosion resistance, high thermal and electrical conductivity, low mechanical properties and excellent workability.

What is the purest form of Aluminium?

As stated earlier, alum 1100, often referred to as commercially pure, is at least 99% pure aluminum. Its other main components are copper (. 05% to .

What is the example of aluminum?

General Use of Aluminum

For example, the common aluminum foils and beverage cans are alloys of 92% to 99% aluminum. Some of the many uses for aluminum metal are in: Transportation as sheet, tube, castings, etc. Packaging (cans, foil, etc. )

What are 5 uses of Aluminium?

5 Most Common Applications of Aluminium
  • #5 – Precision Tubing in motor vehicles, refrigerators, air conditioning, solar panels etc.
  • #4 – Power Lines.
  • #3 – Rolled Aluminium products.
  • #2 – Heat sinks for cooling CPU’s and graphics processors.
  • #1 – Construction.

What’s another name for aluminum?

In this page you can discover 17 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for aluminum, like: al, aluminium, periodic-table, stainless-steel, alloy, titanium, steel, atomic number 13, anodize, anodise and carbon-fiber.

Which is correct aluminum or Aluminium?

This is because it is goes by both aluminum and aluminium. The modern distinction between these two terms is clear: aluminum is correct in American English, as well as Canadian English, while aluminium is correct in British English, as well as most other forms of English.

What is the mean of aluminum?

: a bluish silver-white malleable ductile light trivalent metallic element that has good electrical and thermal conductivity, high reflectivity, and resistance to oxidation and is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust where it always occurs in combination —symbol Al — see Chemical Elements Table.

What is the antonym for aluminum?

The word aluminum typically refers to the chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. There are no categorical antonyms for this word. However, in the context of its use as a material for fabrication, one could loosely use the names of alternative materials as antonyms, e.g., steel, titanium, etc.

What is the opposite word of all?

Opposites in English – Word list – A – F
WordOpposite
A
alivedead
allnone
to allowto forbid

What is another word for metal?

synonyms for metal
  • alloy.
  • ingot.
  • ore.
  • deposit.
  • foil.
  • leaf.
  • load.
  • plate.

Where do you find bauxite?

Bauxite is typically found in topsoil located in various tropical and subtropical regions. The ore is acquired through environmentally responsible strip-mining operations. Bauxite reserves are most plentiful in Africa, Oceania and South America.