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Uses of Aluminium

Uses of Aluminium

Aluminium is the third most abundant element on earth, and there is no other metal compared to its versatility. It is commonly used in many different industries and is incredibly popular because of the following benefits:

  • Strong
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Malleable
  • Ductile
  • Odourless
  • Conductive
  • Non combustible

Aluminium can be 100% recycled without losing its natural properties. The recycling process only needs 5% of the energy required to produce new material from the ground, saving on costs. With its characteristics, aluminium can be efficiently used in different industries including architectural, transportation, consumer goods, and electrical products.

What is it used for?

Architectural

Because aluminium is both strong and lightweight it is ideal for architectural applications. The high strength to weight ratio means that it can be fixed to buildings using less fixings than steel for example. Used as both the cladding panels as sheet and the panel framework as extrusion, it is a good radiator of heat and with a anodised finish, it requires minimal maintenance.

Because it is also relatively easy to fabricate, it can be cut, curved, punched and folded to the desired style and look of the architects needs. This allows the modern architects to have freedom in creating a building that they desire and achieve necessary surface treatment like anodising. A good example of how aluminium has been used to enhance both the design and practicality of a building is the Greenwich Energy Centre.

Transportation

Aluminium is used for in transportation because of its weight and strength. With lighter weight, it is easier for the vehicle to manoeuvre and drive, leading to better fuel efficiency.

A common use of aluminium in transportation is for aeronautical applications and aircraft seating. Although it is not the most durable metal, it helps increase the strength of other metals when combined. The automotive industry relies heavily on the use of aluminium and steel as it gives them fuel efficiency and manages to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It allows developers to reduce the weight of trains to cut down on friction resistance.

Consumer Goods

As aluminium is easier to handle and is efficient, it is commonly used in the production of different consumer goods. From flat screen TVs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even some household items, aluminium makes it look modern yet sophisticated with its finish.

The metal has excellent heat conductivity meaning that it is widely used as heatsinks in electrical appliances.

Electrical

Aluminium has a low density that makes it a good option for long distance power lines. This is more ductile compared to copper, which enables it to be merged easily with wires. Being resistant to corrosion is exceptionally beneficial in the electrical industry to protect the cables from the harsh elements.

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