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Engineering Materials - Nonferrous Metals - Aluminum


Materials: Non-Ferrous Metals


Non - Ferrous Metals

Aluminum

Pure aluminum is a silvery-white metal with many desirable characteristics. It is light, nontoxic (as the metal), nonmagnetic and nonsparking. It is easily formed, machined, and cast. Pure aluminum is soft and lacks strength, but alloys with small amounts of copper, magnesium, silicon, manganese, and other elements have very useful properties. Aluminum is an abundant element in the earth's crust, but it is not found free in nature. The Bayer process is used to refine aluminum from bauxite, an aluminum ore. Because of aluminum's mechanical and physical properties, it is an extremely convenient and widely used metal.

Some Common Uses -

Building & Construction Industry:

  • door and window frames
  • wall cladding, roofing, awnings

Manufacture of Electrical Products:

  • high tension power lines, wires, cables, busbars
  • components for television, radios, refrigerators and air-conditioners

Packaging & Containers:

  • beverage cans, bottle tops
  • foil wrap, foil semi-rigid containers

Cooking Utensils:

  • kettles and saucepans

Aeronautical, Aviation & Automotive Industries:

  • propellers
  • airplane and vehicle body sheet
  • gearboxes, motor parts

Leisure Goods:

  • tennis racquets, softball bats
  • indoor and outdoor furniture

Properties -

  • very lightweight (about 1/3 the mass of an equivalent volume of steel or copper) but with alloying can become very strong.
  • excellent thermal conductor
  • excellent electrical conductor (on a weight-for-mass basis, aluminium will conduct more than twice as much electricity as copper)
  • highly reflective to radiant energy in the electromagnetic spectrum
  • highly corrosion resistant in air and water (including sea water)
  • highly workable and can be formed into almost any structural shape
  • non-magnetic
  • non-toxic

See Also Reference Tables -

 
Aluminum

 

 

 




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