Facts About Aluminum

7 Interesting Facts About Aluminum

Aluminum is a pervasive element—it’s the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. It’s also one of the most versatile metals. Its strength and lightness make it a popular material for most things, from cooking utensils to cars. Even rubies contain aluminum oxide crystals.

Aluminum is so common that it makes up around 8% of the Earth’s crust! So how much do you know about this ubiquitous metal? We’ll break down some of the most interesting facts about aluminum.

7 Interesting Facts About Aluminum

Aluminum isn’t just for spoons anymore! This metal is now used in everything from airplanes to utensils. Here are some interesting facts about aluminum.

Aluminum is Versatile and Light

Aluminum has a low density, which means it’s lighter than steel. This property makes it more energy-efficient to transport and less expensive to produce.

It’s strong, durable, and energy-efficient. It’s also easy to shape into different forms—you can bend it, roll it, form it into sheets and tubes, or stretch it into long wires. You can also coat aluminum with other metals, such as copper or zinc, for even more uses!

Aluminum Was More Important Than Gold and Silver

In the mid-1800s, aluminum was more important than gold and silver. That’s right: the metal you probably associate with cheap beer cans and foil pans was once so precious that it could be used as currency.

Napoleon III was a French politician who served as the President of France from 1848 until 1852. He was known for his extravagance, evident in his choice to serve dinner on aluminum plates to his most honored guests instead of gold and silver.

Now it’s been used to make everything from pots and pans to airplanes and boats, but it wasn’t until recently that its unique properties made it possible to use durable goods.

Recycling Aluminum Cans Saves a Ton of Energy!

Recycling aluminum cans uses 95% less energy than creating new aluminum.

According to the Aluminum Association, recycling one piece of aluminum can save enough energy to power an MP3 player. The Aluminum Association is dedicated to supporting the aluminum industry by promoting its use and development. It focuses on improving its performance and sustainability through research and innovation.

Recycling aluminum can save energy and resources, reduce carbon emissions, and lower costs associated with mining raw materials.

Aluminum recycling is a process that converts aluminum scrap into new, usable products. It takes 5% of the energy required to produce pure aluminum from ore.

In addition to helping the environment, recycling aluminum has a positive impact on the economy as well: it saves money by reducing the need for new raw materials and energy.

Pure Aluminum Doesn’t Exist Independently in Nature

Aluminum must be extracted from its naturally occurring compounds and purified before being used to make products.

Bauxite ore is the primary source of aluminum production for manufacturers. It comprises hydrated aluminum oxide, silica, and iron oxide—all of which must be separated before the aluminum can be extracted.

Separating these compounds depends on how many impurities are present in the bauxite ore. If a high impurity is present, the ore must undergo a more complex process before it can be used as input material for factory production.

This process usually involves dissolving the ore into an acid solution, followed by electrochemical reduction of the resulting salt (or alum). Finally, the resulting aluminum oxide is heated until it becomes molten and can be cast into blocks or ingots of pure aluminum metal.

Aluminum is Only 150 Years Old

When we think of the most common commercial metals, we generally think of iron, steel, and copper. But aluminum? Sure, it’s used in many things: airplanes, soda cans, foil—but it’s still a newcomer in the metal world. Yet, this abundant metallic element is one of the youngest commercial metals ever discovered.

Aluminum Is a Highly Reflective Metal

Aluminum reflects around 92% of visible light. This means that most of the light that hits it is reflected in the atmosphere and away from the ground.

This is why aluminum has a shiny appearance, unlike other metals, which may appear dull or matte.

Aluminum Doesn’t Rust Because It Has No Iron

Aluminum is an incredibly versatile material, from fabricating building components to installing windows and doors. And because it doesn’t rust (well, not in the same way as other metals), it’s an excellent choice for long-term outdoor applications.

Iron is a key ingredient in rusting, so if your aluminum is free of iron, there’s nothing for it to react with and turn into rust.

The oxide layer on aluminum is skinny and does not interfere with most mechanical properties of the metal. However, if this oxide layer is allowed to build up, it can cause problems for applications that require good electrical conductivity or are exposed to a lot of humidity.

Uses of Aluminum

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, and humans have used it for many years. As a result, this precious metal is easy to work with, relatively lightweight, malleable, and corrosion-resistant.

These qualities make aluminum a popular choice for construction—but its applications don’t stop there. Aluminum alloys are specially formulated combinations of aluminum and other metals designed for specific properties such as hardness or heat resistance. They are also used as raw materials for manufacturing aircraft, cars, trains, and trucks.

Aside from its many practical uses, aluminum alloys also have an important role in space structures and satellites.

Space structures must be able to withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and impacts while they’re traveling through space. Aluminum alloys are used because they can withstand these conditions without deforming or changing shape. For example, aluminum alloys are used to construct shock-resistant windows on the International Space Station (ISS).

Since aluminum is so lightweight and durable, it is an obvious choice for many different industries wanting to save on shipping costs. It is also super flexible, which makes it great for electrical wiring. This chemical element is most often used in the construction of buildings and vehicles due to its durability.

Use of aluminum hydroxide in antacids

Aluminum hydroxide works by neutralizing excess stomach acid, which helps relieve symptoms like heartburn and indigestion. It can also help prevent ulcers by reducing the amount of stomach acid that reaches your stomach lining.

Aluminum hydroxide may also be used to treat kidney failure and stomach acidity.

Use of Aluminum Powder in Fireworks

Aluminum powder is used in the pyrotechnic industry, which is one of the most important applications for aluminum. It makes fireworks, flares, rockets, propellants, and explosives. The exact composition of each type of firework depends on its intended use.

Is Aluminum Foil Toxic When Heated?

Aluminum foil is one of the most versatile materials in your kitchen. You can use it to wrap up leftovers, roast vegetables, and make baked potatoes. But what if you’re wondering whether aluminum foil is toxic when heated?

The risk of toxicity from ingesting aluminum as an ingredient in food or drink is shallow because cooking temperatures destroy any free ions from the aluminum foil, making them unable to enter your bloodstream and harm you.

However, heating aluminum foil on high heat can be dangerous for your health.

When exposed to high heat, aluminum can leach into your food and cause gastrointestinal distress or allergic reactions.

FAQ

Does Aluminum Eventually Rust?

Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal. That means it’s not iron-based, which means it doesn’t rust. Instead, it corrodes—which is a different process than rusting. Corrosion is the gradual deterioration of a material due to chemical reactions with its environment, while rusting occurs when iron reacts with oxygen in the air to form iron oxide.

Aluminum corrosion is when an aluminum surface reacts with oxygen to form aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxide protects the aluminum from further corrosion and degradation.

It acts as a barrier between the aluminum and the environment, preventing any contact with oxygen, water, or other elements that might cause corrosion.

What Is the Main Disadvantage of Pure Aluminum?

The main disadvantage of pure aluminum is that it’s a light, soft metal that doesn’t hold up well to repeated stress. Pure aluminum is also relatively easy to bend, so it’s not ideal for structural purposes. So instead, aluminum alloys are made by mixing them with other metals, making them stronger and more durable.

What Are the Health Risks of Cooking With Aluminum?

Cooking with aluminum doesn’t pose any health risks for healthy adults because their bodies can handle it just fine. But if you have a condition that makes you more sensitive to aluminum, you may want to avoid cooking with aluminum pots and pans.

Final Words

Aluminum is sturdy metal with shiny silver color. It was a metal of war first, but it’s now found in many modern items.

It’s lightweight, which makes it easy to transport, but it still has enough strength to withstand pressure and weight. These properties make aluminum an excellent choice for many uses!