Aluminium is a silvery metal and is one of the most widespread metals in the world.
Many everyday objects are constructed of aluminium – cans, foil, pots, pans, and even window frames and aeroplane parts.
It is one of the most popular metals in the fabrication industry – but why?
There are countless advantages to using metal – not only is it lightweight, but it’s flexible and versatile. It can be melted, formed, cast, and manipulated into any shape for a variety of uses.
Keep reading to learn more about aluminium and why it’s such a popular metal.
Aluminium is Corrosion Resistant
Not all metal is great in terms of corrosion resistance, but aluminium naturally generates a protective coating.
The aluminium oxide coating is very thin and generates when the metal comes into contact with oxygen.
This protects the aluminium surface from corrosion. To further protect aluminium from corrosion, you can paint or anodise the metal.
Aluminium is Recyclable
In recent years, there is a much larger focus on recycling. Recycling metal can protect our environments and even have positive effects on our economy.
One of the best things about aluminium is that it’s 100% recyclable. In fact, many clients in 2021 won’t work with metals that aren’t recyclable.
During the recycling process, aluminium retains all of its original properties, so it’s encouraged that any discarded aluminium products are recycled.
It’s more cost-effective to use recycled metal than to use metal from the ground, so recycled material is used as much as possible.
Aluminium is Lightweight
One of the key reasons that aluminium is used by fabricators all around the world is that it’s lightweight, with a low weight of 2.71 g/cm3.
It’s three times lighter than steel, meaning that it’s far easier and cheaper to transport than other types of metal.
Aluminium can be strengthened by adding alloying elements, which can also make for easier formability.
Aluminium is a Great Conductor
Another reason that aluminium is so widely used is that it’s a great conductor of heat and electricity.
Aluminium isn’t as conductive as copper – however, it’s a third of the weight, making it much more efficient.
This is the reason that aluminium is used for power transmission lines – an aluminium wire with just half of the weight of wire made of copper will have the same electrical resistance.
Aluminium also conducts heat well, which is why it’s often used as heatsinks in LED light and other electrical appliances and products.
Aluminium is Customisable
Aluminium is so popular as it’s easily fabricated, manipulated, and customised. It can be easily fabricated for a variety of purposes, which is why aluminium products are used all around the globe.
It can also be polished and powder coated to whichever finish is needed, making it easily customisable.
Performance coatings (e.g powder coating) can be added, as can mechanical finishes such as grinding or sanding.
You can also use sublimation finishes with a patterned film, or dipped finishes in nitric acids and phosphorous for a stylish mirrored appearance.