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What Are the Common and Industrial Uses of Aluminum?

Author : Jordan Last Updated :

Why is aluminum so important to human development?

Despite relatively short application history is, aluminum products on the market now far exceed the sum of other non-ferrous metal products.

applications of aluminum

Among the ten key industries, five belongs to the field of transportation which is a crucial area for lightweight development needing a large amount of aluminum. The other five are information technology, robot, power industry, agricultural machinery, and medicine, which are also the main application areas of aluminum.

Besides, aluminum makes our lives more convenient. From the most commonly used items, we can see that almost all home appliances use aluminum.

What are 13 properties of aluminum?

1. Low density

Aluminum is the first choice for lightweight because it is a light metal with a density of one-third of that of iron and copper.

aluminum shows low density

That is to say, using aluminum material can greatly reduce the weight, save energy consumption, and increase the loading capacity.

2. Being Recyclable

aluminum products are recyclable

Aluminum can be recycled repeatedly, so it is the metal with the longest life cycle. Recycled aluminum has the same performance just as primary aluminum, and even can save 95% of energy consumption in the regeneration process.

3. Corrosion resistance

Aluminum does not corrode due to excellent oxidation and corrosion resistance thus being used in harsh environments that are exposed to sunlight, rain and water.

4. Ideal thermal conductor and conductivity

aluminum's Ideal thermal conductor

Thermal conductivity of aluminum is three times that of iron. Aluminum has two-thirds of copper's electrical conductivity with more cheaper price.

5. Good ductility

aluminum has good ductility and conductivity

Aluminum has one-third of copper's weight. Besides, under the temperature range of 100 ℃ ~ 150 ℃, you can make aluminum foil thinner than 0.01 mm.

6. Catalyst function

Thermite is commonly used to smelt refractory metals and welded rails.

7. React with strong alkali solution

Catalyst Thermite is commonly used to smelt refractory metals and welded rails.

Compared with ordinary metals, aluminum can react with a strong alkaline solution, generating a large amount of hydrogen and heat.

8. Easy to burn

Aluminum burning

Aluminum burning in oxygen can emit a lot of heat and light, and it is often used to make explosive mixtures.

9. Decorative

Most metals show black in powder form while aluminum powder shows silver-white with which people can paint it to protect iron products from corrosion and beautiful appearance.

10. Low temperature resistance

When the temperature of aluminum is low, its strength increases without brittleness, so it is ideal for low temperature device materials

11 Reflectivity

The aluminum plate also has good light reflection performance. It reflects ultraviolet light stronger than that of silver. The purer the aluminum, the better its reflection ability.

12. Additives

food additives contain aluminum

Some food additives also contain metallic aluminum like alum for make the pasta more fluffy and taste better, but too much is bad for health.

13. Oil absorption

The process you crumpling aluminum foil paper will expand its surface tension to achieve the effect of oil absorption.

What are the industrial uses for aluminum?

Automotive Manufacturing

The most prominent characteristics of the aluminum is its ability to withstand weight. This property comes in handy when manufacturing wheels for heavy vehicles like trucks transport heavy loads to easily withstand the load pressure.

aluminum metal

The weight of the car body consumes about 70% of the fuel, but if we cut it by 10%, it will help to improve fuel efficiency by 6% to 8%.

For every 100 kg of weight reduction of the vehicle, the fuel consumption per 100 kilometers can be reduced by 0.3 to 0.6 liters, and emissions are reduced by about 5 kg/km.

So, we can tell that the lightweight of vehicles through aluminum plays an important role in achieving energy saving and emission reduction.

Aerospace industry

All aircrafts use aluminum alloy as the main structural material.

All aircrafts use aluminum

Take B787 as an example, the following parts are all made of aluminum or aluminum alloy:

  • skin in most of the aircraft Seat tracks
  • Seat frame
  • Frames and stringers that make the shell
  • Wing spars
  • Even flight controls in many aircraft
  • Ribs inside the wing
  • Engine Nocelle and pylon
  • Horizontal stabilizers
  • Fan and rudder

Military field

Aluminum is also used as a deoxidizer in the steelmaking process. When you evenly mix aluminum powder and graphite, titanium in a certain ratio, coat on the metal, and calcine at high temperature, you will get a high-temperature resistant cermet that is applied in the rocket and missile technology.

Making bomb and shell

Bombs and shells made of thermite can be used to attack difficult targets or tanks, cannons, etc. Besides, it can also be applied in lighting mixtures containing 28% aluminum powder, 68% barium nitrate and 4% shellac)

Shipbuilding industry

use aluminum to build ships

It has become a consensus in the international maritime community to use aluminum to build ships.

Its excellent characteristics such as light weight and no rust can greatly improve the energy-saving and environmental protection performance, reduce the weight of ships, and realize the lightweight of ships.

Aluminum alloy high-speed law enforcement business boats have served in the United States Coast Guard, Japan Maritime Security Agency and other marine law enforcement units.

Construction industry

using aluminum to build large-span roof systems

At present, it is a pretty mature technology using aluminum to build large-span roof systems, housing structures in marine climates and corrosive environments or in remote mountainous areas with harsh environments.

The biggest advantage of the all-aluminum movable board house is that it is light, easy to install and disassemble, not rusty, and can be used repeatedly.

Moreover, the aluminum surface is beautiful and has a high degree of cleanliness, which can save the cost of interior decoration. Nowadays, the aluminum material is widely used in temporary courtyards, exhibition halls, disaster relief room, etc.

The famous University of Connecticut, the University of Hawaii and the Bell Economic Center all have aluminum decorated in buildings.

How do we use aluminum in everyday life?

Sound absorption effect of aluminum

1. Sound absorption effect make aluminum used in the ceiling of the broadcasting room and modern large-scale building. Many doors and windows in the home use aluminum alloy frames also for this reason.

2. The thickness of the aluminum foil with thickness 6.5 microns used in beverage packaging and food packaging bags. This thin aluminum layer is waterproof, keeps the umami and realize anti-bacterial and anti-fouling.

3. In modern decoration, people are cline to use aluminum alloy decorative lines. This decorative strip can play a certain role in protecting the wall and improve the beauty of the whole room.

4. Because of its excellent conductivity, it is widely used to manufacture aluminum wiring, cables, radio industries.

5. People also use it to make pipe dredging agent.

main component of pipe dredging is a mixture of aluminum

The main component of pipe dredging is a mixture of aluminum particles and sodium hydroxide. When you put the appropriate amount of dredging agent and water in the blocked pipeline, aluminum will react with sodium hydroxide, and at the same time, sodium hydroxide will corrode the blockages such as hair thus unclogging the pipeline.

solar cooker reflectors

6. High-quality reflectors and solar cooker reflectors are also made aluminum.

people use aluminum to make soda cans

7. Soda cans. Since this "miracle metal" is infinitely recyclable, people tend to use aluminum to make all kinds of cans which can be recycled and repurposed over and over again

8. It can be also applied in various home appliances like cold storage, freezer as well as Antarctic snow vehicles and hydrogen oxide production equipment.

What are five interesting facts about aluminum?

Chinese traditional Beggar's Chicken are wrapped in aluminum

1. Since aluminum foil paper is available, it starts to melt due to its high melting point heated above 660℃. So, we frequently see it with ordinary grilled food, baked goods.

The famous Chinese traditional Beggar's Chicken are wrapped in aluminum foil paper for baking, the way of which is clean and hygienic at the same time and maintains the original flavor.

Note: Since aluminum metal will affect the development of the brain, the surface layer of the current aluminum foil will be coated to avoid the release of aluminum metal.

2. Twist the aluminum foil into a ball then open it, and the foil can absorb the oil in the soup. For example, the Foil Clam Noddle adopts this character of aluminum.

wrap the hair with aluminum foil

3. High temperature resistance: Some hair stylists will wrap the hair with aluminum foil to heat the hair, which has better heat transfer effect.

Note: Improper electricity generation with aluminum foil can cause burns, poor hair quality and other problems.

Statue of Eros on Piccadilly Circus in London

4. Aluminum is also often used to reinforce some large building structures, such as the Statue of Eros on Piccadilly Circus in London and the top of the Chrysler Automobile Building in New York.

5. As an additive, it is also used in some Fried bread stick, buns, fried dough twist, Chinese vermicelli and some puffed foods (such as potato chips).

Author : Jordan Jordan is the writer of the blog with a broad knowledge of this industry. Most importantly, he hopes to help you in your projects sincerely.

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