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Construction

Different Major Aluminum Properties

Aluminum is everywhere. It is a widely-used material for most applications — may it be for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes. And among all kinds of metal materials, aluminum wins out because of its superior performance, apart from containing aluminum properties that are purely beneficial for a vast range of industrial uses. Fabrication techniques that are applied to aluminum also enable the finished product to be manufactured at a competitive cost, which is indeed favorable for certain productions. This makes the usage of aluminum continue to increase and expand, recognizing their unique properties completely.

What makes aluminum improve its strength, corrosion resistance, thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as its reflectivity, is through the commonly added elements such as copper, magnesium, magnesium, manganese, silicon, and zinc. For these elements, hundreds of alloy compositions exist. And these specific alloy compositions thus affect its appearance and fabricability, resulting in a more positive enhancement of several aluminum properties.

The tensile strength of pure aluminum is actually low. However, alloying elements, like those mentioned above, can be added to aluminum to boost its strength and generate an alloy with qualities suitable for certain purposes. Moreover, being conductive to temperature levels, and suited to cold environments, it has an advantage over steel in that its tensile strength rises as temperature decreases while maintaining toughness.

Other materials may have some of the same advantages as aluminum. But then, they still cannot match the full range of aluminum properties. Aluminum extrusion is a versatile metal-forming method that allows designers, engineers, and manufacturers to maximize a variety of physical properties. Thus, making aluminum a better option as a material for industrial purposes.

Corrosion Resistance

One of the most common aluminum properties that makes it a better choice of material would be its ability to resist corrosion. This is primarily because of how aluminum produces a self-protecting oxide layer. When exposed to air, or come in contact with an oxidizing environment, an aluminum oxide layer is formed almost instantaneously on its surface. This protective layer, thus, helps protect the surface of the metal from corrosion.

Aluminum actually has a high affinity for oxygen. When a new metal surface is exposed to air or any other oxidizing source, a thin, hard film of aluminum oxide forms quickly, or hydrated oxide in non-stagnant water. This oxidation of aluminum is what gives it its corrosion resistance.

The hard protective film of aluminum oxide, bonding tenaciously to the surface, happens in nature and can be as thin as 0.2 millionths of an inch. Moreover, there are surface treatment processes such as painting or anodising. These can be able to improve the overall corrosion resistance of the metal. It does not rust like steel as well.

Thermal Conductivity

Aluminum is deemed to be an important material for both cooling and heating applications. This is because of its thermal conductive properties. It is about three times greater than that of steel. This makes it the reason why aluminum is commonly used as a material for cooking utensils and kitchenware. Especially because it is deemed to be a non-toxic material as well. Aside from this, it is an excellent conductor of heat. This makes it ideal for applications that require heat exchangers, refrigerator evaporators, and engine components.

Relative to thermal conductivity, aluminum properties also include being thermally efficient. And due to its great thermal insulation capabilities, unpainted aluminum can minimize heat transmission by up to 9.50C. This is significant in terms of lowering ever-increasing air conditioning operating expenses.

Electrical Conductivity

Aside from being thermal-conducive, aluminum also has electrical conductivity properties, high enough for use as an electrical conductor. It conducts more than twice as much electricity as copper of comparable weight due to its low density. It is also around a third the weight of copper. Thus, implying that an aluminum wire half the weight of copper would have the same electrical resistance. Varying aluminum alloys have different electrical conductivities and can be customized for specific electrical purposes as well. This makes it the material perfect for power transmission lines.

Reflectivity

Aluminum is a great reflector of light energy from UV to infrared. This makes it one of the aluminum properties that provides an impact to several applications. It is commonly utilized in light fixtures due to its visible light reflectance of roughly 80%. Moreover, the reflective capabilities of aluminum make it an excellent insulating material for protecting against the sun’s rays in the summer and insulating against heat loss in the winter.

Polished aluminum reflects radiant energy well throughout the entire spectrum of wavelengths. Because of its high visible light reflection (over 80%), aluminum is widely used as a lamp reflector. It can protect items or spaces from light, radio waves, and infrared radiation.

Key Takeaway

The aluminum properties above are just a few of those that make aluminum an ideal material for a wide range of applications in different industries. It is a very versatile one to use in residential, commercial, and industrial applications, providing a lot of benefits to people. Its corrosion-resistant properties provide a long-lasting and durable aluminum. Its thermal and electrical conductivity makes it perfect for different temperature levels, while serving different electrical purposes as well. And lastly, its reflectivity makes it still protected even from the sun’s rays while insulating against heat loss. With these aluminum properties, it has been proven that aluminum is indeed a better option if you were to choose between several materials for different projects.

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