What Is Aluminium?

Aluminium is an industrial metal with the chemical symbol Al and organic number 13. Aluminium has a low density much lower than those of many other metals, at about one quarter that of pure steel. When exposed to air, it forms a protective oxide layer on the surface, which is often resistant to corrosion. However, the oxide layer is susceptible to attacks from water, oil, grease, smoke, UV light and biodegradation, and so Aluminium tends to not be prone to chipping, scratching and flaking.

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Aluminium is formed in the Earth’s crust by the effects of geological forces and meteorites hitting the planet. It was considered by the Egyptians as the elastomeric (melt-like) metal, used for casting very early pots and pans. Because of its softness, aluminium has been valued throughout history as a precious metal. Aluminium ore was mined in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, though it takes a long time to yield a load which would be useful in industry. Aluminium can also be purified from sulphur compounds extracted from crude oil, though this method of production causes greater pollution and a greater threat to the environment.

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There are many other elements that are used to make up Aluminium. Nickel, tin, phosphorous and chromium serve to further refine the metal into more usable forms, with the added bonus of improving the strength and durability of the metal itself. Other types of Aluminium include manganese, which imparts a silvery grey colouring to the metal, while calcium adds strength and increases the hardness of the crust. In addition, there are trace amounts of bromine, sulfur and zinc within the crust of Aluminium, although these amounts are very minor. These trace amounts of Aluminium allow it to be used in a huge range of industries, including building and auto body repair, as well as cosmetics, engineering and aerospace and space technology. For those things you’ll need Bending Machines from Cotswold Machinery Sales.


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