Aluminium - its properties, uses and advantages | The Mechanical post

Hello and welcome back to The Mechanical post ! Today let's see about Aluminium, its physical and mechanical properties, advantages and applications.

Introduction

Aluminum is one of the most widely used metal on the planet with widepread uses across various sectors. Aluminum by mass makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust and it is the third most bountiful and widely available element after the likes of oxygen and silicon.

 Physical and Mechanical Properties of Aluminum


Phase at STP (standard temperature pressure) = solid

Melting point  = 933.47 K ​(660.32 °C, ​1220.58 °F)

Boiling point   = 2743 K ​(2470 °C, ​4478 °F)

Density           =  2.70 g/cm3

Heat of fusion = 10.71 kJ/mol

Heat of vaporization  = 284 kJ/mol

Molar heat capacity   = 24.20 J/(mol·K)

Density when liquid  = 2.375 g/cm3

It is bendable and flexible.

Its particular gravity is 2.7.

Thermal expansion  = 23.1 µm/(m·K) (at 25 °C)

Thermal conductivity  = 237 W/(m·K)

Electrical resistivity    = 26.5 nΩ·m (at 20 °C)

Magnetic susceptibility = +16.5·10−6 cm3/mol

Young's modulus   = 70 GPa

Shear modulus      = 26 GPa

Bulk modulus       = 76 GPa

Poisson ratio         = 0.35

Mohs hardness      = 2.75

Vickers hardness   = 160–350 MPa

Brinell hardness    = 160–550 MPa

CAS Number        = 7429-90-5 


The high virtue aluminum has an a lot more prominent protection from erosion than the standard steel.

It is bendable and flexible.

It is a decent conveyor of warmth and power.

It is unaffected by common environmental impacts yet is eroded in ocean water. 

Aluminum is electron positive to most different metals e.g., iron, chromium, zinc, copper, nickel, tin, lead and so on. Care is fundamental in this way, to keep it from coming into metallic contact with different metals under conditions where dampness is available so as to evade electrolytic activity i.e., erosion.

Fun fact 

Aluminum is also theoretically 100% recyclable with no loss of its natural properties. It also takes 5% of the energy to recycle scrap aluminum then what is used to produce new aluminum.

Extraction of Aluminium

Aluminium is mainly found in the form of ore called Bauxite. The bauxite is purified to produce aluminium oxide, a white powder from which aluminium can be extracted. The extraction is done by electrolysis.

The ore is first converted into pure aluminium oxide by the Bayer Process, and this is then electrolysed in solution in molten cryolite - another aluminium compound. Check out the whole process here.


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Applications and advantages of Aluminum 


  • Steel is the most relied material on by automobile manufacturers, however the need to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions has led to a much wider use of aluminum. Experts predict that the average aluminum content in a car will increase by 60% by 2025.


  • Aluminium is also used in high-speed rail systems like the Shinkansen in Japan and the Maglev in Shanghai. Aluminium allows designers to reduce the weight of the trains, cutting down on friction resistance.

  • Although has just 63% of the electrical conductivity of copper, aluminum’s low density makes it the best option for long distance power lines. If copper is to be used, support structures would be heavier, more in quantity, and more costly. Aluminum is also more ductile than copper, enabling it to be formed into wires much more easily. Also as a cherry on top, its corrosion-resistance helps protect wires from the elements.


  • It is utilized, frequently alloyed with modest quantities of different metals, in the production of furniture, rail-street and streetcars, vehicle bodies and cylinders, electric links and transport bars, bolts, kitchen utensils etc.



  • In a finely separated drop structure, aluminum is utilized as a color in paint. Aluminum paint is utilized as a preparing coat for wood, as a defensive coat for metals.



  • Aluminum is utilized in deoxidizing liquid iron and steel, particularly in the head of the ingot when steel is poured in the ingot form. Along these lines it is utilized to set up the metals from their oxides by warming a blend of powdered aluminum and the oxide of the metal to be decreased. The blend is known as Thermit.



  • One of the most popular use of aluminium is the Aluminium foil.


  • Now a days Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and flat screen TVs are manufactured with an increasing amount of aluminum. Its appearance makes modern tech gadgets look sleek and sophisticated while being light and durable.More and more, aluminum is replacing plastic and steel components, as it is stronger and tougher than plastic and lighter than steel. It also allows heat to dissipate quickly, keeping electronic devices from overheating.

  • One of the largest tech company Apple makes use of aluminium in almost all of its products be it an Iphone or a macbook.

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