Aluminium in two minutes

Aluminium’s properties

Weight

Aluminium has a density of 2.7 g/cm3, about one-third that of steel.

Strength

Aluminium alloys have tensile strengths of between 70 and 700 MPa. The most common alloys for extrusion: 150–300 MPa.

Unlike most steel grades, aluminium does not become brittle at low temperatures. Instead its strength increases. Its strength decreases at high temperatures. At constant temperatures above 100°C, its strength is affected so much that special consideration must be given to this aspect when designing the products.

Linear expansion

Aluminium has a relatively high linear expansion coefficient compared with other metals. This must be taken into consideration in certain designs.

Formability

Aluminium can be extruded, rolled and bent in both a hot and cold state.

Machining

Aluminium can be shaped using most machining methods, including milling, drilling, cutting, punching, turning and bending. The energy input during machining is low.

Joining

Features facilitating easy joining are often incorporated into the profile design. Fusion welding, friction stir welding, bonding and taping are also proven methods used for joining.

Conductivity

Aluminium is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. An aluminium conductor weighs approximately half as much as a copper conductor with the same conductivity.

Reflectivity

Aluminium is an excellent reflector of both visible light and radiated heat.

Screening – electromagnetic compatibility

Tight aluminium boxes can effectively exclude or screen off electromagnetic radiation.

Corrosion resistance

Aluminium reacts with the oxygen in the air to form an extremely thin layer of oxide only some hundredths of a micrometer thick (1 micrometer, abbreviated µm, is one thousandth of a millimeter). This layer is dense and provides excellent corrosion protection. The oxide layer is self-repairing if damaged.

The anodizing process thickens the oxide layer, reinforcing aluminium's natural corrosion resistance.

Aluminium is extremely durable in neutral and slightly acid environments. Corrosion is rapid in environments with high acidity or high basicity.

Non-magnetic material

Aluminium is a non-magnetic (actually paramagnetic) material.

Non-toxic After oxygen and silicon, aluminium is the most common element in the Earth’s crust, and aluminium compounds also occur naturally in our food.