Aluminum: A Globally In-Demand Alloy
March 15, 2018 by Bob Wilson
Aluminum has various applications. You can find it in cooking utensils, home appliances, electronic gadgets, packaging for food and drinks, and even cosmetics. It is in vehicles, infrastructure, and public works. The world is fortunate that it is the second-most-abundant metal in the earth’s crust; it won’t run out soon even though it is the most-used metal after iron.
Advantage Manufacturing Ltd. is proud to be an instrument in the production of aluminum-based materials. We supply manufacturers with fabricated aluminum products, including a mobile welding service in Edmonton. Having been in operation since 2005, we’ve become knowledgeable in the qualities and uses of aluminum. Allow us to share some of them in this article.
The Qualities of Aluminum
The end uses of aluminum are extensive. The following impressive characteristics are what drew manufacturers to utilize it for a wide range of their products and applications:
- Lightweight yet durable: The metal addresses important concerns in manufacturing: product weight and integrity.
- Rust-resistant: It is the ideal material for manufacturing items with underwater and outdoor uses. This is also the reason why aircraft manufacturers use aluminum.
- Mixes well with other metals: It blends with iron, copper, silicon, magnesium, zinc, and manganese to form high-strength alloys.
- High thermal conductivity: Its spreads out thermal energy from a localized source, reducing hot spots.
- Reflective: About 80-90% of incident radiation bounces of aluminum’s surface, which is about 19 times greater than painted steel. It also slows heat penetration. Experts say it can serve as a heat sink to slow down the early stages of a fire, as well.
Production Markets Utilizing Aluminum
Due to its versatility and abundance, aluminum is a choice material in various industries. After its primary production, aluminum has a high market demand in processing (creation of aluminum castings, sheets, rods, and bars), product (manufacturing), and recycling markets.
The product markets for aluminum are wide and diverse. Unlike most metals whose applications are often limited to construction and tech development, aluminum covers multiple areas:
- Automobiles – Lightweight vehicles are hot in the automobile industry these days. Manufacturers now use up to 99.5% aluminum alloys for auto body structure and other components.
- Aeronautics/Aerospace – Aluminum has been the primary material for airplane construction since the early 1900’s. Today, it accounts for 80% of a commercial airplane’s weight.
- Construction – The industry is moving towards sustainable materials and methods, making aluminum more in-demand than ever. It’s durable, strong, and recyclable.
- Electronics – While aluminum has long been a favorite for manufacturing appliances, it wasn’t until Steve Jobs became fascinated with its potential in mobile phone manufacturing that the material’s popularity soared. Its alloys are now a staple in various electronic gadgets.
- General merchandise manufacturing – Manufacturers continue to use this metal for everyday items like foil, food wrappers, cans, home décor, and more.
What’s in Store for the Future?
Aluminum use will continue to grow in the automotive, construction, transport, electric engineering, packaging, and fabrication industries. There’s little doubt that the world will see more uses of aluminum alloys. This could mean an increased demand for aluminum alloys for construction and manufacturing companies.
If your company is involved in such endeavors, get in touch with Advantage Manufacturing Ltd. We’ll be happy to accommodate your aluminum fabrication needs.