Aluminum is one of Earth’s most abundant metals. Few come close to its performance. The popularity of aluminum comes down to its many benefits – lighter than steel without losing any strength, corrosion-resistant, durable, ductile, malleable, conductive, and odourless.
See the Most Common Uses for Aluminum in North America
Another large part of why dozens of America’s top industries use aluminum in their products is because it’s environmentally friendly, 100% recyclable, and doesn’t lose any of its strength in recycling. The most common uses of aluminum come down to 4 of our biggest industries.
Aluminum has 63 percent of the electrical conductivity of copper, something which makes it perfect for long-distance power lines in addition to its lightweight. Aluminum can form wire significantly easier than copper. Its corrosion resistance also adds some weather and climate protection. Aluminum is used in a wide variety of electrical products and designs, from motors to appliances, power systems, television antennas, satellite dishes, and some LED bulbs.
Aluminum is most frequently seen by the general population in consumer goods. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and flat-screen TVs are all made with aluminum, which has high functionality as well as being high-tech looking, sleek, and sophisticated. Aluminum’s also a big material for Apple products, like iPhones. It’s used in the furniture like tables, chairs, lamps, and home décor, as well as pots and frying pans. Most iconically, aluminum is seen in soda beverage packaging having been used since 1967 by brands Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Construction makes use of aluminum because the material requires virtually no maintenance in large part because of its corrosion resistance. Thermally efficient, construction aluminum keeps buildings cool in summer and warm in winter. It can be cut, curved, and welded with ease, allowing architects to design whichever shape they please and create some truly inspiring buildings. Aluminum’s greatest application in construction, used in 1931, is the Empire State Building in New York City. Today, aluminum is used in almost all major commercial building constructions in one way or another.
Transportation aluminum has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, allowing vehicles to move easier and providing better fuel efficiency. With transportation aluminum, its alloys mix in with other metals. The automotive industry, some experts have said, will increase aluminum use in a car by 60 percent within the next five years. Cutting down on friction resistance, high-speed rail and subway systems worldwide also use aluminum. Lastly, it’s used in airplane and aerospace manufacturing as well as for the reasons mentioned.
Is that it?
There’s no other metal or material that has the adaptability and eco-friendliness that aluminum does. Plastic may come close however it does not carry the same environmental sustainability rating as aluminum does. Looking around, you’ll find aluminum is used alongside stainless steel, alloy steel, galvanized steel, brass, bronze, and copper to make some of the most well-known products. It can be cut in so many different ways and its benefits are so varied.
Aluminum could very well be the ultimate construction material of the twenty-first century, as it’s used in almost everything we use and which is around us. For the sake of our transportation, consumer goods, construction, and electrical, the world wouldn’t be what it is today without aluminum.