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Facts about aluminium

Some of these aluminium facts are surprising. See for yourself.

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History: from nature to extraction and first use

  • The earth’s crust consists of 8 percent aluminium in different minerals, making it the third-most abundant element after oxygen and silicon
  • Aluminium does not occur in nature in its metallic form. Its existence was first theorized by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisierin 1778
  • It was first extracted in 1825 by the Danish chemist Hans-Christian Oersted
  • Before man discovered that aluminium could be made cheaply from bauxite, it was the most expensive metal in the world
Aluminium is non-toxic and was used in the cutlery of Napoleon III, for his finest meals. His guests had to use cutlery made from gold.

Properties

  • Aluminium is non-magnetic and often used in magnet X-ray devices to avoid interference from magnetic fields
  • Aluminium does not rust and is resistant to corrosion. This is because aluminium's reaction with oxygen forms a thin and protective oxide layer

Sustainability

  • Aluminium is 100 percent recyclable and does not lose any of its original properties in the process
  • Recycled aluminium uses 5 percent of the energy that is used to make primary aluminium
  • About 75 percent of all produced aluminium is still in use
  • In Europe, about 70 percent of all aluminium cans are recycled – and used cans become new cans in less than 60 days

Aluminium is strong

Aluminium is very light, thanks to its low density. But extrusions can also be made strong and durable. It all depends on the application and the engineering behind it. In a ship, vessel designers can achieve weight savings of 40 percent over steel.

Use as opposed to steel or copper

  • Aluminium's ability to absorb energy is greater than that of steel, which is why the material is used for safety purposes such as fire and blast resistance, bullet-proofing and burglary-resistant systems
  • In comparison to aluminium, copper is heavy and more expensive. In particular for fully electric vehicles the switch to the cheaper and lighter aluminum provides opportunity to save cost and weight
  • Aluminium alloys used in shipbuilding corrode around 100 times slower than steel

Products:

Contact us today if you want to learn more about the usage of aluminium in your products.

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Medical applications

Aluminium solutions can help your medical devices and equipment hold tight tolerances and stand up to your rigorous cleaning and sterilization requirements.

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The material

Aluminium life cycle

Aluminium has a life cycle that few materials can match. Our move toward a circular economy involves an emphasis on recycling aluminium.

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Replacing copper in automotive battery cables

LEONI Kabel is replacing copper with aluminium in its automotive battery cables to save money and reduce weight. There is no difference in performance.

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Sturdy and reliable with Stihl power tools

Stihl is a leading global manufacturer of chain saws and many other outdoor power tools. It utilizes extruded aluminium as much as it can.

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