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35 facts about Aluminium – the planet’s most abundant metal

Aluminium is everywhere. It makes its presence felt in more than 270 minerals, all with dramatically different properties, and humans use it for a bewildering array of purposes. Here are 35 facts about aluminium, just one of the metals we supply to hundreds of customers every year.

Fascinating Aluminium Facts

1. Aluminium is the most abundant metallic element on earth, second only to Silicon

2. Within the planet’s crust, aluminium occurs most often as alum, which is actually Potassium Aluminium Sulphate

3. The Danish chemist Hans Christian Oersted first extract Aluminium from Alum in 1825

4. About 75% of all Aluminium ever made is still circulating, still in use

5. For a long time the metal was considered more precious than gold thanks to its perceived rarity

6. The metal was once so highly prized that Napoleon the Third actually served food to guests on Aluminium plates, with Aluminium cutlery

7. The metal’s atomic number is 13 and its atomic symbol is AI

8. The metal’s atomic weight is 26.9815386

9. Australia is the world’s leading producer of Aluminium

10. Aluminium doesn’t spark and it isn’t magnetic

11. Jules Verne wrote about an Aluminium space rocket in his book Journey to the Moon

12. The density of Aluminium is 2.70 grammes per cubic centimetre

13. Its melting point? 1,220.58 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s 660.32 degrees Celsius

14. It boils at 4,566 degrees F, or 2,519 degrees Celsius

15. The radioactive isotope of Aluminium has a half life of 730,000 years

16. A Boeing-747 contains 66,000 kg of the metal

17. Aluminium is very soft, an extremely ductile metal. But it can also be remarkably strong

18. 8% of the planet’s crust is Aluminium

19. Ancient Greeks and Romans used Aluminium compounds both as an astringent and a fabric dye

20. The moon contains a great deal of Aluminium

21. Aluminium is very light, weighing in at a third of the weight of steel or copper

22. The metal is almost always used as an alloy, even if it’s more than 99% aluminium

23. The commonest Aluminium Alloys are made using Zinc, Copper, Silicon, Magnesium and Manganese

24. There are literally hundreds of different Aluminium Alloys

25. An Aluminium drinks can take just 60 days to go from your bin to being recycled into a new can

26. Aluminium is easy to recycle and resists corrosion beautifully, even though it oxidises in the same way that Iron rusts – but unlike Iron, the resulting oxide actually sticks to the metal and protects the surface

27. Pure Aluminium metal isn’t found in the natural world – we have to make it from ores

28. The metal is just a third as dense as Steel

29. It reflects around 98% of infra-red rays

30. Recycling Aluminium takes just 5% of the energy used to extract fresh aluminium from ore

31. Way back in 1886, Paul Heroult and Charles Hall independently invented a way to melt Aluminium Oxide in Cryolite. They sent an electrical current through the mix and the resulting Hall-Heroult process is still used to produce Aluminium

32. The Bayer process is also popular, an efficient way to extract the metal from Bauxite Ore

33. NASA deep space researchers have harnessed Al-26 to spot supernovas

34. In 2012 alone, 1.9 million tons of Aluminium were used to make containers and packaging

35. Rubies, emeralds and sapphires have a very high crystalline Aluminium compound content

36. Recycle a single can made from the metal and you save enough energy to run your TV for three hours

As respected Aluminium suppliers, we understand the properties and uses of the metal extremely well. Metalex are trusted to supply it by a great many businesses, large and small, and our pricing is as fair as we can make it.

If you need Aluminium Plate, Aluminium Sheet or Alumnium Extrusions, Metalex are your number one aluminium stockholders.

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