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Aluminium is used in a huge variety of products including cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames, beer kegs and aeroplane parts. It has low density, is non-toxic, has a high thermal conductivity, has excellent corrosion resistance and can be easily cast, machined and formed. It is also non-magnetic and non-sparking. It is the second most malleable metal and the sixth most ductile.

It is often used as an alloy because aluminium itself is not particularly strong. Alloys with copper, manganese, magnesium and silicon are lightweight but strong. They are very important in the construction of aeroplanes and other forms of transport.

When evaporated in a vacuum, aluminium forms a highly reflective coating for both light and heat. It does not deteriorate, like a silver coating would. These aluminium coatings have many uses, including telescope mirrors, decorative paper, packages and toys.

Benefits of Aluminium

  • Durability - Aluminium building products are made from alloys that are weather-proof, corrosion-resistant and immune to the harmful effects of UV rays, ensuring optimal performance over a very long lifetime.
  • Flexibility - Aluminium’s combination of properties mean that it can be easily shaped by any of the main industrial metalworking processes, including rolling, extrusion, forging and casting, guaranteeing virtually unlimited design potential.
  • Light-weight - Aluminium’s light weight makes it cheaper and easier to transport and handle on site.
  • Strength - The use of aluminium in buildings assists architects meet performance specifications while minimising expenditure on foundations. Alloyed aluminium can be as strong as steel at only a third of the weight.
  • Corrosive Resistance - Aluminium’s natural oxide coating provides an effective protective barrier against elements that wear other metals.
  • Insular - A layer of insulated aluminium cladding can be four times more effective than uninsulated timber cladding, 100mm of brick, or 200mm of stone masonry.
  • Recyclability - Aluminium is 100% recyclable and uses only 5% of the energy used to make the original product. Almost all aluminium used in construction is recycled.
  • Thermal Efficiency - Unpainted aluminium can reduce heat transmission by up to 9.50C due to it’s high thermal insulation properties. This is significant in reducing the ever-increasing operating costs of air conditioning.
  • Fire Safety - Aluminium does not burn and is therefore classed as a non-combustible construction material. Aluminium alloys will nevertheless melt at around 600- 650°C, but without releasing harmful gases.

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