A - Aluminium Articles

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Aluminium alloys

This area covers several aspects. Click on one of the topics below to obtain further information about it: What is an alloy? Importance and functions of aluminium alloys Alloy forms Master alloys Production Composition and available forms Summary Aluminium is usually alloyed with other elements in order to improve its corrosion resistance and

Aluminum Strengthening mechanisms

Work hardening: This is also known as cold working. Deformation at room temperature leads to the formation of new dislocations, which in turn makes further deformation more difficult; dislocations pile up at grain boundaries and there is an increase in strength. Solid-solution hardening: Solid-solution hardening describes the increase in hardening


Alumina was first obtained in the pure form in 1754 by Marggraf and was identified by Davy in 1807 as being a compound of aluminium and oxygen. It is the starting material for aluminium extraction. It is obtained from bauxite via the Bayer process –hydrated alumina is first precipitated from a solution of bauxite in concentrated caustic soda. Two

Alkaline compounds

Alkalis are chemical compounds containing an alkali metal (lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, caesium or francium) and a hydrogen-oxygen ion, a so-called hydroxyl base. Aqueous solutions of such compounds show “basic” behaviour.

Aluminium in Shipbuilding

Since the Defender won the 32nd America’s Cup in 1895, beating the British Valkyrie III made from steel, much has changed in the construction of ships. The following article aims to trace the major developments and to sketch some of the opportunities and issues that arise for designers and shipbuilders working with aluminium. Aluminium vs. steel:

Aluminium strength and methods of increasing strength

The ability to withstand an applied stress until it breaks is an important material property. It is referred to as ‘strength’. It determines whether a material can be used for specific applications. The greater the strength, the stronger the material. Of course, strength varies from material to material, but it is also dependent on the type and

Aluminium and its markets

Today it is impossible to imagine the economy without aluminium. As a result of its unique properties, it has become established in many fields of industry and is now regarded as a driving force for technological progress and product innovation. The most important markets for the aluminium industry are currently transport, building and

Aluminium properties and applications

Density: Low density is one of the most important properties of aluminium because light weight makes a major contribution to its range of applications. With commercially pure aluminium it is some 2.6 to 2.8·x 10³ kg/m³ – which is about a third of the density of steel. Low density results in significant weight reductions and leads to aluminium’s


The natural oxide film on aluminium is not resistant to all forms of corrosive attack so under certain circumstances it is necessary to make it 50 to 5000 times thicker artificially. This is carried out using an electrochemical process called ‘anodising’. The oxide layers produced in this way have good resistance to abrasion and wear as well as

Aluminium alloys: Master alloys

Aluminium master alloys are alloys that are added to molten metal to obtain the desired composition and/or influence the as-cast structure. Master alloys can contain more than 50 weight per cent of the main alloying element. They can be produced by melting or by mixing the individual constituents and then compacting them. One differentiates

Aluminium history: Aluminium becomes a metal

In 1809, the British scientist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) was the first person to extract aluminium, for a fraction of a second, from alumina, and thus prove the element’s existence. He called it aluminum, which derived from alum. In British English, the spelling was subsequently changed to aluminium; the word ‘aluminum’ continues to be used in

Aluminium Applications: Building and Architecture

After the transport sector, the building and construction industry is the second largest market for the resistant light metal. The range of applications includes windows, doors, façades, roofs, walls, interior decoration and the design of living space. With its manifold possible methods of processing and excellent material properties, aluminium is

Aluminium in the environment

Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, comprising an 8% share. It is present in the form of the most varied types of chemical compound in most rocks and soils, in vegetation and in all of the earth’s bodies of water. Aluminium is also present in all argillaceous rocks and has thus been a constituent part of clay-based cooking

Aluminium history: The industrial breakthrough

Working independently of each other, the French engineer Paul Louis Toussaint Héroult (1863-1914) and the American chemist Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914), both filed patents for fused-salt electrolysis in 1886. In this process, which is also known as the Hall-Héroult process, alumina is melted together with cryolite, a mineral that is found in

Aluminium profiles: Types of profile

Profiles are subdivided into three categories depending on their cross-section and the ease with which they can be extruded: solid, semi-hollow and hollow. Solid profiles: Geometrically simple, solid cross-sections without any enclosed areas. Semi-hollow profiles: Profiles with cavities that are not completely enclosed, e.g. U-shaped sections.

Alloying elements for aluminium alloys: Copper

Copper is one of the most important metals. It belongs to sub-group IB, which is named after it. This metal owes its importance, among other things, to its good formability and ductility, and its good thermal conductivity. Above all, however, it is an extremely good conductor of electricity and is thus used mainly in the electrical industry. As an