Characteristics of aluminium
Aluminium has a density of approx. 2.7 g/cm3. That is around one-third the density of steel, so aluminium is a light metal.
The strength of aluminium depends on the type of alloy. The favourable ratio between the strength and the weight makes aluminium very suitable for various applications.
Depending on the chosen alloy, aluminium is very corrosion-resistant.
Aluminium is very suitable for recycling, with no loss of quality. Remelting consumes just 5% of the energy that was originally required to manufacture primary aluminium. In the Netherlands, around 72% of aluminium is recycled. In the construction and transport sectors, that figure is 94%. Aluminium used for casting is by definition recycled aluminium.
Easy to process
Aluminium is very easy to process and, depending on the alloy and casting technique, is also easy to weld. There are many processing techniques possible, and machine processing requires 70% less processing time compared to steel.
Aluminium has very high heat and electric conductivity. Compared to copper, the ratio of conductivity/weight is twice as favourable.
High freedom of form
Aluminium has a low melting temperature and is therefore extremely suitable for casting.
Depending on the chosen alloy, the surface of aluminium can be embellished by anodising, polishing, chrome-plating or varnishing it. This also further protects the material.
Non-toxic and vapour-proof
Aluminium does not emit any toxic substances and is completely vapour-proof. It is therefore frequently used to package consumer goods and medicines.
In plentiful supply
The earth’s crust is made up of 8% aluminium. After oxygen and silicon, aluminium is the most common element on the planet.