THE PROS AND CONS OF ALUMINIUM IN ENGINEERING
Aluminium is, to say the least, a popular metal. The aluminium market is one of the biggest for any raw material in the world, with a very significant market size, and has the second highest consumption volume for any nonmetallic material on the planet. One of the materials aluminium competes with is steel, the very foundation of any modern-day structure. Aluminium’s demand is incredibly high, and that’s not stopping anytime soon according to Aluminium Leader. So what explains this insatiable lust for the metal, and what are the pros and cons to its use and the usage of aluminium disks in engineering? The simple answer is that aluminium’s mechanical properties are astounding—but let’s get into that a bit more thoroughly.
A Short History
Aluminium first made its debut as a known metal about two centuries ago, when it was extracted for the first time in its pure form in Denmark by chemist Hans Christian. However, at the time, that extraction process was so unbelievably expensive that aluminium had a higher value than silver and gold. It wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that people figured out how to extract it in a cost-effective way and by then, its high technical usability and 100 percent recyclability made it highly sought-after. In the past days, aluminium served as the metal of choice for Napoleon’s plates. Today, its use is limitless, from aerospace and energy to transportation and a wide variety of other highly specialized industries with complex engineering tasks and needs. And here’s why:
The Advantages of Aluminium
There are pros and cons to every material, but aluminium probably takes the cake for its sheer versatility. Aluminium is highly corrosion resistant, which makes it incredibly valuable in most industries with specific environmental needs. And as if that weren’t enough, it’s also very easy to machine and coat in order to apply the specific characteristics you need on its surface. Aluminium is also extremely colorable, which not just helps in superficial ways, but also means that other specialized coating options allow you to change the properties of the metal. Finally, it’s nonmagnetic, which means that in places where the world’s most common industrial metal—the ferrous steel with its magnetic properties—simply isn’t applicable due to its magnetism, the non-magnetic properties of aluminium disks, wires, bars, or plates are very useful indeed.