Aluminium is a relatively soft, durable, lightweight, ductile and malleable metal with appearance ranging from silvery to dull gray, depending on the surface roughness.
Aluminium is remarkable for the metal's low density and for its ability to resist corrosion due to the phenomenon of passivation. Structural components made from aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and are important in other areas of transportation and structural materials.
The most useful compounds of aluminium, at least on a weight basis, are the oxides and sulfates.
It is nonmagnetic and does not easily ignite. A fresh film of aluminium serves as a good reflector (approximately 92%) of visible light and an excellent reflector (as much as 98%) of medium and far infrared radiation.
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Some of the many uses for aluminium metal are in:
- Transportation (automobiles, aircraft, trucks, railway cars, marine vessels, bicycles, etc.) as sheet, tube, castings, etc.
- Packaging (cans, foil, frame of etc.)Construction (windows, doors, siding, building wire, etc.).
- A wide range of household items, from cooking utensils to baseball bats, watches.
- Street lighting poles, sailing ship masts, walking poles, etc.
- Outer shells of consumer electronics, also cases for equipment e.g. photographic equipment, MacBook Pro's casing
- Electrical transmission lines for power distribution
- MKM steel and Alnico magnets
- Super purity aluminium (SPA, 99.980% to 99.999% Al), used in electronics and CDs, and also in Wires/Cabling.
- Heat sinks for electronic appliances such as transistors and CPUs.
- Substrate material of metal-core copper clad laminates used in high brightness LED lighting.
- Powdered aluminium is used in paint, and in pyrotechnics such as solid rocket fuels and thermite.
- Aluminium can be reacted with hydrochloric acid or with sodium hydroxide to produce hydrogen gas.
- Aluminium is used to make Food Containers, because of its characteristic - resistant to corrosion.
- Aluminium with Magnesium [alloy] is used to make body of Aircraft.
- Aluminium with other metals, used to make Railway tracks.
- Aluminium is used to make Cooking Utensils, because it is resistant to corrosion, and light-weight.
- A variety of countries, including France, Italy, Poland, Finland, Romania, Israel, and the former Yugoslavia, have issued coins struck in aluminium or aluminium-copper alloys.
- Some guitar models sport aluminium diamond plates on the surface of the instruments, usually either chrome or black. Kramer Guitars and Travis Bean are both known for having produced guitars with necks made of aluminium, which gives the instrument a very distinct sound.