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Aluminium-Background and benefits

Mechanically chemically and physically aluminium is a metal like brass, copper, lead, zinc, steel or titanium, and the benefits to using it are endless. We discuss the benefits of aluminium in this piece.

Aluminium

Aluminium is used widely throughout the modern world, and like many of the metals mentioned above, aluminium can also be cast, melted, machined and formed; it is also able to conduct electric current. In fact many of the same fabrication methods and equipment that are used for steel are also used for aluminium.

Benefits of Aluminium

 

Aluminium is light weight:

Aluminium weighs about a third of the weight of steel and it minimises dead-weight and energy consumption in vehicles whilst increasing load capacity. By altering the composition of its alloys, aluminium’s strength can be adapted to the specific use it is required for.

Resistance to Corrosion

 

Aluminium is highly corrosion resistant as it creates a protective oxide coating naturally, thereby making it useful for applications where preservation and protection are needed.

Thermal and Electrical conductivity

Aluminium is nearly twice as good a conductor of electricity and heat as copper, making it the most generally used material in key power transmission lines.

Ductility

Aluminium can be processed in many ways when it is in a molten condition, and its ductility enables it to be formed close towards the end of a products design stage.

Recyclability

Without any downgrading of its qualities, aluminium is 100% recyclable and minimal energy is needed to re-melt the metal.

The benefits from using aluminium extrusion are also beneficial, as cost can be greatly reduced by substituting an assembly of components with a single extrusion. When using extrusions, metal can also be taken away where it is not needed, and added where it assists strength.

Aluminium is one third of the weight of steel, this reduction in weight results in less energy being needed when moving vehicles or parts with aluminium, and in turn also reduces fuel costs.

With the extrusion process one is also able to design components and shapes that are impossible otherwise.

In conclusion no other metallic element can be used in such a broad variety of ways and areas as aluminium can.

Advantages of Aluminium

A unique combination of properties makes aluminium and its alloys one of the most versatile engineering and construction materials available today. Here at Gooding Aluminium, we think that Aluminium is incredible stuff, and are therefore discussing the main advantages.

Aluminium sheets

 

Aluminium is a unique metal with a positive image that naturally appeals to the professional specifier and installer. This incredibly versatile material, when combined with its alloys, can be folded, formed, machined or worked using a wide range of processes.

Thanks to these excellent material properties, aluminium has become widely used within an extensive variety of architectural and related applications.

Advantages of aluminium:

 

Lightweight, aluminium is one of the lightest available commercial metals with a density approximately one third that of steel or copper. It has a high strength to weight ratio which makes it particularly important to transportation industries.

Corrosion Resistance, due to the thin layer of aluminium oxide which forms on the surface of aluminium when it is exposed to air, aluminium has an excellent corrosion resistance.

Aluminium can be left in the mill finished condition in many applications, if additional protection or decorative finishes be required then the aluminium can either be anodised or painted.

Strength, the mechanical properties of pure aluminium can be markedly increased by the addition of alloying elements and tempering. In order to help suit your needs better, you can choose the alloy with the most suitable characteristics for your application.

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Gooding Aluminium product brochure, your digital version

Since our formation in 1979 continuous growth and innovation has seen GA become an established and respected online supplier of a wide range of high quality aluminium extrusions, profiles and sheets.

Gooding Aluminium products are highly recommended by leading Architects, Specifiers, Interior Designers and Contractors having successfully been incorporated in many outstanding projects and applications.

Gooding Aluminium Brochure

Earlier this year, we launched our latest aluminium products brochure which is available to download here.
The catalogue demonstrates the broad range of original and high quality products, materials and services available from Gooding Aluminium such as:

  • Extensive stock products and materials with immediate availability
  • ‘Made to Order’ products accurately and rapidly produced
  • Free samples service with 24 hour dispatch
  • Anodising and powder coating surface finishing

Technical support from our helpful, informed Project Managers

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Life cycle performance of Aluminium

Aluminium sheetLife cycle performance is assuming increased importance. In aluminium, the real environmental benefit is in the recovery of the metal through recycling and looking towards the future.

Once produced, aluminium offers the clear ‘cradle to cradle’ advantage that it can be repeatedly and efficiently recycled without any loss of quality. It is considered, in this sense, the ‘greenest’ of metals, being 100% recyclable. Landfill space is saved and the effects of this practice reduced by the production of aluminium from scrap.

When aluminium products reach the end of their useable life they can be transformed, by recycling, into new forms using only a fraction, about 5%, of the energy and emissions originally required in their initial production. Raw materials are therefore preserved and considerable energy savings made.

Over the past thirty years the importance of aluminium recycling has been underlined by a tripling in its output. Recycling aluminium drinks cans is an important material source. Domestic supplies of scrap account for about 40% of the aluminium recovered from recycled sources. It is the industry’s ambition to recycle all sources of aluminium scrap.

There is a growing recognition that this feature of recyclability results in the increasing reserves of aluminium stock acting much like a reserve of valuable stored energy, that can be repeatedlyused over time. Manufactured aluminium products can therefore be endlessly and economically recycled to produce new products. End of life (EOL) collection ratios are high for the building and construction industry. Significant aluminium recycling rates of around 85% are being achieved within this market.

The virtuous expanding circle of aluminium recycling represents an ever increasing proportion (currently over 35%) of total aluminium production. This can be viewed as a gilt-edged energy investment for the future.

Compared with the production of primary aluminium, recycling produces only about 5% of CO2 emissions. Recycling one kilogram of aluminium saves over 7 kilograms of bauxite, 4 kilograms of chemicals and 13 kilowatt hours of electricity.

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Gooding Aluminium Limited, 1, British Wharf, Landmann Way, London, SE14 5RS. VAT No. 335 6311 72. Registered in England No. 01446419