7% of the parts we laser cut are aluminium, that’s 3% by weight.
From drinks cans and food packaging to electrical wiring and plane fuselages, countless products are made of aluminium. It is a silvery-white metal with a bluish tint, the pure metal is soft, but it can be made stronger and harder when alloyed. It is malleable, so lends itself to being shaped and bent and it can be beaten into very thin sheets. Alongside steel, it is one of the world’s most widely used metals.
We’ve put together some aluminium facts, some are about production processes others are about its uses:
- Aluminium is the most abundant metal on Earth, it makes up 8.2% of the Earth’s crust and is the third most common element after oxygen (46%) and silicon (28%).
- In 1886, Paul Heroult and Charles Hall both independently invented a method of producing 99.5% pure aluminium from aluminium oxide. A version of the Hall-Heroult process is still used today.
- Australia is the world’s leading producer of bauxite, the raw material from which aluminium is produced.