What are the main properties of aluminum? (2023)

If you've ever wondered what properties make aluminum such a popular and versatile metal, you're not alone. There are numerous properties that make aluminum and aluminum alloys one of the most important materials in the world, used in an impressive variety of industries. This includes theDevice,architectural, aviation andAutoindustries, to name a few.

The investigation of the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of a material forms the basis of materials science. This makes it possible to predict behavior in certain environments and under stress. These performance indicators help architects, manufacturers and designers to choose the right material for a specific application.

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Many outstanding properties of aluminum and aluminum alloys lead to a wide range of applications. For example, aluminum alloys are among the easiest of any metal to form and machine. The mechanical properties of aluminum make this possible. What other attributes drive the preference for aluminum products and materials?

(Video) C.1.9 - Describe the main properties and uses of aluminum and its alloys.

The most important properties of all metals.

Metals make up most of the elements on the periodic table. They are a class of elements characterized by the following properties: ductility, malleability, hardness, conductivity, ability to form alloys, and appearance qualities.

These properties can be grouped as physical, chemical, or mechanical, and can be expanded further when specific alloy compositions and other factors such as temperature are considered. The following diagrams refer to pure aluminum.

Material properties of aluminum and aluminum alloys.

Aluminum is a metal-like element with both metallic and non-metallic properties, belonging to the boron and carbon families. Although aluminum is one of the most abundant elements on earth, it must be extracted from bauxite ore and undergo a production process before it becomes commercially pure and viable aluminum.

Aluminum is then classified into a 4-digit numbered series based on alloying elements,1xxxa 8xxx.

Commonly added elements include copper, magnesium, manganese, silicon, and zinc. Thus, hundreds of alloy compositions exist.

(Video) Physical Properties: Finding Aluminum

These specific alloy compositions affect the appearance andmanufacturability. The addition of elements improves strength, machinability, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and density compared to pure aluminum.

physical properties

The physical properties of aluminum refer to the observable shape and structure before any chemical change.

The physical properties of aluminum.
color and stateSolid, non-magnetic, non-shiny, silvery-white with a slight bluish tinge.
StructureAluminum has a face-centered cubic structure that is stable up to the melting point.
To appearAluminum surfaces can be highly reflective.
toughnessCommercially pure aluminum is soft. It strengthens when alloyed and tempered.
ductilityHigh ductility. Aluminum can be beaten very fine.
malleabilityHigh formability. Aluminum is very easy to shape or bend.
Thermal expansionAluminum has a coefficient of thermal expansion of 23.2. This is between zinc, which stretches the most, and steel, which stretches half the range of aluminum.
conductivityGood electrical and thermal conductor.
CorrosionAluminum is resistant to corrosion due to a self-protecting oxide layer.
densityAluminum has a low density, as measured by gravity compared to water, of 2.70. Compare this to the density of iron/steel which has a density of 7.87
melting point and boiling pointCommercially pure aluminum has a melting point of around 1220°F and a boiling point of around 4478°F. These change as soon as the aluminum is alloyed.

Conclusions on the physical properties of aluminum.

The physical properties of aluminum help to understand its applications. Looking at the graph above, we see that aluminum has a good combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and ductility. This helps explain how aluminum can exist in the form of aluminum foil and soda cans, as well as pipes and irrigation hoses.

Polished aluminum exhibits good reflectivity over a wide range of wavelengths, making it the choice for a variety of decorative and functional applications, including devices and lasers.

Since aluminum is not ferromagnetic, it is suitable for the electrical and electronic industries. The thermal conductivity of aluminum alloys is beneficial in heat exchangers, evaporators, electrically heated appliances and utensils, as well as automobile tires, cylinder heads and radiators.What are the main properties of aluminum? (1)

(Video) Properties of Aluminum Alloys

Its face-centered cubic structure contributes to excellent formability. Aluminum is also non-toxic and is commonly used in food and beverage packaging. AfterThe Aluminum Associationit is also among the easiest structural materials to recycle.

chemical properties

Property or behavior of a substance when it undergoes a change or chemical reaction. In other words, the atoms of a substance must be destroyed for its chemical properties to be observed. Observations of this disturbance at the atomic level take place both during and after the reaction.

The chemical properties of aluminum.
To appearAluminum occurs as a compound found primarily in bauxite ore.
OxidationAluminum combines with oxygen to form aluminum oxide when exposed to moist air.
piroforoWhen aluminum is in powdered form, it ignites easily when exposed to a flame.
Ability to form alloys.There are hundreds of aluminum alloy compositions. Alloying elements include: iron, copper, manganese, silicon, magnesium, and zinc.
reactivity with waterAluminum reacts quickly with hot water.
Reactivity with alkalisReacts with sodium hydroxide.
acid reactivityAluminum reacts with hot acids.

Conclusions on the chemical properties of aluminum.

In a way, the chemical properties of aluminum are unusual compared to other metals. For example, the reactivity towards bases and acids is unusual for metals. This becomes a factor to consider when using aluminum as a container for liquids. You must be sure that the aluminum does not dissolve. Therefore, beverage cans have a thin coating to prevent corrosion.

Another fun fact about aluminum is that aside from its powdered form, aluminum is not pyrophoric. This means that aluminum in powdered form is combustible and is considered a dangerous hazard, especially during processing when fine dust particles are common.

The fact that aluminum combines so easily with oxygen has a direct impact on welding processes. The solid oxide layer that forms on the surface of the aluminum melts at three times the temperature of the underlying aluminum. Therefore, thorough cleaning of the surface, usually with acetone, is required before soldering, and alternating current is required throughout the soldering process.

(Video) [Hindi] Aluminium & Its Properties | Applications & More | Engineers Love Aluminium | Ankit Ras

mechanical properties

Mechanical properties establish a material relationship between stress and strain and measure the degree of elasticity in response to an applied load.

The mechanical properties of aluminum.
elasticity in tensionAluminum has a Young's modulus of 10,000 ksi. Compare this to copper at 17550 ksi or wood at 1595 ksi.
maximum tensile strength13,000 psi
cost effectiveness5,000 psi
yield strength of the bearing23100 psi
pure force9000psi
fatigue resistance5000psi

Conclusions on the mechanical properties of aluminum.

Mechanical properties have a significant impact in performance applications. This is especially true when considering how the mechanical properties of aluminum alloys differ.

For example, the strain tendency in series aluminum alloys is high for lower series alloys and low for higher series alloys. In other words, when comparing 1xxx series aluminum alloys to 7xxx series alloys, the 1xxx series alloys have significantly higher ductility.

This works in reverse, with lower tensile strength, hardness, and impact sensitivity being lower in lower tier alloys. So, in the same comparison, the 1xxx series alloys have much lower tensile strength, hardness, and impact sensitivity than their 7xxx counterparts.

Elevated temperatures also affect aluminum before it reaches the melting point. As a result, most aluminum alloys are not normally recommended for long-term service at elevated temperatures. However, certain alloys are specifically designed to withstand high temperatures, such as the 2xxx series of aluminum and copper.

(Video) Aluminium Alloys Explained

Aluminum's exceptional ability to form alloys extends its reach across industries and applications. Without this essential capability, premium aluminum would be too soft and flexible for applications that require greater strength and durability.

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What are the main properties of aluminium? ›

It has low density, is non-toxic, has a high thermal conductivity, has excellent corrosion resistance and can be easily cast, machined and formed. It is also non-magnetic and non-sparking. It is the second most malleable metal and the sixth most ductile.

What are the 5 properties of aluminium? ›

Aluminum Characteristics
  • Non-corrosive.
  • Easily machined and cast.
  • Lightweight yet durable.
  • Non-magnetic and non-sparking.
  • Good heat and electrical conductor.
Feb 27, 2019

What are the three most important properties of aluminum? ›

Takeaways for Physical Properties of Aluminum

Looking at the chart above, we see that aluminum displays a good combination of strength, resistance to corrosion, and ductility.

What is the best property of aluminium? ›

Aluminum is an excellent heat and electricity conductor and in relation to its weight is almost twice as good a conductor as copper. This has made aluminum the first choice for major power transmission lines.

What are the 3 main properties of metals? ›

Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity, and are malleable (they can be hammered into sheets) and ductile (they can be drawn into wire).

What are 3 physical properties of aluminum? ›

Physical Properties of Aluminum

Aluminum has an atomic weight of 26.98154, and an atomic radius of 143.1 pm. It is one of the most ductile and malleable metals. Aluminum is non-magnetic.

What are 4 common properties of metals? ›

Typical physical properties of metals :
  • high melting points.
  • good conductors of electricity.
  • good conductors of heat.
  • high density.
  • malleable.
  • ductile.

What are the 4 properties of elements? ›

The Key Atomic Properties

Atomic properties that are critical to the behavior of elements are electron configuration, atomic size, ionization energy, electron affinity, and electronegativity.

What is the most important are of aluminium? ›

Bauxite is the most common aluminum ore.

What are some important facts about aluminum? ›

Light, strong, flexible, non-corrosive and infinitely recyclable, aluminum is one of the most widely used and recycled metals in the world.
  • $7.3 billion was unwrought alloyed and non-alloyed aluminum.
  • $840 million was aluminum waste and scrap.
  • $545 million was aluminum plates, sheets and strip.
Feb 22, 2022

What makes aluminium so strong? ›

Aluminium is a lightweight metal with a density of 2.7 kg per dm3. By way of comparison, aluminium is about three times lighter than steel. Despite this, aluminium is a strong, tough and elastic material thanks to its low density and light weight.

What is the strength properties of aluminum? ›

Unalloyed aluminum is ductile, exhibits moderate strength, and is very resistant to corrosion under most circumstances. Aluminum can be strengthened by the addition of appropriate alloying elements (Cu, Mg, Mn, Si, etc.) and subsequent heat/work treatments. Aluminum is commonly used in both wrought and cast forms.

What are the properties of metal short answer? ›

Metals are malleable and ductile. Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. Metals are lustrous (shiny) and can be polished. Metals are solids at room temperature (except mercury, which is liquid).

What are the properties of metals answers? ›

Properties of metals:
  • Good electrical conductors and heat conductors.
  • Malleable - can be beaten into thin sheets.
  • Ductile - can be stretched into wire.
  • Possess metallic luster.
  • Opaque as thin sheet.
  • Solid at room temperature (except Hg)

What is the most important property of metal? ›

The key feature that distinguishes metals from non-metals is their bonding. Metallic materials have free electrons that are free to move easily from one atom to the next. The existence of these free electrons has a number of profound consequences for the properties of metallic materials.

What are the three main uses of aluminum? ›

Aluminium is widely used in the packaging industry for the production of coils, cans, foils, and other wrapping materials. It is also a component of many commonly used items such as utensils and watches. In construction industries, aluminium is employed in the manufacture of doors, windows, wires, and roofing.

What are the 3 physical properties? ›

A physical property is a characteristic of a substance that can be observed or measured without changing the identity of the substance. Physical properties include color, density, hardness, and melting and boiling points.

What is wood in Chinese medicine? ›

Wood exemplifies the energy of growth, change, and pushing through. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, elements are also associated with body organs. The Wood element represents the liver and the gall bladder. The liver function is considered to be the grand architect for our vision of the future.

What are the 6 properties of matter? ›

Physical Properties of Matter

Colour, density, volume, mass, boiling temperature, and melting point are the six main physical properties.

What are the 9 properties of matter? ›

Any characteristic that can be measured, such as an object's density, colour, mass, volume, length, malleability, melting point, hardness, odour, temperature, and more, are considered properties of matter.

What are the 10 properties of metal? ›

Properties of Metals
  • Metals can be hammered into thin sheets. It means they possess the property of malleability.
  • Metals are ductile. ...
  • Metals are a good conductor of heat and electricity.
  • Metals are lustrous which means they have a shiny appearance.
  • Metals have high tensile strength. ...
  • Metals are sonorous. ...
  • Metals are hard.

What are the 10 properties of elements? ›

Chemical properties
  • Atomic number. The atomic number indicates the number of protons within the core of an atom. ...
  • Atomic mass. The name indicates the mass of an atom, expressed in atomic mass units (amu). ...
  • Electronegativity according to Pauling. ...
  • Density. ...
  • Melting point. ...
  • Boiling point. ...
  • Vanderwaals radius. ...
  • Ionic radius.

What are the 8 material properties? ›

Blog How To Evaluate Materials – Properties To Consider
  • Conductivity.
  • Corrosion Resistance.
  • Density.
  • Ductility / Malleability.
  • Elasticity / Stiffness.
  • Fracture Toughness.
  • Hardness.
  • Plasticity.

What are four examples of properties? ›

Familiar examples of physical properties include density, color, hardness, melting and boiling points, and electrical conductivity.

What are the 4 types of properties? ›

There are four number properties: commutative property, associative property, distributive property and identity property.

What are the three main types of elements? ›

The three major groups on the Periodic Table are the metals, nonmetals and metalloids. Elements within each group have similar physical and chemical properties. Some of the physical properties used to distinguish between the three groups are: Luster = the ability of a substance to reflect light.

Why is aluminum so important? ›

Aluminium is an extremely versatile metal with a number of advantages, it is recognised for being both lightweight and flexible. It can be cast, melted, formed, machined and extruded meaning that it can be manufactured into a variety of shapes and then subsequently fabricated to suit a whole variety of uses.

What are the top 4 uses for aluminium? ›

To get in touch:
  • Architectural. Because aluminium is both strong and lightweight it is ideal for architectural applications. ...
  • Transportation. Aluminium is used for in transportation because of its weight and strength. ...
  • Consumer Goods. ...
  • Electrical.

Why does aluminum have great importance? ›

Aluminium is an important metal because it combines the strength of metals such as iron with extreme lightness and also with good conductivity and great malleability.

What is aluminum made out of? ›

Bauxites are the most common raw material in aluminum production. They are mainly made up of aluminum oxide mixed with some other minerals. If the bauxite contains more than 50% aluminum oxide, it's considered as high quality. However, there is a lot of variation in bauxites.

What is aluminium made of? ›

Bauxite is used as the main raw material in the manufacture of aluminium. It is a clay mineral found in tropical and sub-tropical areas such as Australia and the West Indies. The bauxite is often mined from only a few metres below the ground level. About 4-5 tonnes of bauxites are required for 1 tonne of aluminium.

Why does aluminum not rust? ›

Aluminum has a very high affinity to oxygen. When a new aluminum surface is exposed in the presence of air or any other oxidizing agent, it quickly develops a thin, hard film of aluminum oxide (or hydrated oxide in non-stagnant water). This aluminum oxidation is precisely what makes aluminum so corrosion-resistant.

Is aluminium hard or brittle? ›

Pure aluminium is soft, ductile, corrosion resistant and has a high electrical conductivity. It is widely used for foil and conductor cables, but alloying with other elements is necessary to provide the higher strengths needed for other applications.

Does aluminium react easily? ›

Aluminium is soft, lightweight and ductile with excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. It is highly reactive, though the metal is protected by a surface layer of inert transparent oxide (Al2O3) that forms rapidly in air, providing excellent corrosion resistance.

Is aluminum malleable or brittle? ›

The versatility of this metal is due to its ability to be combined with other alloys (ex: magnesium or silicon) in small amounts to diversify its applications. Although pure aluminum is malleable and somewhat brittle, commercial aluminum is very strong while still relatively flexible.

Is aluminium flammable? ›

* Aluminum is on the Hazardous Substance List because it is regulated by OSHA and cited by ACGIH, DOT, NIOSH, DEP, NFPA and EPA. * This chemical is on the Special Health Hazard Substance List because it is FLAMMABLE in powder form.

Is aluminium strong and hard? ›

Aluminum is a fairly malleable metal, so you're unlikely to find it on anyone's list of strongest metals. However, it's certainly stronger than many other materials. In fact, aluminum's balance of malleability and strength is part of what makes it such a useful and versatile material.

What is the energy of aluminum? ›

In general, oxidation products can be returned to the aluminum smelting process. Thus, energy required for bauxite mining and alumina refining (27.2 MJ/kg in sum) can be subtracted from total energy intensity: Calorific value of aluminum is about 31 MJ/kg.

What was aluminum first used for? ›

The history of aluminium was shaped by the usage of its compound alum. The first written record of alum was in the 5th century BCE by Greek historian Herodotus. The ancients used it as a dyeing mordant, in medicine, in chemical milling, and as a fire-resistant coating for wood to protect fortresses from enemy arson.

Is aluminium magnetic? ›

Under normal circumstances, aluminium is not magnetic, mainly because of its crystal structure. It's referred to as a paramagnetic material along with other metals like Magnesium and Lithium.

Is aluminum resistant to heat? ›

Heat Resistance

When comparing stainless steel vs aluminum, stainless steel has much better resistance to heat with a melting point of 2500 ℉, while aluminum becomes very soft around 400 ℉ with a melting point of 1220 ℉. However, aluminum has the advantage over steel in cold temperatures.

What are 5 physical properties of aluminum foil? ›

Physical characteristics
  • Density: 2.7 g/cm³
  • Alufoil specific weight: 6.35 µm foil weighs 17.2 g/m2.
  • Melting point: 660°C.
  • Electrical conductivity: 64.94% IACS (IACS: International Annealed Copper Standard)
  • Electrical resistivity: 26.5 nΩm.
  • Thermal conductivity: 235 W/m K.

What are three facts about aluminum? ›

Light, strong, flexible, non-corrosive and infinitely recyclable, aluminum is one of the most widely used and recycled metals in the world.

What are the top 4 uses of aluminium? ›

To get in touch:
  • Architectural. Because aluminium is both strong and lightweight it is ideal for architectural applications. ...
  • Transportation. Aluminium is used for in transportation because of its weight and strength. ...
  • Consumer Goods. ...
  • Electrical.

What common things are made of aluminum? ›

Aluminium is used in tables, chairs, shutters, picture frames, lamps, decorative wall panels, air conditioning units and radiators.


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