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We talk more and more often about the properties of materials that we have always taken for granted, partly because new ones are invented that could prove to be more efficient, partly because we wonder if they are really low-polluting and have little impact on our health. . Aluminum certainly has some important properties which allow it to be used and appreciated in many sectors. We have seen that it is not optimal for water bottles, because it is at risk of contamination, but we do not have to brand it as absolutely dangerous, indeed, among its advantages there is also the recyclability which is important to us.
This material immediately won the hearts of many and is still used for many applications, some of which we don't even notice. Let's see its main features. One of the most popular is the lightness which makes it preferable in some contexts to steel that weighs three times. For this reason we find it in abundant quantities in airplanes and in general in many applications in the aerospace and aeronautics sector. Despite being light it is very resistant, therefore also perfect for car construction for pistons, cylinder heads and other engine parts.
If we go back to thinking about aircraft, another feature of aluminum for applications in that sector is durability, or the ability toresist atmospheric corrosion. This happens because an impenetrable oxide film quickly forms on the exposed part that acts as protection, even marine exposures, and you can do without applying protective paints.
Aluminum is a conductive material, so it was used for making cables at high voltage of overhead power lines, with better results than copper because at the same weight it conducts twice as much. It also conducts heat well and we also find it at home in the systems of heating and cooling but also in the computers and in the radiators of the machines that thus cool easily
Speaking of houses, aluminum is not only in the home but also in its structure thanks to the fact that it has shown of resist environmental corrosion well caused by air and water. In construction it has become recommended for cladding of industrial buildings and for parts particularly exposed to attack by atmospheric agents in environments such as marine or industrial environments.
Those who use it know, aluminum is a very easy material to work with shape it with simple techniques compared to other metals. We can cast it, forge it and even reduce it to a very thin sheet. We can use it to create alloys that have similar characteristics to some plastics for vacuum molding. Extrusion is one of the most used techniques for processing and allows you to create shapes never imagined before. In general, choosing the right technique you can build anything.
Thanks to the alloys it is also a versatile material not being magnetic can be used for the ship's bridge and compass bodies.
Before talking about its recyclability, we must then admit that aluminum is also very aesthetic, looks good and therefore lends itself to making coatings and anodizations highly appreciated in modern architecture. We add that it is very hygienic, it is no coincidence that we find it in many packaging of both food and beauty or pharmaceutical products.
This is the paragraph we like the most. L'aluminum it is easily recycled and it does not cost much to do so, so much so that almost a third of the aluminum consumed today is produced by recycling scrap. Today, a quarter of Europe's aluminum needs are met by the use of recycled metal and the good news is that we can recycle it indefinitely, saving more than 90% of the cost of energy needed to produce new metal starting from the mineral from scratch.
Aluminum is a material with many environmental benefits to consider. We also think of its lightness that saves us a lot of energy even when transporting it, being resistant moreover, it goes against the logic of planned obsolescence and lasts a long time.
In industrialized countries there is usually an organized system that allows the effective recovery of about 70% of all aluminum components in cars and attempts are also made to recover it in other sectors, especially inpackaging. Too bad that today the customs and rules of the aluminum scrap market vary from one country to another, the best thing to know is to contact the relevant National Association. In Italy there is the Italian non-ferrous metals association and also the Italian aluminum center but it is even better to contact theEuropean aluminum association (EAA).