Aluminum is a very versatile metal with a range of properties that make it:
- Lightweight - Aluminum is about one-third the weight of an equal volume of copper, steel or brass.
- Strength - Aluminum can withstand heavy loads and pressure; when alloyed appropriately, its strength approaches that of steel.
- High strength-to-weight ratio - The ratio of the tensile strength of aluminum, divided by density, is higher than any other metal.
- Corrosion resistance - The formation of a microscopic film of aluminium oxide on the surface of the metal protects it against the corrosive influences of water, salt and other influences.
- Resilience/Flexibility - Some applications require some flexibility in addition to strength; an aluminum sailboat mast can spring back where necessary and bend slightly. Aluminum streetlights also provide necessary resilience with safety benefits of flexibility.
- Electrical conductivity - Aluminum has twice the conductivity of an equal weight of copper.
- Thermal conductivity - Aluminum spreads heat or cooling energy evenly and quickly.
- Non-toxicity - Aluminum is ideal for packaging and cooking material finishes because it is non-toxic.
- Reflectivity - Aluminum reflects light and other forms of radiant energy.
- Ductility - Aluminum is easy to cold work and fabricate.
- Malleability - The vulnerability of aluminum to heat and pressure make it ideal for extruding into formed, intricate shapes with ledges, grooves, hinges, screwholes and interlocking parts. This allows the creation of single components, whereas other metals must be manufactured into pieces that must then be assembled to create a final product.
- Mixability - Aluminum can be easily modified by the addition of alloys to make a final metal that is even more resilient, conductive or malleable than aluminum alone.
- Finishing - Aluminum can be finished with a variety of coatings and finishes such as paint, lacquer, porcelain or organic coatings, which can be anodized to bond to the metal.
- Recyclability - Aluminum can be easily reclaimed and recycled into new, final aluminum products.
- Availability - Alumina is the most abundant metallic element in the earth's crust.
- Cost-efficiency - Aluminum processing is inexpensive.
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