Applications of Aluminium

Applications of aluminum


Where and how is aluminum used?

In our time, the world produces more 50 million tons of aluminum per year, for example, c 2008 year, according to the American Aluminum Association - 53 million tons.

  • Where did all this goes aluminum?
  • In which industries is it used?
  • Where do we encounter him in everyday life?

Aluminum consumption per capita

Per capita consumption of aluminum in the developed world as of 1997 year shown in the figure below.

Aluminum consumption per capita in Japan, USA and Europe (1997) [4]

Consumption in industry and life

The figure below shows the eight sectors of industry and construction, in which the use of aluminum occurs particularly active. The percentages of the various sectors of industry in total consumption represented by statistics of the International Institute for aluminum 2007 year. Since, I think, the overall picture has not changed, and these data are quite relevant.

primenenie-alyuminiyaThe use of aluminum in finished industrial products [1]

The main industries, which are actively used aluminum, are:

  • Construction
  • packaging products
  • Electrical industry
  • transportation engineering
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Production of goods for everyday life
  • Powder metallurgy
  • Killed steel in the steel industry


Aluminum windows and facades

The main aluminum alloys, which find use in the construction industry, are alloys 6063 и 6060, and Alloy 6082 (in Europe) and alloy 6061 (in North America). They have a fairly high strength (6082 and 6061 - to 400 MPa) and good corrosion resistance.

window aluminum extruded profiles with thermal decoupling (alloys 6060/6063)

The most important design characteristics aluminum, which determine the use of aluminum as a material for window and door frames:

  • strength to ensure rigidity and safety;
  • the ability to take complex shapes (provided by extrusion);
  • attractive appearance;
  • corrosion resistance;
  • minimal need for maintenance.

Curtain facade with aluminum frame (alloys 6060/6063)

Stand sections, facade ryhelnыy

The aluminum roof and aluminum cladding of buildings

Decorative and protective profiled facing materials are frequently made from rolled aluminum sheets. Various kinds of decorative and protective coatings make them ideal materials for use as a roofing material.

Application for roofing and cladding of buildings provide the following aluminum properties:

  • low weight, due to low density;
  • water resistance;
  • corrosion resistance;
  • decorative appearance.

aluminum roofing


Aluminum in cars

The average weight of the aluminum in passenger cars in Europe 2006 It was about 118 kg and continued to increase. Its share in various components and parts of cars is (in kilograms per car):

  • engine cylinder blocks: 40,3
  • transmission: 16,3
  • chassis, suspension and control: 12,5
  • wheel: 17,7
  • heat exchanger: 12,3
  • brakes: 3,7
  • body: 6,8
  • heat shields: 1,4
  • bumpers: 2,8
  • other components: 3,9.

The aluminum cylinder block Vehicle

Aluminum car wheel rim

The use of aluminum for the manufacture of automotive parts is due to the following properties:

  • low density;
  • strength;
  • rigidity;
  • viscosity;
  • cost;
  • corrosion resistance.

Aluminum vehicle frame

Aluminum alloys for trucks


Aluminum alloys for tank cars [5]

Production of aluminum tank cars [5]

Aluminum alloys for dump truck bodies [5]

Production of aluminum tipper bodies [5]


Aluminum alloys for car vans [5]

Aluminum alloys for truck chassis [5]

Aluminum in car building

Design Intercity Express high-speed train
of aluminum extrusions – Germany, 1992

Aluminum carriage of urban rail transport [7]

Freight aluminum wagon for coal transportation [7]

Aluminum in shipbuilding

Aluminum patrol boat

Cruise ship with aluminum superstructure [5]

Aluminum catamaran yacht [5]

Aluminum alloys for aircraft

The first airplane the Wright brothers in 1903 he was mostly wooden and aluminum engine.

Among aluminum alloys, which are used in aircraft dominated high strength wrought alloys, such as , alloy 2024 (containing copper and magnesium) and alloy 7075 (containing magnesium, zinc and a little copper). Most of the aluminum alloys, which are used in aircraft, and their non-welded are combined in mainly rivets.

The figures below show the use of the series 2xxx alloys for airplane fuselage manufacture and 7xxx series alloys - for wings.



Application of aluminum alloys in aircraft construction:
a – 7xxx series alloys for fuselage and b – alloys of the 2xxx series for wings [2].

Airbus A380

Basic requirements for aluminum alloys in the aerospace industry:

  • low density;
  • high strength;
  • precision machining;
  • corrosion resistance;
  • cost of.

Armour aluminium

There are several benefits that make aluminum an material in many kinds of armor:

  • Aluminum has light (about one third that of steel).
  • Aluminium offers a high strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Ballistic performance must be balanced with light weight for vehicles that need to be transported by air, such as troop carriers.
  • High corrosion resistance.

space technology

first, who understood the enormous potential of aluminum for space, He was a great writer and the writer Jules Verne. In his novel "Journey to the Moon" from back in the 1865 year a detailed description of a rocket made of aluminum.

Aluminum alloys for spacecraft

Housing Sputnik, which was launched in October 1957 of the year, It was made of aluminum-magnesium alloy with a magnesium content AMg6 6 %. Aluminum-magnesium alloys remain the primary material for the manufacture of shells missiles. In the inner compartments missiles used duralumin and aluminum alloys.

The first artificial space object – Soviet Sputnik 1

In the last decades of the 20th century in the spacecraft began to use aluminum-lithium alloys. Lithium density is only 0,533 g / cm3 - it is lighter than water. lithium aluminum additives in an amount up to 2,5 % reduce the density of aluminum alloy , as well as improve its modulus of elasticity. So, alloy 8090 It has a density 10 % below, and modulus of elasticity 11 % higher, than the popular alloys in aircraft 2024 и 2014. The figure below shows the wheel rover Curiosity made of aluminum alloy 7075.


Wheel rover Curiosity aluminum alloy 7075-T7351 [7]

Aluminum is also used as a binder in composites boroalyuminievyh, which is now also used in space technology.

Boroaluminum composite (40 % boron fibers)

Aluminum powder - propellant component

The high chemical activity of aluminum makes it possible to use it as a rocket fuel for solid-fuel boosters in the space launch system (SLS) being developed by NASA..

The rocket boosters aluminum powder and perchlorate of ammonia are connected together using a special binder. This mixture, similar to the material eraser, then placed in a steel case [3].

When this mixture illuminates, perchlorate oxygen from ammonia coupled with the aluminum to form aluminum oxide, aluminum chloride, water vapor and nitrogen gas, as well as with the release of huge amounts of energy.

Aluminum is a solid fuel for NASA's rocket boosters. [3]

Packaging products

Rolled aluminum - and tape foil - used in packaging of dry and liquid products. Aluminum packaging accompanies us throughout our lives – this is, for example, aluminum cans and bottles, foil packaging in food and medicine. Aluminum has a low density, compatibility with food and drink and attractive appearance. This makes it an ideal material for various types of packaging: hard (cans) and soft (foil).

Aluminum cans for food packaging [6]

Aluminum cans

Made of aluminum 75 % beverage cans and 15 % containers for aerosols. Aluminum cans provide a significant reduction of packaging weight when compared to similar steel cans.

Can body is made from a series of alloy 3000 (aluminum-manganese alloys), which after landing deep rolled to a thickness of the wall 0,27 mm.

Banks cover is 25 % her weight. It is made of a more durable aluminum-magnesium alloy. Built in a jar rychag-“opener”, which is attached to the can on the integral rivet, another consists of aluminum-magnesium alloy. This rivet is rolled from the body of the cover during its manufacture.

Aluminum cans for packaging of beer and soft drinks

Requirements for aluminum alloys for the packaging industry sector:

  • low density;
  • strength;
  • good formability;
  • food and drink compatibility;
  • decorativeness (the ability to apply drawings and inscriptions);
  • cost of.

Wrapping foil

Aluminum foil is typically made of a series of technical grades of aluminum 1000. The properties of aluminum, which allow its use as a material for the manufacture of foil, the following:

  • strength and impermeability to liquids and gases at low thickness;
  • low density;
  • thermal conductivity;
  • heat resistance;
  • resistance to penetration of gases and liquids;
  • food and drink compatibility;
  • aesthetic and decorative potential.

Aluminum foil packaging

Wires and cables

The high electrical conductivity of the aluminum series of stamps 1000, as well as aluminum alloys series 8000, It makes them very suitable for electrical conductors. Aluminum conductors are used in the following cases:

  • distribution electrical substations;
  • power systems of high-rise buildings;
  • high-voltage power lines;
  • most underground power lines;
  • Power cables for industrial applications.

Most of the aluminum in the electrical industry is used in the form of cables (8 of 13 %). However, it is used also in the form of electric buses for equipment with high current, as well as for electricity supply of large buildings. Moreover, cables for industrial, commercial and residential buildings may contain many insulated conductors, are placed in a common protective aluminum sleeve.

Requirements for aluminum, which applies to electrical applications:

cars and equipment

Heating and ventilation systems

Series aluminum alloys 3000, 5000 и 6000 have good thermal conductivity. In combination with high strength, these alloys are good choices for use in heating and ventilation systems. These systems include the following components, in which aluminum alloys are used:

  • compressors;
  • condensers / evaporators;
  • expansion valves;
  • fans;
  • tubes.

The properties of aluminum, which are important for heating and ventilation systems:

  • high thermal conductivity;
  • high contact ratio;
  • low density;
  • High resistance to corrosion.

Consumer goods

Aluminum in large quantities used in the manufacture of various components, parts and casings of many consumer products, that surround our lives - household goods, for example, refrigerators, morozylnykov, dishwashers. Refrigerators and freezers comprise chillers, that, as mentioned above, also contain a significant amount of aluminum. Important properties of aluminum for consumer products are:

  • aesthetic properties;
  • corrosion resistance;
  • strength;
  • high thermal conductivity (for refrigeration units).


Equipment and tools

Anodized aluminum is widely used for products and parts in the medical and dental equipment, including:

  • Interior finish wards and medical offices
  • Instruments, that can withstand regular sterilization in an autoclave
  • hospital beds, stretchers, wheelchairs and other means for moving patients
  • Equipment for medical oxygen
  • Dental equipment and instruments
  • X-ray machines
  • Dialysis equipment.

drug Packaging

Aluminum foil is unsurpassed barrier, which protects drugs from microorganisms, sunlight, oxygen and other gases. Therefore, this foil is the basic material for the protective packaging of medicines and pharmaceutical materials.

Medicinal tablets in aluminum packaging

Powder metallurgy

Powder metallurgy - a process, which allows the product as a complex, and quartered form with minimal dimensional tolerances, thus eliminating the subsequent machining.

Important technical requirements, which apply to aluminum powders are:

  • low density;
  • the ability to perceive different types of finishes, for example, coloring;
  • thermal conductivity.

Steel deoxidation

To remove oxygen from the molten steel to the melt is added the so-called scavengers. As a deoxidizer often used aluminum, as well as manganese and ferrosilicon.

Typically, aluminum is added to the molten steel in the form of a 10-kilogram bars. For one ton of steel deoxidation requires about one kilogram of aluminum.

The properties of aluminum, which determine its use in the metallurgical industry as a steel deoxidizer:

  • reacts actively with oxygen in molten steel;
  • cost;
  • effect on steel metallurgy.


  1. WellMet, University of Cambridge, July 2010
  2. Lightweight Materials—Understanding the Basics /ed. F.C. Campbell – ASM International, 2012
  4. TALAT 1100.01
  5. Aluminium in Commercial Vehicle – European Aluminium Association – 2011
  6. TALAT 3710