Aluminium was used for various purposes like dyeing, tanning and stop bleeding by Greeks and Romans in ancient times. At the present time it is used in plenty of industrial sections due to the fact that it has low density, it can be processed highly and easily, it is corrosion-resistant and it has low cost. It has a significant role in the world economy because it is preferred on manufacture of millions of different products such as tin can, window frame, boat and plane.
In the 1850s, aluminium was more valuable than gold in spite of it abounds. Because to convert its minerals to metal was difficult. In 1852, aluminium was priced at $1,200 per kg. and gold at $664 per kg. In 1854, Saint-Claire Deville found a way of replacing potassium with much cheaper sodium in the reaction to isolate aluminium. So in 1859, the price of aluminium went down to $37 per kg. In this period, aluminium was been popularized more, but it was still preferred as ornament material rather than practical use. In 1886, the Hall-Herault electrolytic process was discovered. So in 1895 aluminium’s price had dropped to just $1.20 per kg. This process is the basic method used on aluminium production today.
Interesting information about aluminium:
- There is a great deal of aluminium on the moon.
- It is the third most abundant element in our planet's crust behind oxgyen and silicon.
- The energy saved by recycling a single aluminium can runs a TV for three hours.
- When an aluminium can is recycled, it can be back as new drink can in just two months.
- Recycling uses only 5 % of the energy needed to produce aluminium from its ore, bauxite.
- 75% of the aluminium produced from 1890, the year when commercial production started, until now is still in the market.
Aluminium, the second most used metal behind iron, is mainly preferred construction, transportation, packaging, electric-electronic and furnishing sectors. Because it is weightless, durable and fire-proof, it is an indispensable material for construction sector. It is greatly chosen in building claddings, doors and windows, stairs, cradlings, structural frameworks and greenhouses.
As advantages of aluminium are understood more day by day, new usage areas have been rising. Aluminium is not only today’s material, but also tomorrow’s.