Aluminum is produced from one of the earth’s most plentiful ores. Once thought of as only a single metal and a costly one at that, it now constitutes an entire family of alloys and is the least costly (by volume) of all non-ferrous metals. Aluminum can be alloyed with other metals to produce suitable alloys for a wide variety of industrial and consumer goods.
Fasteners of aluminum now can equal and even exceed the tensile strength of mild steel and at about 1/3 the weight. Aluminum is easily worked both hot and cold. It can be polished to a high luster and possesses high electrical conductivity. It is an excellent conductor of heat, is non-magnetic and will not spark as will ferrous metals. It can be hardened by alloying, by heat treating and by cold working. It has remarkable immunity to attack by many acids and corrosive media.
Aluminum is widely used in aircraft, architectural hardware and building products, water systems, electronic equipment, chemical processing equipment, automotive applications, railroad equipment, some marine applications, electrical connectors for power transmission and for any application where its strength-to-weight ratio, durability, corrosion resistance and appearance are desirable.