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What is Aluminium?

Aluminium, a silvery-white coloured metal, is the 13th element in the periodic table. It has the symbol of Al. One amazing fact about aluminium is that it is one of the most widespread metals on Earth and makes up more than 8% of the total core mass of the Earth. It is known to be the third most common chemical element on Earth, the first two being oxygen and silicon. At the same time, since it easily reacts with other elements, pure aluminium does not exist in nature. 

Formally, aluminium was made for the first time in the year 1824 and it took another fifty years for people to learn how to produce it on a mass scale. Here, we will learn what is aluminium, what is the meaning of aluminium, the uses of aluminium, the physical properties of aluminium, the chemical properties of aluminum, and the application of aluminium.


Structure of Aluminium Atom

This is how the structure of the aluminium atom looks like.

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Properties of Aluminium

Let us now learn about the properties of Aluminum.

The physical properties of Aluminium are as follows.

  1. Aluminium is silvery-white in colour.

  2. It is a lightweight metal.

  3. Aluminium is highly reactive in nature. 

  4. It is malleable and soft.

  5. It possesses about one-third density and stiffness than that of steel.

  6. It is corrosion resistive.

  7. It is superconductive in nature.

The chemical properties of aluminum are as follows.

Aluminium Symbol

Al

The Atomic Number of Aluminium

13

The Atomic Mass of Aluminium

26.98 amu

Group 

13

Period 

3

Block

p

Aluminium Melting Point

660.323°C or 1220.581°F, or 933.473 K

Aluminum Boiling Point

2519°C or 4566°F or 2792 K

Density of Aluminum

2.70 gm/cm3

Relative Atomic Mass

26.982

State of Aluminium at 20°C

Solid 

Key Isotopes

27Al

Electronic Configuration

[Ne] 3s23p1

Discovered by 

Hans Christian Oersted in the year 1825


Common Uses of Aluminum

Let us now learn about the common uses of Aluminum in everyday life.

Aluminium is used in day to day life in different kinds of products which includes foils, cans, window frames, kitchen utensils, beer kegs, and airplane parts. This is due to some of its specific properties. It has a lower density, a higher thermal conductivity, and is non-toxic. It can be easily cast, formed, and machined, and has excellent corrosion resistance. It is also non-sparking and non-magnetic. Aluminium is known to be the second most malleable metal on Earth and the sixth most ductile metal.

It is frequently used in the form of an alloy since Aluminium itself is not that strong. However, alloys with copper, magnesium, manganese, and silicon are light in weight but strong. They play an important role in the construction of airplanes and many other different forms of transport.

Aluminium is also known to be a good electrical conductor and is widely used in electrical transmission lines. It is cheaper than copper and its weight is about two times as good as a conductor.

When Aluminium is evaporated in vacuum, it forms a highly reflective coating for light and heat both. It does not tend to deteriorate like a silver coating. The Aluminium coatings have several uses in packages, telescope mirrors, decorative paper, and toys.

Now that you know about the properties and uses of Aluminium, let us discuss the Aluminum foil uses.


Aluminum Foil Uses

Aluminum foil also called tin foil, is a paper-thin and shiny sheet of aluminum metal. It is prepared when large slabs of Aluminium are rolled until they become less than 0.2 mm thick.

Aluminum foil is used industrially for a wide variety of purposes, which includes insulation, packing, and transportation. It is also widely available in all the grocery stores to be used for household purposes. At home, people use aluminum foil to store food, to wrap foods, and to cover baking surfaces such as meat for preventing them from losing moisture while cooking.

People also use aluminum foil for wrapping and protecting more delicate food items such as vegetables while grilling them. Lastly, aluminum foil can also be used for lining grill trays for keeping things tidy, in scrubbing pans, and for grilling grates in order to remove stubborn residue and stains.

So, in case you are wondering what Aluminium is used for, it has all these uses in your day to day life.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the common uses of Aluminium?

Answer: Aluminium can be used as a metal and as a compound. Given below are a few uses of Aluminium as a metal.

  1. It is used in transportation due to its low density.

  2. It is used in the packaging foils, cans, frames, etc. due to its non-adsorbing and non-toxic nature.

  3. It is also used in building and construction.

  4. It has many electricity-related uses as well, such as in motors generators, conductor alloys, capacitors, transformers, etc.

  5. It is used in household items ranging from furniture to utensils.

  6. It is used in several machinery and equipment such as pipes, processing equipment, tools, etc.

2. What are the different uses of Aluminium compounds?

Answer: Here are a few uses of different compounds of Aluminium.

  1. Aluminium oxide is used in the form of a catalyst in several industrial processes.

  2. Aluminium sulfates are used in industrial and commercial applications like manufacturing of paper.

  3. It is also used in the form of mordant in dyeing, mineral oils deodorizing, leather tanning, in the pickling of seeds, and for the production of several other Aluminium compounds.

  4. The anhydrous Aluminium Chloride is used in the form of a catalyst in the dyeing industry, chemical and petrochemical industries, and in the synthesis of several inorganic as well as organic compounds.

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