What comes to mind when you think about aluminum? For most of us, we tend to think about aluminum foil and other more basic uses of the metal. Aluminum, however, is an extremely interesting metal not to be overlooked. Check out these fifteen interesting facts you may or may not know about aluminum.
15 Interesting Facts About Aluminum
Fact #1. A royal history: Aluminum was once more precious than gold and silver. In fact, Napoleon III served dinners on aluminum plates.
Fact #2. Aluminum is one of the youngest commercial metals and has only been used for around 150 years. Compare this to copper, which has been around for more than 9,000 years, and aluminum is basically an infant.
Fact #3. Aluminum is strong, but lightweight, weighing just ⅓ that of steel.
Fact #4. If you’ve ever flown on a Boeing-747, you were traveling within 147,000 pounds of aluminum!
Fact #5. Aluminum is one of the most “green” metals out there. In fact, it only takes five percent of the energy needed to extract new aluminum from ore, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Fact #6. Despite aluminum being recyclable, Live Science states that only around 55 percent of aluminum cans make it into the recycling bin each year.
Fact #7. Aluminum is highly reflective and is used for tubing in the manufacturing of telescopes.
Fact #8. Aluminum offers unrivaled barrier properties and can block out moisture, bacteria, microorganisms, light, oxygen, and other gases. For this reason, aluminum foil is used in the protective packaging of pharmaceuticals.
Fact #9. Aluminum is also referred to as aluminium. While the spelling differs, the words hold the same meaning.
Fact #10. Aluminum is super flexible making it resilient to the shock of impact from things like wind, which is why the metal is often used in the manufacturing of outdoor structures and cars.
Fact #11. Most abundant metal and 3rd most abundant element in earth’s crust. Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, making up around 8% of it. The only elements in the Earth’s crust that are more abundant than aluminum are silicon and oxygen. Because aluminum is so reactive, it’s never found in nature in its pure form. Instead, it is found as aluminum ore, which must be smelted.
Fact #12. About 75% of aluminum ever produced is still in use today thanks to recycling. One of the greatest things about aluminum is how recyclable it is! Recycling aluminum takes only 5 percent of the energy needed to extract new aluminum from ore.
Fact #13. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt light bulb burning for four hours. Another cool fact about aluminum cans is that it can take as little as two months for a soda can to return to grocery store shelves as a part of a new can after being recycled. That means the cola you drank in April may be a diet cola by June!
Fact #14. Aluminum has only been used as a commercial metal for the last 150 years. That’s compared to copper, which has been used for 9,000 years! Before it was used in everything from soda cans to airplanes, aluminum was commonly used in fabric dying, hide tanning, fireproofing, and even first aid, as it was believed to help stop bleeding.
Fact #15. Aluminum was classified as a precious metal during the mid 1800s. Napoleon III, the first president of the French Republic, served only his most honored dinner guests with aluminum plates and cutlery. The rest of his guests were served on gold and silver, which were considered lesser than aluminum at the time.
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In need of aluminum in the Tampa Bay area? Tampa Steel and Supply has you covered. Whether you’re looking for metal for a project big or small, we have something for you. Contact Tampa Steel and Supply today to learn about our extensive list of products and services or request a quote today.