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Aluminium: The Thirteenth Element is a Russian encyclopedia completely devoted to aluminium. The encyclopedia is published byUnited Company RUSAL, at the end of 2007, in both Russian and English. Four thousand copies were printed (240 pages).Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/W Battery

The encyclopedia covers various areas of aluminium application, starting from car engineering and architecture to jewellery andfashion, recounts how this metal was discovered, and describes technologies of its production, its properties and benefits for various spheres of life.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC Battery

The book consists of 9 chapters, with a index/glossary and name index enclosed at the end. The encyclopedia contains diversified illustrative materials stemming from Russia and from overseas photo archives, museums and private collections.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC/BI Battery


  • Chapter 1. The History of Aluminium Before the 19th Century. Historical background of aluminium in ancient times; archeological findings containing aluminium; first historic mentionings of aluminium articles; information about 'alum' – compound substances with chemical structures containing aluminium; production technologies alum and areas of their application in the Ancient Times and Middle Ages.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/B Battery
  • Chapter 2. How the Metal Was Discovered. Scientists and technologies associated with the first attempts to produce pure aluminium; the beginning of the industrial production of the metal and birth of aluminium manufacturing in different countries of the world; use of cryolite; deployment of aluminium in the 19th century; first machine-made aluminium products.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/B Battery
  • Chapter 3. A Precious Metal Becomes Industrial. Versatile methods of metals production starting from the 19th century, pioneering scientists (with examples, cuttings and illustrations from their patents) in this sphere and the role of electric current in reduction and decomposition of metals; aluminium applications in the late XIX — early 20th century, use of aluminium alloys in different spheres of life back in those times.
  • Chapter 4. Aluminium Production in Russia and the USSR: the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries. Development of aluminium smelting technologies in Russia, first domestically produced metal and its applications in the Soviet times.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/D Battery
  • Chapter 5. The Modern aluminium smelter. Contemporary aluminium production sites in different countries: used raw materials, cutting-edge methods, technologies and stages in production of aluminium; world's aluminium consumption structure and output; aluminium production process profile as exemplified by operation of modern potrooms at aluminium smelters, recycling and secondary use of aluminium in the world.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/D Battery
  • Chapter 6. A Metal Resembling Tin in Color and Luster. Basic data on the structure of aluminium atoms; different compounds containing aluminium; chemical and physical properties; different reactions involving aluminium.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/G Battery
  • Chapter 7. The Earth and Beyond (Aluminium Minerals). Most important aluminium minerals (oxide, sulfate, hydroxide, aluminosilicates, etc.); extraction, manufacture and use of precious stones made of aluminium minerals (like ruby, sapphire, etc.).Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/G Battery
  • Chapter 8. Aluminium around us. Various aluminium applications from packaging and kitchenware through to use in various industries (like aviation, space technology, car manufacturing, electrical engineering, railway, chemical and fuel industries); deployment of the metal in construction; aluminium in the human body.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/P Battery
  • Chapter 9. Aluminium and art. Use of aluminium in architecture, sculpture, furniture production, design, jewellery and fashion.
  • On the Threshold of the Aluminium Age. Role of the metal in evolution and the future of aluminium in the 21st century.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/W Battery

Aluminium alloys are alloys in which aluminium (Al) is the predominant metal. The typical alloying elements are copper, magnesium, manganese, silicon and zinc. There are two principal classifications, namely casting alloys and wrought alloys, both of which are further subdivided into the categories heat-treatable and non-heat-treatable.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/W Battery

About 85% of aluminium is used for wrought products, for example rolled plate, foils and extrusions. Cast aluminium alloys yield cost effective products due to the low melting point, although they generally have lower tensile strengths than wrought alloys. Sony VAIO VPCP11Z9E/B Battery

The most important cast aluminium alloy system is Al-Si, where the high levels of silicon (4.0% to 13%) contribute to give good casting characteristics. Aluminium alloys are widely used in engineering structures and components where light weight or corrosion resistance is required.Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery

Alloys composed mostly of the two lightweight metals aluminium and magnesium have been very important in aerospace manufacturing since somewhat before 1940. Aluminium-magnesium alloys are both lighter than other aluminium alloys and much less flammable than alloys that contain a very high percentage of magnesium.Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery

Aluminium alloy surfaces will keep their apparent shine in a dry environment due to the formation of a clear, protective layer of aluminium oxide. In a wet environment, galvanic corrosion can occur when an aluminium alloy is placed in electrical contact with other metals with more negative corrosion potentials than aluminium.Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery

Aluminium alloy compositions are registered with The Aluminum Association. Many organizations publish more specific standards for the manufacture of aluminium alloy, including the Society of Automotive Engineers standards organization, specifically its aerospace standards subgroups, and ASTM International.Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery


Aluminium alloys with a wide range of properties are used in engineering structures. Alloy systems are classified by a number system (ANSI) or by names indicating their main alloying constituents (DIN and ISO). Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery

Selecting the right alloy for a given application entails considerations of its tensile strength, density, ductility, formability, workability, weldability, and corrosion resistance, to name a few. A brief historical overview of alloys and manufacturing technologies is given in Ref.Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery

Aluminium alloys are used extensively in aircraft due to their high strength-to-weight ratio. On the other hand, pure aluminium metal is much too soft for such uses, and it does not have the high tensile strength that is needed for airplanes and helicopters.Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery

Aluminium alloys versus types of steel

Aluminium alloys typically have an elastic modulus of about 70 GPa, which is about one-third of the elastic modulus of most kinds of steel and steel alloys. Therefore, for a given load, a component or unit made of an aluminium alloy will experience a greater elastic deformation than a steel part of the identical size and shape. Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery

Though there are aluminium alloys with somewhat-higher tensile strengths than the commonly used kinds of steel, simply replacing a steel part with an aluminium alloy might lead to problems.

With completely new metal products, the design choices are often governed by the choice of manufacturing technology.Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery

Extrusions are particularly important in this regard, owing to the ease with which aluminium alloys, particularly the Al-Mg-Si series, can be extruded to form complex profiles.

In general, stiffer and lighter designs can be achieved with aluminium alloys than is feasible with steels. For instance, consider the bending of a thin-walled tube:Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery

the second moment of area is inversely related to the stress in the tube wall, i.e. stresses are lower for larger values. The second moment of area is proportional to the cube of the radius times the wall thickness, thus increasing the radius (and weight) by 26% will lead to a halving of the wall stress.Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery

For this reason, bicycle frames made of aluminium alloys make use of larger tube diameters than steel or titanium in order to yield the desired stiffness and strength. In automotive engineering, cars made of aluminium alloys employ space frames made of extruded profiles to ensure rigidity. This represents a radical change from the common approach for current steel car design, which depend on the body shells for stiffness, that is a unibody design.Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery

Aluminium alloys are widely used in automotive engines, particularly in cylinder blocks and crankcases due to the weight savings that are possible. Since aluminium alloys are susceptible to warping at elevated temperatures, the cooling system of such engines is critical.Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery

Manufacturing techniques and metallurgical advancements have also been instrumental for the successful application in automotive engines. In the 1960s, the aluminium cylinder heads and crankcase of the Corvair earned a reputation for failure and stripping of threads, which is not seen in current aluminium cylinder heads.Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery

An important structural limitation of aluminium alloys is their lower fatigue strength compared to steel. In controlled laboratory conditions, steels display afatigue limit, which is the stress amplitude below which no failures occur - the metal does not continue to weaken with extended stress cycles. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery

Aluminum alloys do not have this lower fatigue limit and will continue to weaken with continued stress cycles. Aluminium alloys are therefore sparsely used in parts that require high fatigue strength in the high cycle regime (more than 107 stress cycles).Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery

Heat sensitivity considerations

Often, the metal's sensitivity to heat must also be considered. Even a relatively routine workshop procedure involving heating is complicated by the fact that aluminium, unlike steel, will melt without first glowing red. Forming operations where a blow torch is used therefore require some expertise, because no visual signs reveal how close the material is to melting.Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery

Aluminium also is subject to internal stresses and strains when it is overheated; the tendency of the metal to creep under these stresses tends to result in delayed distortions. For example, the warping or cracking of overheated aluminium automobile cylinder heads is commonly observed, sometimes years later, Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery

as is the tendency of welded aluminium bicycle frames to gradually twist out of alignment from the stresses of the welding process. Thus, the aerospace industry avoids heat altogether by joining parts with adhesives or mechanical fasteners. Adhesive bonding was used in some bicycle frames in the 1970s, with unfortunate results when the aluminium tubing corroded slightly, loosening the adhesive and collapsing the frame.Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery

Stresses in overheated aluminium can be relieved by heat-treating the parts in an oven and gradually cooling it—in effect annealing the stresses. Yet these parts may still become distorted, so that heat-treating of welded bicycle frames, for instance, can result in a significant fraction becoming misaligned. Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery

If the misalignment is not too severe, the cooled parts may be bent into alignment. Of course, if the frame is properly designed for rigidity (see above), that bending will require enormous force.

Aluminium's intolerance to high temperatures has not precluded its use in rocketry; even for use in constructing combustion chambers where gases can reach 3500 K.Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery

The Agena upper stage engine used a regeneratively cooled aluminium design for some parts of the nozzle, including the thermally critical throat region; in fact the extremely high thermal conductivity of aluminium prevented the throat from reaching the melting point even under massive heat flux, resulting in a reliable lightweight component.Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery

Household wiring

Because of its high conductivity and relatively low price compared with copper in the 1960s, aluminium was introduced at that time for household electrical wiring in North America, even though many fixtures had not been designed to accept aluminium wire. But the new use brought some problems:Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery

  • The greater coefficient of thermal expansion of aluminium causes the wire to expand and contract relative to the dissimilar metal screw connection, eventually loosening the connection.
  • Pure aluminium has a tendency to "creep" under steady sustained pressure (to a greater degree as the temperature rises), again loosening the connection.Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
  • Galvanic corrosion from the dissimilar metals increases the electrical resistance of the connection.

All of this resulted in overheated and loose connections, and this in turn resulted in some fires. Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/P Battery

Builders then became wary of using the wire, and many jurisdictions outlawed its use in very small sizes, in new construction. Yet newer fixtures eventually were introduced with connections designed to avoid loosening and overheating. At first they were marked "Al/Cu", but they now bear a "CO/ALR" coding.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/PC Battery

Another way to forestall the heating problem is to crimp the aluminium wire to a short "pigtail" of copper wire. A properly done high-pressure crimp by the proper tool is tight enough to reduce any thermal expansion of the aluminium. Today, new alloys, designs, and methods are used for aluminium wiring in combination with aluminium terminations.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/T Battery

Alloy designations

Wrought and cast aluminium alloys use different identification systems. Wrought aluminium is identified with a four digit number which identifies the alloying elements.

Cast aluminium alloys use a four to five digit number with a decimal point. The digit in the hundreds place indicates the alloying elements, while the digit after the decimal point indicates the form (cast shape or ingot).Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/W Battery

The Aluminum Association is a trade association for the aluminum production, fabrication and recycling industries, and their suppliers.[1] The Association is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization based in Arlington, Virginia, United States. (The Association was based in Washington, D.C. until c. 2005 )Sony VAIO VPCW111XXP Battery

Pursuant to seven ANSI H35 standards, The Aluminum Association registers and publishes specifications describing the composition, mechanical properties and nomenclature of aluminum alloys in the United States.[6] These alloys are identified by the abbreviation "AA", for example AA 6061-T6.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXT Battery

Mission, vision, and goals

The Aluminum Association works globally to promote aluminum as the most sustainable and recyclable automotive, packaging, and construction material in today’s market. The Association provides leadership to the industry through its programs and services and assists in achieving the industry's environmental, societal, and economic objectives.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXW Battery

Member companies operate more than 200 plants in the United States, with many conducting business worldwide.

The Aluminum Association provides value to its membership through its leadership and services in aggressively promoting the growth of the aluminum industry globally by:Sony VAIO VPCW115XG Battery

  • Continuously strengthening aluminum's position versus competitive materials.
  • Developing, maintaining and promoting global standards that achieve customer requirements for aluminum product applications.
  • Representing the interests of its membership to the U.S. and international governments.Sony VAIO VPCW115XGP Battery
  • Providing research and education to actively address community and employee environmental, health and safety issues.
  • Gathering and presenting data, statistics, and other information about the aluminum industry in an accurate and timely manner.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/P Battery
  • Leveraging industry strength by establishing stronger domestic and global alliances.


In 1933, Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), a New Deal measure requesting each industry to establish codes and guidelines of fair competition.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/T Battery

Representatives of 13 aluminum companies met in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to set up these codes and formed the Association of Manufacturers in the Aluminum Industry. Members of the Association included the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) (Arthur Vining Davis), Reynolds Metals Company (Walter Hunt), and United Smelting & Aluminum (Milton Rosenthal).Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/W Battery

After the Act was repealed in May 1934, these industry leaders convened a special meeting in June, ultimately deciding to continue the Association of Manufacturers in the Aluminum Industry on a reorganized basis.

The Association was reorganized and renamed "The Aluminum Association," and its first official meeting was held in October 1935 in New York.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/P Battery

The Association defined its purpose as promoting the general welfare of the aluminum industry and its members.

Through the end of the 1930s, the Association would focus on expanding the uses of aluminum. Its first formal program in market expansion was a technical report called, “Corrosion Resistance of Aluminum Cylinder Heads,” which was distributed to engineers, automobile dealers, and repair shops.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/T Battery

With the onset of World War II, and aluminum's designation as a strategic material, the Association would serve as a central conduit for information relating to aluminum’s use in the war effort—disseminating government material, representing the industry on government boards, and providing statistical information to the industry and the general public.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/W Battery

During the course of the war, the aluminum industry would design and build 52 new aluminum production and fabrication plants for the U.S. government and add on to 37 existing plants. After the war, the government-owned aluminum plants were offered to bidders under the Surplus Property Act of 1944.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ Battery

Post-war Growth

The sale of these plants would help create Kaiser Aluminum and expand the operations of Reynolds Aluminum. Both companies joined Alcoa as major primary aluminum producers.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/P Battery

After the war, the Association, now with three principal divisions—sheet, extrusion, and foundry—represented 36 companies, including all three primary producersand companies whose output represented 85 percent of the total amount of the nation's aluminum fabricated products.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/W Battery

By the late 1940s, the Aluminum Association would recommence fulfilling its original purpose to promote the general welfare of the industry. In doing so, it instituted a number of projects, including:

  • Redirecting the efforts of the Publicity Committee, formed during the war, toward publicizing aluminum on behalf of the industry Sony VAIO VPCW11AXJ Battery
  • Initiating a program of standardization of aluminum specifications
  • Creating the Foil Division
  • Forming the Building Industry Committee to effect the change of the material-specified codes to performance codes—and eventually to standardize the codes across the country  Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/P Battery
  • Production (in 1959) of the Aluminum Construction Manual, precursor to the current Aluminum Design Manual.

The 1950s were a period of great expansion for the aluminum industry in the building, transportation, household products, electrical, and packaging markets. Thepublic relations program of the time promoted aluminum as “The Modern Metal for Modern Uses.”Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/T Battery

As the demand for technical data on aluminum grew, the Technical Committee was created. In the mid-50s this committee produced the precursor to the Aluminum Standards and Data.

A promotional symbol—the "Mark of Aluminum"—was developed by the Public Relations Committee in the early 1960s.Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/W Battery

The marks, which proclaimed aluminum as variously "lightweight," "durable," "versatile," and "rust-free," would appear on thousands of consumer products to proclaim the special attributes of aluminum.

Environmental and Energy Initiatives

The early 1970s saw the rise of the environmental movement.Sony VAIO VPCW121AX Battery

The industry would become heavily involved in establishing the nation's aluminum can recycling infrastructure. The Association also established new committees in energy and recycling.

In 1977, the Association would move its headquarters from New York to Washington, D.C. The Government Relations Committee formed that same year.Sony VAIO VPCW126AG Battery

By the end of the decade, the Association would announce that the aluminum industry had met and surpassed its energy conservation goal almost two years ahead of schedule. The industry had reduced the amount of energy required to make a pound of aluminum by 10.77 percent compared with the base year of 1972.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/P Battery

As the 20th century came to a close, the Association and its members would take an increasingly active and leading role in pursuing energy efficiency and emissionreductions in our primary operations. The Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership,(VAIP) launched in 1995 between the Environmental Protection Agency and the aluminum industry,Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/T Battery

has since succeeded in achieving dramatic reductions in perfluorocarbon (PFCs) gas emissions. The VAIP represented 18 of the 19 American aluminumsmelters and represented 98% of total aluminum smelting in the U.S. The program reduced PFC emission by 77% over 14 years. In 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded its Climate Change Award to the Aluminum Association for this program.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/W Battery

The Aluminum Association today carries out its role in promoting aluminum via a diverse set of activities: developing technical standards and data, collecting and publishing industry statistics, promoting plant safety and health, and monitoring and promoting technological developments that advance the metal's use across a range of applications.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/WZ Battery


United States' aluminum industry standards, which are voluntary, have been developed and continue to evolve to meet the need for a communication system to facilitate aluminum commerce.Sony VAIO VPCW12AAJ Battery

The structure for this communication system is defined by a group of six H35.x American National Standards, which include the authorization for The Aluminum Association to administer the registration of chemical composition limits and mechanical properties of cast and wrought aluminum alloys, with the accompanying assignment of alloy and temper designations.Sony VAIO VPCW12AKJ Battery

The ANS H35 standards are developed under approval by the Accredited Standards Committee H35 - Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys, which is an ANSI accredited standards committee. Aluminum Association (AA) standards are promulgated by the Technical Committee on Product Standards.Sony VAIO VPCW12AVJ Battery

In addition to registering alloy compositions and designations, the TCPS also registers alloy-temper product standards. Most industry product standards for aluminum mill products are published in Aluminum Standards and Data, available in both customary and metric editions. Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/P Battery

Similarly, the Association publishes the Standards for Aluminum Sand and Permanent Mold Castings, which provides engineering and metallurgical standards for casting alloys in metric and U.S. units of measurements.

Aluminum Association designations and product standards information are used throughout all facets of aluminum commerce, as well as in other organizations’ codes and standards.Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/T Battery

Aluminum alloy and temper designations, chemical composition limits and registered properties in North America all originate from the above system of ANSI and AA standards. These standards are also the basis for several international agreements for the worldwide producer registration of wrought alloys, unalloyed aluminum, and aluminum hardeners (aluminum alloy materials and grain refiners).Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/W Battery

Public Policy

  • Climate Change
    • The aluminum industry recognizes that climate change presents a challenge that requires cooperative action on a global basis, and promotes international participation.
    • Climate policies should recognize the benefits of recycling toward GHG emissions reduction. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/L Battery
    • After the initial energy investment in primary aluminum production, the recycling of aluminum saves 95 percent of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The industry’s complementary primary and reclamation system thereby reduces the overall energy consumption in total U.S. aluminum production by approximately 46 percent, and reduces GHGs by approximately 38 percent. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/P Battery
    • The industry sees opportunity for further reduction and supports policy that provides incentives for recycling.
    • The industry supports efficient and economically sound emissions trading programs and registries that recognize early emissions reductions. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/T Battery
    • It supports an economy-wide, fair-market-driven approach that may include a cap and trade program that limits GHG emissions. The approach should result in market incentives that stimulate investment and innovation in technologies necessary to grow while achieving environmental reduction targets.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/W Battery
    • To reduce potential negative impacts on the U.S. manufacturing sector, which by 2005 had already reduced total GHG emissions below 1990 levels, provision should be made in any GHG program to reduce the expected negative impacts of energy cost increases such as through corporate tax credits.Sony VAIO VPCW215AG/L Battery
    • The industry participates in and recommends public/private partnerships to spur pre-competitive research to reduce greenhouse gas process emissions and to promote energy saving aluminum product applications.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC Battery
    • The industry supports a responsible approach to growth in demand for its products and the consequent growth in activity and related emissions, noting that solutions to the climate change issue involve both reducing emissions at the source, and also over the full life cycle of the material or products.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/L Battery
  • Energy Policy
    • Energy represents about one-third of the total production cost of primary aluminum. Electricity is an essential ingredient in primary aluminum production. These factors together make energy efficiency and energy management prime objectives for the industry.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/P Battery
    • While the industry is a large consumer of both natural gas and electricity, the annual expenditure for electricity by the aluminum industry is more than $2 billion.
    • Since the 1970s, manufacturing energy consumption has grown at twice the rate of domestic energy production. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/T Battery
    • This gap between energy use and production will continue to adversely affect manufacturing if the country does not resolve national energy policy with a comprehensive U.S. energy strategy that enhances supply, improves infrastructure, and increases efficiency, without compromising environmental safeguards or imposing efficiency mandates.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/W Battery
    • The Aluminum Association supports the principles of electricity consumer choice and open access transmission, applied uniformly in the U.S. through a national system. However the industry does not support proposals for total federal pre-emption in all areas related to deregulation and restructuring. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC Battery
    • The Aluminum Association supports the establishment of a system that recognizes some inherent regional advantages in the cost of electricity. Consumer-choice legislation should not be tied to excessive taxing of electricity consumers to fund public benefits or a national mandatory Standard Market Design.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/L Battery
    • With artificial-market disadvantages, it may be impossible to operate or restore primary smelting capacity in the Northwest U.S., and other regional aluminum plants will be subject to similar concerns. The recommended approach is to provide short-term policies to help the industry survive the transition to a rational market situation, and provide long-term policies to restore supply-demand balance in electricity markets.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/P Battery
    • Certainty of an affordable energy supply is essential to capital investment in the manufacturing sectors that provide high-paying jobs. Putting the U.S. on the path to a reliable and affordable supply of domestic energy is essential to this country's short-term economic rebound and future long-term growth prospects. All supply options should be considered to contribute to a diverse and robust supply of energy Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/T Battery
  • Trade Position
    • The members of the Aluminum Association are fully committed to a fair and open world market for aluminum.
    • The Aluminum Association strongly supports the initiation of global trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO).Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/W Battery
    • The Association supports a comprehensive approach to the phased-in reduction and elimination of tariffs over a multi-year period, not to exceed 10 years.
    • The free flow of aluminum products on a global scale is vital to the future success of the U.S. aluminum industry.
  • Partnership With Department of Energy (DOE) Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/L Battery
    • The Aluminum Association and the United States Department of Energy partner to develop the aluminum technologies needed to achieve the industry's long-term economic, energy and environmental goals.
    • Aluminum is one of the United States Department of Energy's nine designated industries of the future.Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/P Battery

Lifecycle Considerations

The U.S. aluminum industry strives to maximize energy efficiency and minimize emissions from its upstream and downstream plant operations.Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/W Battery

  • According to the International Aluminium Institute, the average energy consumption per ton of aluminum production has fallen worldwide by 70 percent over the past century. A century ago, primary smelters took roughly 28,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) to produce a metric ton of aluminum from alumina. Sony VAIO VPCW21AAJ Battery
  • Today’s state-of-the-art smelters use 13,000 kWh to produce the same amount of aluminum.
  • Since 1995, U.S. primary aluminum producers have reduced perfluorocarbon emissions over 70 percent under the Voluntary Aluminum Industry Partnership. Sony VAIO VPCW21AKJ Battery
  • Partners have achieve reductions by reducing the frequency and duration of anode effects via a mix of management and technological changes, employing the best options on a smelter-by-smelter basis. U.S. aluminum producers have exceeded the DOE’s Climate Vision emission-reduction targets, reducing direct smelting emissions over 25 percent.Sony VAIO VPCW21AVJ Battery

Product Life

Much of aluminum’s contribution to reducing emissions, fuel use, and energy consumption comes during a product’s lifespan, particularly in aluminum’s largest end market: automotive and transportation. Aluminum’s light weight, combined with its durability, can result in dramatic energy and emissions savings.Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery

Studies recently undertaken by the International Aluminium Institute show just how dramatic those savings can be. Among their findings:

  • A doubling of the aluminum tonnage in cars worldwide between 2000 and 2010 will curb greenhouse gas emissions by 180 metric tons annually.Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery
  • The use of one pound of aluminum in place of 1.5 lbs. of steel in a typical bus or truck application reduces greenhouse gas emissions by almost 90 lbs over the lifetime of the bus or truck.
  • Use of one pound of aluminum in place of 1.6 lbs. of steel in a typical railway car reduces greenhouse gas emissions by almost 450 lbs. over the railcar’s lifetime.Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery
  • Global use of aluminum in the automotive sector increased from 5.5 billion lbs. in 1991 (source: IAI) to 12 billion pounds in 2006 (source: Ducker Worldwide).
  • Assuming that 12 billion lbs. of aluminum is used to replace denser materials, the potential savings in greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetimes of those vehicles would be approximately 240 billion lbs.Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery

So great is the potential for emissions savings from aluminum’s use in the automotive and transportation industries that Alcoa, among others, has forecast that the aluminum industry is well on pace to become “greenhouse gas neutral” in the next decade. That is, the global warming impacts of aluminum production will be fully offset by the amount of carbon-dioxide saved by its use in the transportation industry.Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery

Aluminum Association Sustainability Initiative

The Aluminum Association's Sustainability Initiative, launched in April 2008, promotes increased recycling, energy-efficient product applications, and increased operating efficiency.

Among the projects that will form the basis of the initiative are:Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery

  • Expanding the Curbside Value Partnership which the aluminum industry is partnered with the paper, glass, plastic, and steel industries to increase curbside recycling participation and collections. As of January 2011, Curbside Value Partnership became an independent 501(c)3 with a five member Board of Directors and continues to grow.Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery
  • World Aluminum Automotive Sustainability—In partnership with the IAI and the European Aluminium Association, the Aluminum Association will demonstrate that aluminum automotive applications can lead to potential savings of 140 million tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions and energy savings equal to 55 billion liters of crude oil over the lifecycle of such vehicles.Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery

Sustainable Technologies

Through participation in such partnerships as the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Industrial Technologies Program, the U.S. aluminum industry works to increase energy efficiency and lower emissions associated with the aluminum production process.Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery

Promising new technologies include:

  • Researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and NorandaFalconbridge are developing a way to produce aluminum at significantly reduced temperatures. Specifically, researchers are modifying the cell electrolyte to operate at lower temperatures—which could eventually permit the use of an inert anode.Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery
  • The ITP—working with Aleris Inc., among others—has supported the development of a radically new concept for melting aluminum—isothermal melting—that can dramatically improve energy efficiency in melting and other molten metal processes.Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery
  • Alcoa has launched a carbon capture technology at its Kwinana alumina refinery in Western Australia. The system mixes bauxite residue with carbon-dioxide to lock up large volumes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery

International Partnerships

The aluminum industry continues to move forward on both the national and international fronts to advance sustainability efforts.

In July 2005, the U.S. entered into an agreement known as the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate—or “AP6”—with Australia, India, China, Japan, and South Korea (Canada has since also joined).Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery

Together these countries—and their energy-intensive industries, such as aluminum—are working to develop and deploy more efficient technologies and to meet national pollution-reduction, energy-security, and climate-change concerns.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery

The Aluminum Task Force, co-chaired by the U.S., is developing realistic work plans and identifying aluminum-specific projects that will be carried out to help achieve the partnership’s goals. Among those goals are to realize a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the seven countries by 2050 compared with current projections if no action were taken.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery


Recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy and 95 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing aluminum from ore.

Can Recycling

  • Aluminum can recycling is beneficial for individuals, communities, organizations, companies and industries.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery
  • An early and highly successful sustainability initiative by the aluminum industry was its creation of the aluminum can recycling infrastructure. In response to environmental concerns and rising energy prices in the early 1970s, Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery
  • the industry created a network of drop-off and buy-back centers to prevent used beverage cans from being landfilled—and instead rerouted to facilities that would melt the aluminum, reconstitute it into ingots and send it on to mills that would roll it back into can sheet.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
  • Since that time, the aluminum can recycling rate has increased from 15 percent to over 50 percent; gross tonnage of aluminum cans collected has increased 35-fold, and the number of cans collected has increased by a factor of over 50.
  • Today, the aluminum can is the most recycled beverage container in the United States.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery

Environmental Benefits

  • Recycling aluminum cans conserves natural resources, landfills, energy, time and money.
  • Recycling aluminum consumes 95 percent less energy than does producing aluminum from ore—and that means lower emissions associated with production of the metal.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery
  • Recycling of aluminum cans is ultra-efficient: within 60 days, a can is recycled, reprocessed into a new can and is back on store shelves.
  • In 2009, nearly 55.5 billion aluminum cans were recycled, for a recycling rate of 57.4 percent, saving the energy equivalent of over 15 million barrels of crude oil, or America’s entire gasoline consumption for one day.Sony VAIO VPC
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Economic Benefits

  • Among commonly recycled materials in the consumer waste stream, recycled aluminum alone pays for its own cost of collection - and then some.
  • The aluminum can is the most valuable container to recycle. Sony VAIO VPCZ110GB/BI Battery
  • Depending on current market price, recycling one ton of aluminum cans typically yields well over $1,000 of revenue, while recycling a ton of steel, glass, plastics, or paper comes nowhere close to covering the average collection cost of $200 per ton.Sony VAIO VPCZ112GD/S Battery
  • Each year, the aluminum industry pays out more than $800 million for empty aluminum cans - money that goes toward organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, and local schools. Money earned from recycling cans helps people help themselves and their communities.Sony VAIO VPCZ112GX/S Battery
  • According to the U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study, more than 50,000 recycling and reuse establishments nationwide employ over one million people and generate an annual payroll of $37 billion and gross $236 billion in annual revenue. Aluminum can recycling underpins much of this infrastructure.Sony VAIO VPCZ114GX/S Battery
  • Aluminum has a high market value and continues to provide an economic incentive to recycle. When aluminum cans are recycled curbside, they help pay for community services.
  • Were it not for the recycling of aluminum beverage cans, most consumer recycling would not be remotely feasible and would probably cease—unless it were to be underwritten by government. Sony VAIO VPCZ115 Battery
  • Recycling aluminum thus benefits not only our industry and its consumers, but also the producers and consumers of many competing industries whose recycling efforts ours effectively underwrites.

Community Benefits

  • Aluminum can recycling enables charitable organizations and groups to earn funds to further local projects. Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/B Battery
  • The money earned enhances programs, communities and improves the quality of people’s lives. From a local can drive to raise money for school improvements, to a Boy or Girl Scout troop “Cans Into Cash” competition to pay for camp, recycling is used all over the country to help others.Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/S Battery
  • The Aluminum Association's Cans for Caus program supports all organizations in their effort to recycle by providing recycling bins and help in locating nearby recycling centers. Organizations then collect aluminum cans, take them to the drop-off centers, and collect money in return. The collected funds are the property of the organization, which can distribute it as it sees fit.Sony VAIO VPCZ116 Battery

Building/Construction Recycling

  • An Aluminum Association survey of aluminum producers in mid-2008 indicated that the total recycled content of domestically produced, flat rolled products for the Building and Construction market was approximately 85%. The survey of the producers also indicated that on average ~60% of the total product content is from post-consumer sources.Sony VAIO VPCZ116GX/S Battery
  • While these numbers represent the industry average, higher post-consumer and total recycled content material may be available from individual producers.
  • Not only does the aluminum used in the building and construction industry contain a high percentage of both post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content, at the end of its long, useful life, the alumnum is 100% recyclable. Sony VAIO VPCZ117 Battery
  • Aluminum building components can be repeatedly recycled back into similar products with no loss of quality.

Automotive Recycling

  • Automotive aluminum is infinitely recyclable and uses only 5 percent of the original energy required to put it back into a reusable form.
  • Nearly 90 percent of auto aluminum is recovered and recycled.Sony VAIO VPCZ117FC/B Battery
  • Automotive aluminum accounts for 5 to 10 percent of scrapped automobiles by weight, but represents 30 to 50 percent of its scrap value.
  • Recycling the aluminum currently in use would equal 15 years’ primary output.Sony VAIO VPCZ118 Battery

Aluminium foil is aluminium prepared in thin metal leaves, with a thickness less than 0.2 millimetres (8 mils), thinner gauges down to 6 µm (0.2 mils) are also commonly used.In the USA, foils are commonly gauged in mils. Standard household foil is typically 0.022 millimetres (0.9 mils) thick and heavy duty household foil is typically 0.033 millimetres (1 mil).Sony VAIO VPCZ118GC/B Battery

The foil is pliable, and can be readily bent or wrapped around objects. Thin foils are fragile and are sometimes laminated to other materials such as plastics or paper to make them more useful. Aluminium foil supplanted tin foil in the mid 20th century.

Annual production of aluminium foil was approximately 800,000 tonnes (880,000 tons) in Europe[1] and 600,000 tonnes (660,000 tons) in the USA in 2003.Sony VAIO VPCZ118GX/S Battery

Approximately 75% of aluminium foil is used for packaging of foods, cosmetics, and chemical products, and 25% used for industrial applications (e.g. thermal insulation, cables and electronics).

In North America, aluminium foil is known as aluminum foil. It is also sometimes called Reynolds wrap afterReynolds Metals, the leading manufacturer in North America.Sony VAIO VPCZ119 Battery

In the United Kingdom and United States it is, informally, widely called tin foil, for historical reasons. Metallised films are sometimes mistaken for aluminium foil, but are actually polymer films coated with a thin layer of aluminium.

Before aluminium foil

Foil made from a thin leaf of tin was commercially available before its aluminium counterpart. It was marketed commercially from the late nineteenth into the early twentieth century. Sony VAIO VPCZ119FJ/S Battery

The term "tin foil" survives in the English language as a term for the newer aluminium foil. Tin foil is less maleable than aluminium foil and tends to give a slight tin taste to food wrapped in it. Tin foil has been supplanted by aluminium and other materials for wrapping food.

The first audio recordings on phonograph cylinders were made on tin foil.Sony VAIO VPCZ119GC/X Battery

The first aluminium foil

Tin was first replaced by aluminium in 1910, when the first aluminium foil rolling plant, "Dr. Lauber, Neher & Cie." was opened in Emmishofen, Switzerland. The plant, owned by J.G. Neher & Sons, the aluminium manufacturers, started in 1886 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland , at the foot of the Rhine Falls - capturing the falls' energy to produce aluminium.Sony VAIO VPCZ119L Battery

Neher's sons together with Dr. Lauber discovered the endless rolling process and the use of aluminium foil as a protective barrier in December 1907.

The first use of foil in the United States was in 1913 for wrapping Life Savers, candy bars, and gum. Processes evolved over time to include the use of print, colour, lacquer, laminate and the embossing of the aluminium.Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/B Battery


Aluminium foil is produced by rolling sheet ingots cast from molten aluminium, then re-rolling on sheet and foil rolling mills to the desired thickness, or by continuously casting and cold rolling. To maintain a constant thickness in aluminium foil production, beta radiation is passed through the foil to a sensor on the other side. Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/S Battery

If the intensity becomes too high, then the rollers adjust, increasing the thickness. If the intensities become too low and the foil has become too thick, the rollers apply more pressure, causing the foil to be made thinner.

The continuous casting method is much less energy intensive and has become the preferred process.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AFJ Battery

For thicknesses below 0.025 mm (1.0 mil), two layers are usually put together for the final pass and afterwards separated which produces foil with one bright side and one matte side. The two sides in contact with each other are matte and the exterior sides become bright, this is done to reduce tearing, increase production rates, control thickness, and get around the need for a smaller diameter roller.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AGJ Battery

Some lubrication is needed during the rolling stages; otherwise the foil surface can become marked with a herringbone pattern. These lubricants are sprayed on the foil surface before passing through the mill rolls. Kerosene based lubricants are commonly used, although oils approved for food contact must be used for foil intended for food packaging.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AVJ Battery

Aluminium becomes work hardened during the cold rolling process and is annealed for most purposes. The rolls of foil are heated until the degree of softness is reached, which may be up to 340 °C (644 °F) for 12 hours. During this heating, the lubricating oils are burned off leaving a dry surface.Sony VAIO VPCZ11CGX/X Battery

Lubricant oils may not be completely burnt off for hard temper rolls, which can make subsequent coating or printing more difficult.


Aluminium foils thicker than 25 µm (1.0 mil) are impermeable to oxygen and water. Foils thinner than this become slightly permeable due to minute pinholes caused by the production process.Sony VAIO VPCZ11DGX/SJ Battery

Aluminium foil has a shiny side and a matte side. The shiny side is produced when the aluminium is rolled during the final pass. It is difficult to produce rollers with a gap fine enough to cope with the foil gauge, therefore, for the final pass, two sheets are rolled at the same time, doubling the thickness of the gauge at entry to the rollers. Sony VAIO VPCZ11FHX/XQ Battery

When the sheets are later separated, the inside surface is dull, and the outside surface is shiny. This difference in the finish has led to the perception that favouring a side has an effect when cooking. While many believe that the different properties keep heat out when wrapped with the shiny finish facing out, and keep heat in with the shiny finish facing inwards, Sony VAIO VPCZ11V9R/B Battery

the actual difference is imperceptible without instrumentation. The reflectivity of bright aluminium foil is 88% while dull embossed foil is about 80%.


As aluminium foil acts as a complete barrier to light and oxygen (which cause fats to oxidise or become rancid), odours and flavours, moisture, and bacteria, it is used extensively in food and pharmaceutical packaging. Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E/B Battery

Aluminium foil is used to make long life packs (aseptic packaging) for drinks and dairy products which enables storage without refrigeration. Aluminium foil laminates are also used to package many other oxygen or moisture sensitive foods, and tobacco, in the form of pouches, sachets and tubes, and as tamper evident closures.Sony VAIO VPCZ11Z9E/B Battery

Aluminium foil containers and trays are used to bake pies and to pack takeaway meals, ready snacks and long life pet foods.

Aluminium foil is widely sold into the consumer market, often in rolls of 500 mm (20 in) width and several metres in length.Sony VAIO VPCZ125GX/S Battery

It is used for wrapping food in order to preserve it, for example when storing leftover food in a refrigerator (where it serves the additional purpose of preventing odour exchange), when taking sandwiches on a journey, or when selling some kinds of take-away orfast food. Tex-Mex restaurants in the United States, for example, typically provide take-away burritos wrapped in aluminium foil.Sony VAIO VPCZ127FC Battery


Aluminium foil is widely used for thermal insulation (barrier and reflectivity), heat exchangers (heat conduction) and cable liners (barrier and electrical conductivity). Aluminium foil's heat conductive qualities make it a common accessory in hookah smoking:Sony VAIO VPCZ128GC Battery

a sheet of perforated aluminium foil is frequently placed between the coal and the tobacco, allowing the tobacco to be heated without coming into direct contact with the burning coal.

EMF shielding

The typical shielding effectiveness of aluminium foil for a 100 MHz Spectrum is 80 dB per standard mil.Sony VAIO VPCZ12M9E/B Battery


Aluminium foil is also used for barbecuing more delicate foods such as mushrooms and vegetables; food is wrapped in foil then placed on the grill, preventing loss of moisture that may result in a less appealing texture.

As is the case with all metallic items, aluminium foil reacts to being microwaved. Sony VAIO VPCZ13M9E/B Battery

This is due to the effect of electric fields of the microwaves causing a build up of charge to form between the sharp points in the aluminium; if enough charge accumulates it will discharge to a different place on the foil, creating a spark (i.e., arcing). The design of modern microwave ovens has been corrected so microwave energy cannot be reflected back into the magnetron, and aluminium packages designed for microwave heating are available. Sony VAIO VPCZ13V9E/X Battery

Art and decoration

Heavier foils made of aluminium are used for art, decoration, and crafts, especially in bright metallic colours. Metallic aluminium, normally silvery in colour, can be made to take on other colours through anodization. Anodizing creates an oxide layer on the aluminium surface that can accept coloured dyes or metallic salts, depending on the process used. Sony VAIO VPCZ13Z9E/X Battery

In this way, aluminium is used to create an inexpensive gold foil that actually contains no gold, and many other bright metallic colours. These foils are sometimes used in distinctive packaging.

Geochemical sampling

Foil is used by organic/petroleum geochemists for protecting rock samples taken from the field and in the lab, where the sample is subject to biomarker analysis.Sony VAIO VPCZZZHJ Battery

While plastic or cloth bags are normally used for a geological sampling exercise, cloth bags are permeable and may allow organic solvents or oils (such as oils imparted from the skin) to taint the sample, and traces of the plastics from plastic bags may also taint the sample. Foil provides a seal to the ingress of organic solvents and does not taint the sample.Sony VAIO VPZ117 Battery

Foil is also used extensively in geochemical laboratories to provide a barrier for the geochemist, and for sample storage.

Polishing steel

Aluminum foil is used to remove rust from steel and polishes steel surfaces by hand by rubbing it with aluminium foil dipped in water. The aluminium foil is softer than steel, and does not scratch the surface.Sony VAIO VPZ118 Battery

Heat is generated by rubbing friction, the aluminium oxidizes to produce aluminium oxide. Aluminium has a higherreduction potential than iron, and therefore leaches oxygen atoms away from any rust on the steel surface. Aluminium oxide is harder than steel, and the microscopic grains of aluminium oxide produced create a fine metal polishing compound that smoothes the steel surface to a bright shine.Sony VAIO VPZ119 Battery

Ribbon microphones

The material used in many ribbon microphones is aluminium leaf or "imitation silver leaf" as it is sometimes called. This is pure aluminium and is around 0.6-2.0 micrometres thick. It is in fact virtually the same material that the BBC used on Coles ribbons, with the exception that they also hand beat the leaf even more. Sony VPCM11M1E/B Battery

They did this by sandwiching the ribbon between toilet paper and beating with a ball peen hammer. This "cold forges" the leaf. Corrugations must also be imparted into the ribbon, Coles used 25 per inch (1 mm cycle), RCA 44BX has 19 per inch (0.7 mm cycle) and is around 50 mm (2.0 in) long. RCA 77 has 13 corrugations per inch (0.5 mm cycle). Sony VPCM11M1E/W Battery

RCA ribbon material is around 1 - 1.5 micrometers (0.00005 inch). The new Nady ribbon plus AEA both clearly advertise the fact they use 2 micrometre aluminium ribbon in their mics.

Environmental issues

The extensive use of aluminium foil has been criticized by environmentalists because of the high resource cost of extracting aluminium, primarily as a result of the large amount of electricity used to process bauxite ore. Sony VPCM12M1E/L Battery

This cost is reduced via recycling, reduced energy requirements during transport due to lighter weight packages, and the fact that many foods that would otherwise perish can be protected over long periods without refrigeration. Sony VPCM12M1E/P Battery

Some aluminium foil products can be recycled at around 5% of the original energy cost,although many aluminium laminates are not recycled due to difficulties in separating the components and low yield of aluminium metal.Sony VPCM12M1E/W Battery,Sony VPCM13M1E/L Battery,Sony VPCM13M1E/P Battery,Sony VPCM13M1E/W Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z11MN/B Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z11VN/X Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z11XN/B Battery

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