A lightweight, silvery white metallic element. Aluminum, or aluminium (IUPAC), is the third most abundant element occurring in 8.3% of the earth's crust. Aluminum is found in clays (aluminosilicates), cryolite (sodium aluminum fluoride), alum (aluminum potassium sulfate), bauxite (hydrated aluminum oxide) and aluminum oxide (ruby, corundum, and emery). It does not naturally occur in the metallic state. Metallic aluminum was first isolated in 1825 by Hans Christian Ørsted in Denmark. By 1888, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) was producing large amounts of the inexpensive metal. By 1920, aluminum was being used for aircraft, windows, doors, handrails and interior household items. Aluminum is a good electrical conductor and a good radiation reflector. The soft, nonmagnetic metal can be cast, extruded, rolled, and wrought into many shapes. Metallic aluminum accepts a high polish and forms a thin, transparent, corrosion-resistant oxide layer. It can also be anodized, or electrolytically oxidized, to create a harder, more resistant oxide film. After World War II, dyes or pigments were popularly used to color anodized aluminum. Baked on enamel coatings for aluminum siding were developed in the early 1950s.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Al; aluminum (U.S.); aluminium (IUPAC, Br., Dan., Deut., Fr., Ned., Nor., Sven.); alumen (Lat.); alkuaine (Fin.); alumiini (Fin.); alluminio (It.); alumínio (Port.); aluminio (Esp.); glin (Pol.); CI 77000; Arclad; ALCOA; alumel (aluminum-nickel alloy);
Reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid, hot concentrated sulfuric acid and hydroxides.
Aluminum can corrode when wet and in contact with alkaline or metallic materials, such as concrete, plaster, wallboard, iron, or copper.
Crystal structure = cubic face centered
|Composition||Al (atomic no. 13)|
|Molecular Weight||atomic wt = 26.9815|
Hazards and Safety
Overexposure can cause irritation of eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
Powder and flakes form flammable and explosive mixtures in air.
Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS
° Stephen Kelley; "Aluminum", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
° O. Untracht, Metal Techniques for Craftsmen, Doubleday and Co., Garden City, NY, 1968.
° J.Waite, "Architectural Metals: Their Deterioration and Stabilization" in Preservation and Conservation: Principles and Practice, S.Timmons (ed.), Preservation Press, Washington DC, 1976, p. 213.
° Web Elements: Website
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- Website address 1 Comment: http://www.coloria.net/varita.htm - Finnish name, CI 77000
- Website address 2 Comment: alumel at www.answers.com