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What’s up guys? This is Michael with Michael Talks Metals back for a little wrap up of some aluminum….or should I say a little aluminum wrap UP! OH!!!! I’ll be here all week! Now what’s on tap for today, let’s jump in!
The last several weeks we have been talking about some of the most common of the heat treatable aluminum alloys. Today we are going into some of the things that we have not mentioned before. All factor into how important aluminum is to modern life
Electricity plays a huge role in all phases of producing an aluminum part. Aluminum ore is essentially aluminum oxide and electricity is key to the process of separating the aluminum from the oxygen. A lot of electric power…….. means a lot of $$$$$$
Electricity also powers the equipment used to shape the aluminum at the mill and in the fabrication shop. $
Recycling aluminum takes only a fraction of the electric power needed to produce it from the ore. $$
From our earlier videos, you know that some elements are required and other elements restricted to small amounts. To review or if you have not already seen them …. click here
When recycling, care is needed to assure that the most value is obtained and any contamination minimized to keep it cost effective.. So we see that beverange cans are seperated from bar ends from the machine shop. Machine shop recycled aluminum typically keeps alloy grades or at least series seperate for maximum value.
Aluminum conducts electricity well but aluminum oxide is also an excellent insulator. We see applications in electric power bus bar conductors using high conductivity alloys like 1350 and 5005.
Aluminum is chemically very reactive but when an oxide is formed on its surface it is resistant to further reaction aka “corrosion” ….in many common environments. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that creates a uniform oxide surface layer on a part to provide enhanced corrosion resistance , a decorative finish, or cosmetic coloration. Alloys like 6061 and 6063 among many others
Aluminum is “soft” but its oxide can be very “hard” so an anodize can also be used to create a wear resistant surface. Think about a cell phone case or laptop in a rainbow of colors and in need of scratch resistance
Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor and finds applications in things from heat sinks in computer data centers to everyday cookware. Cookware can be hard anodized or accepting a nonstick coating in alloys like 3003
Aluminum is a lightweight alternative to many steels for use in everything from our cars, trucks, aircraft, and spacecraft. Semi trailers provide more load capacity and use alloys also resistant to road environment corrosion. In cars, improved fuel economy and / or cosmetics are the goal. In aircraft and spacecraft, the high strength 2xxx and 7xxx series alloys like 2024, 7050 and 7075 and many more provide the strength needed for many components.
Look around…. we bet you can find something made from aluminum without going very far. Food packaging, cell phone and computer components, cookware, cars, trucks, airplanes overhead, and the space station even further overhead.
Along the way, engineers have carefully chosen the alloy and temper required to provide the combination of performance characteristics of all these products and the specifications needed to produce them.
So as we always say….. CHECK THE SPECS
Thanks for watching and if you have by chance made it this far, please consider subscribing. If you missed any previous videos, click here. Have a great day, and thanks again for tuning in. This is Michael with Michael Talks Metal, OUT!