The History of Aluminum

The History of Aluminum

Aluminum nowadays has been used in almost every sector as it is known for its versatility and the myriad advantages it has to serve. The exciting thing about this metal is not only its wide range of applications but also its amazing history. 

Where Did It All Start from?

Aluminum is basically one of the rarest metals used extensively by the ancients for dyeing since the very start of the 5th century BC. The process to refine this rare metal from the ores is also quite complex. Next, in the middle Ages, its use for dyeing made it an article of trade of international commerce. In the Age of Enlightenment, alum was considered a salt of new earth by the Renaissance scientists, and alumina was established as an oxide of a new metal. 

The Discovery of Aluminum

A Danish physicist, Hans Christian Ørsted, was the one who announced the discovery of this metal in 1825. Later, his work was continued by the German chemist Friedrich Wohler.

How Aluminum Started Gaining Much Popularity?

Though the refining of Aluminum was a complex process, the use of it was also not very common. Moreover, after its discovery, the price of Aluminum exceeded that of gold, so not every person could have used it easily. The public saw a drop in price after the first industrial production of Aluminum which was made possible by the French chemist Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville in 1856. Later, different processes were developed by some renowned names, and the use of Aluminum since then gained much popularity. 

Aluminum Became the Most-Produced Ferrous Material

As Aluminum gained much popularity, it became the essential raw material to be used in engineering and construction sites. This sturdier material became apt for use in construction because of its durability, long-lasting nature, and, most importantly, its corrosion-resistant property. It is still used to make aluminum doors and frames and in the manufacturing of a number of things. Both the world wars saw the use of Aluminum as a critical strategic resource for aviation. Time by time, the use of Aluminum was increased, and the production of the metal raised from 6,800 metric tons in 1900 to 2,810,000 metric tons in 1954. Since then, Aluminum became the most produced non-ferrous metal, surpassing copper.

The Exceed of Aluminum in the 20th Century

The 20th CenturyCentury saw the exceed of Aluminum used in other sectors. Aluminum was later used for transportation and packaging. It's manufacturing for the time being became a source of concern because of its effect on the surrounding, but soon the manufacturers came up with the solution of its recycling, and since then, the production of Aluminum never saw a stop. 

The Change in Numbers for Aluminum Use

In the 1970s, the peak of the industrial era, this rate metal became an exchange commodity. Its production was then not only limited to the developed countries but also to the developing ones. In 2010, China had amassed an especially large share in both manufacturing and use of this now much popular metal aluminum. The world saw the change in numbers for the use of Aluminum. The world production continued to grow, and later it reached 58,500,000 metric tons in 2015. Its production now has beaten all of all other non-ferrous metals combined.

What Made Aluminum the Best?

The history and math of this incredible metal are clear from the exciting timeline and the change of figures in metric tons with its massive use. No metal can easily gain much fame in very little time. There were reasons behind, and the most interesting reasons were the following.

  1. The first reason is the lightweight of this amazing metal. Aluminum has a weight of just 2.7g/cm3, which is why it is massively used in curtain walling.
  2. Another reason is its corrosion-resistant material which makes it the favorite choice in construction sites.
  3. Aluminum is a recyclable material and is both malleable and ductile.
  4. Aluminum is alloyed with many other metals to enhance its physical properties.
  5. Because of the high tensile strength of aluminum, it is considered a much durable material as compared to the other metals.
  6. It is also an appealing and decorative material. The use of Aluminum in any construction leads to a smooth and textured finishing making it an ideal choice for the construction world.
  7. Aluminum is now also popularly used for wiring in utility and power transmission networks because of its ability to withstand shocks.