Aluminum and its properties.

Essay by jleeboy17High School, 11th grade December 2005

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Aluminum is a light weight metal that is known for its resistance to oxidation, strength, and it low cost. Several applications which this material is used for are cans, corvettes and spaceships. Aluminum alloys form vital components of aircraft and rockets as a result of their high strength to weight ratio. Aluminum's strength is increased when certain impurities are added to form different alloys. Certain alloys like aluminum wrought 2024 have high strengths. Aluminum has only been commercially produced for about 100 years but is already something that we often use in everyday life and has greatly affected the manufacturing industry.(Wikipedia)

Aluminum is also an element on the periodic table. At the atomic level aluminum is part of the group known as the poor metals. Poor metals are more electropositive than transition metals, but less than alkali metals and alkaline earth metals. Their melting and boiling points are generally lower than those of the transition metals, and they are also softer.

The atomic number of aluminum is 13 and its mass is 26.9815386g/mol. It has a face centered cubic crystal structure. Aluminum composes about 8% of the earth's crust making it the most abundant in the crust.

The composition of any alloy of aluminum is of course mostly aluminum. However they can also have very small amounts of copper, silicon, manganese, magnesium, zinc, titanium, chromium, lead, and bismuth. For example alloy 2024 is 4.4% copper, 0.6% manganese, and 1.5% magnesium.(Keller) The density of aluminum at room temperature is 2.70 g per cubic centimeter.(Biography. MS) This is an important feature of aluminum because it is very light weight. Its low density makes is about 1/3 the weight that of steel. In the liquid phase at its melting point of 660 C or 1220.58 F, aluminum has the density of 2.375 g...