Aluminum


It is the thirteenth element of the periodic table, with symbol Al and atomic mass 26.9815386. It is considered one of the most abundant materials on the earth’s surface, representing 8% of the total crust.

It is present in many rocks, specifically in silicates, the most abundant group of minerals on the planet, in addition to bauxite, one of the few stones from which aluminum can be extracted in metal form, using the Bayer process. Among its most outstanding characteristics is that it is highly resistant to corrosion, its low density, as well as its high conductivity with respect to energy and heat.

It is a fairly cheap metal, which is why it is one of the most used in industries since the 20th century. However, one of the obstacles when processing it is the incredible amount of electricity it needs, although this factor does not represent too many inconveniences, since it is a material that is easily recycled, in addition to having a long useful life. In ancient times, it was also used as a salt, in medicinal fields and in cleaning clothes. With the arrival of the 19th century, Sir Humphrey Davy proposed the name “aluminum”, later becoming “aluminium”.

Aluminum extraction techniques began to be perfected a few decades ago, so it is no longer such an arduous task to extract it from bauxite. These supposed a decrease with respect to the appreciation that the metal had, since its price fell and it became a common metal.