Periodic Table -> Aluminum


Aluminum Details

Aluminum Symbol: Al

Aluminum Atomic Number: 13

Aluminum Atomic Weight: 26.9815

What is Aluminum?

Aluminum (Al) has the atomic number of 13. This silvery white element is a member of the boron group. It is the most abundant element in the world after oxygen and silicon and the most abundantly present in the Earth's crust. It makes up approximately 8 percent of the solid surface of the Earth. This element is extremely reactive with almost all chemicals, elements, and compounds and is not found in nature. However, it is part of more than 270 different minerals. Its low density and non-corrosive properties make it a vital structural component in the aerospace industry and other sectors. Its most useful compounds are oxides and sulfates. Oxides are found in the oxidation state of ?2. They can be chemical compounds formally containing oxygen in this state.

Oxides are formed when elements come into contact with the oxygen in the air, meaning that they are oxidized. Most of the Earth's crust consists of oxides. Sulfates, on the other hand, are salts of sulfuric acids and are also very prevalent in the environment. Despite the abundance of aluminum salts in nature, they are not used by any life form. Plants and animals exist in perfect balance with them.

Aluminum has different compounds, including oxide and hydroxides, halides, nitride, carbide, and related metals. Organoaluminum compounds fall into this group as well and are commonly employed in industrial chemistry.

Because of the variety of aluminumís combinations of properties, its uses are quite diverse. This element is employed in different domains, including commerce, industry, transport, and more. The uses of aluminum are not always obvious. Aluminum oxide, for example, is used in the production of glass. The element is used in the transport industry as well because it is lightweight. Due to this property, less energy has to be expended to move vehicles made of aluminum. Being lightweight is especially important when it comes to the manufacturing of planes.

Notably, aluminum is a soft, light, malleable yet extremely durable element. It is sometimes soluble in water, but not in alcohol. It is around one-third as dense as steel. It is easily processed, cast, and drawn. The reason it does not rust is because a thin surface layer of aluminum oxide forms when aluminum comes into contact with air. This puts a stop to the oxidation process.

Aluminum is often used in silver-colored paint because it sustains silvery reflectance in a powdered form. In fact, aluminum finish is characterized by the highest reflectance of all metals in UV and far IR regions. In the visible specter, it comes in third after tin and silver.

The element functions very well as a conductor of heat and electricity, because it has 59 percent of the heat and electricity conductivity of copper. It can function well as a superconductor because its critical temperature in this regard is 1.2 Kelvin.

Stable aluminum is formed by means of a fusion between hydrogen and magnesium. This happens in big stars or supernovae. The element is 100 percent recyclable, and none of its qualities are lost. When it is recycled, the scrap is melted. This takes just 5 percent of the energy used to produce aluminum from ore. On the downside, as much as 15 percent of the input material is lost this way. Aluminum can be derived from the ensuing waste product as well.

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