Tag: aluminum properties

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Aluminum and Steel

Different Kind Of Metallic Profiles

What are the important factors to consider when choosing between aluminum or steel?

  1. Durability
  2. Strength
  3. Corrosion Resistance
  4. Versatility
  5. Weight
  6. Cost

 

Aluminum and steel are some of the most utilized metals across different industries for a multitude of products and building projects. Steel is popular because of its high tensile strength, low cost, and recyclability. But don’t go calling your local stainless steel supplier right away because aluminum can still make a case for its worth.

Aluminum is the third most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. It also has the best strength-to-weight ratio and is unbeatable when it comes to the variety of its uses: automobile, motorcycle, and bicycle parts. It is also used in aircraft design and architectural moldings. Like steel (especially the stainless kind), it is also a very environmentally efficient metal which makes using either metal good for the environment.

 

  • Durability

The first and most apparent factor you are going to have to take into consideration is durability. Metals are typically known for their durability, but not all of them have the same kind of durability. The ability to withstand wear and tear, pressure, or damage varies from metal-to-metal and when it comes to steel and aluminum, there are some notable differences.

 

  • Strength

Metal Railing At The Facade Building Monochrome

Tensile strength is the name of the game when it comes to durability, and in that regard, steel is king. Tensile strength is the maximum amount of stretching or pulling a metal can withstand before it breaks or is permanently damaged. Without getting into specifics, steel and all of its sub-categories have a higher tensile strength than aluminum and its derivatives. This is by no means an indication that aluminum is a weak metal that easily breaks — steel is just a bit stronger.

 

  • Corrosion Resistance

Luckily for aluminum, tensile strength is not the only way to evaluate durability. Resistance to corrosion is also important to consider because metals become susceptible when exposed to the elements. Corrosion is a natural process that converts refined metals to a more chemically stable form (think of your oxides and sulfides).

That being said, steel is an alloy that is made up of refined metals like iron and copper, so they are pretty susceptible to rust. Despite that, the more popular derivative, stainless steel, has chromium added to its alloy formula to give it an anti-corrosion layer. This pretty much solves the corrosion problem.

Meanwhile, aluminum has an edge over steel in this regard because it does not contain steel or iron, meaning it does not rust. The thing is, rust is just one kind of corrosion that affects metals. Aluminum, when exposed to weathering and atmospheric oxygen, can oxidize and produce a layer of aluminum oxide. What’s interesting to note here is that aluminum oxide actually protects the metal from further corrosion. What this means is that the more aluminum corrodes, the more it is protected from further corrosion.

Either way, you really cannot go wrong. Both metals are competitively durable and have a good level of corrosive resistance. The important part here is knowing what kind of elements are present in the environment you are going to use the metal in before deciding which to use.

 

  • Versatility

Shiny Silver Metallic Textured Background

Versatility is where things start to favor aluminum. The “miracle metal” is well known for its malleability. This means it can be successfully de/reformed and bent into a variety of custom shapes or profiles without suffering noticeable breaks or cracks. Aluminum is also very ductile, allowing it to be stretched without breaking.

When it comes to temperature, aluminum is also the more versatile choice because it becomes harder as temperatures go lower. Steel, meanwhile, tends to become a little more brittle under cold temperatures and that affects its aforementioned tensile strength. Both metals and alloys have no problem withstanding high temperatures though and should hold up even in a fire. Just avoid touching it.

 

  • Weight

As previously stated, steel is stronger across the board, but aluminum wins the strength-to-weight ratio. This is why aluminum becomes the better choice in the production of transportation modes such as aircraft, automobiles, and locomotives. Lower weight means better fuel efficiency and faster speeds.

Steel, on the other hand, is heavy and is better for solid structures requiring stability and foundational strength. Seeing both metals incorporated in a multitude of ways isn’t an uncommon sight as products, buildings, and pretty much anything that can be built will always be better with steel and aluminum parts working together to full effect.

 

 

  • Cost

Stainless Steel Entrance Guard At Apartment Entrance

Lastly, cost should always be taken into consideration when choosing a metal to use for your respective purposes. In this regard, steel is usually less expensive, but it still depends on what kind of steel you are looking to get. Your run of the mill steel and carbon steel are less expensive than aluminum, while stainless steel is pricier. It all depends on your budget and the specific job you are going to use it for.

 

Key Takeaway

Steel and aluminum have their advantages and disadvantages, but what both have in common is that they are products of metallurgical ingenuity and are good for a number of different industrial purposes.

It all boils down to what you need to do, what your budget is, and what specific particulars you are going to be dealing with. Tailor your choice according to those, and you should be good to go.

10 Benefits of Aluminum

10 Benefits Of Aluminum

What are the benefits that aluminum can provide?

  1. Lightweight
  2. Strong and durable
  3. Resilient and malleable
  4. Thermal conductivity
  5. Electric conductivity
  6. Non-combustible
  7. Non-magnetic
  8. Non-corrosive
  9. Recyclable
  10. Cost

 

If you were to look for products such as aluminum profiles in the Philippines, you would eventually find a lot of other aluminum products are used for construction and a lot of other applications in various industries. This material is one of the most suitable building materials because of its high strength-to-weight ratio. But that is not the only thing that makes aluminum such a good material.

On its own, aluminum extrusions are extremely versatile. Its properties make it one of the most used materials in the world. Aluminum products are known for a number of benefits that make it stand out from the rest as one of, if not the most suitable building material for almost any application.

Listed in this article are the numerous benefits that aluminum provides!

 

 

Lightweight

Lightweight

Aluminum is one of the lightest metals out there. Comparing it with the likes of iron, steel, and copper, it would weigh only 1/3rd of their weight! This makes aluminum easier to handle, transport, and less expensive to move around!

 

 

Strong and Durable

In the Philippines, aluminum profiles are made to be as strong as needed in various applications. Its lightweight does not pose any downside when it comes to how strong it is. Another thing worth considering is that aluminum applications in cold environments provide an advantage—as the temperature gets lower, aluminum becomes stronger!

 

 

Resilient And Malleable

Resilience and Malleability

Along with being strong and lightweight, aluminum is also one of the more flexible metals. Its flexibility can let it bend from heavy loads but go back to its normal state afterward! It can also spring back from the shock of a relatively strong impact.

Aside from absorbing impacts, aluminum is also known for its high malleability. It is way more elastic than steel, giving it more versatility—specifically in the shapes that it’s able to be formed into. Aluminum is fairly easy to cut and form to different shapes and sizes, making it one of the more workable metals in use.

 

 

Thermal Conductivity

Aluminum is considered one of the most ideal metals for applications that require it to exchange heat. Aluminum ranks only second to copper when it comes to which metal has the highest thermal conductivity. It is most commonly used as a heat sink material because of it being cheaper than copper.

 

 

Electric Conductivity

Along with aluminum being lightweight and resistant to rust, it is also a very good conductor of electricity! This makes it one of the premier materials that are used in high-voltage overhead power lines that go through long distances.

 

 

Non-Combustible

Aluminum as a material does not burn. In extremely high temperatures, it becomes more elastic and malleable and it also does not exude any kind of toxic fumes.

 

 

Non-Magnetic

Aluminum does not have a magnetic charge. This makes it useful for high-voltage applications, particularly in electronics where magnetic fields are utilized and/or sensitive magnetic devices are included.

 

 

Non Corrosive

Non-Corrosive

Aluminum is one of the metals that is protected by its own naturally occurring oxide films— making it unable to rust. This protective measure can be enhanced even further by the process of anodizing or any other kind of finishing technique.

 

 

Recyclability

Just like steel, aluminum is a material that can be recycled again and again, without losing its characteristics. This gives aluminum a very high scrap value. Not only that—its recyclability also pins it as one of the options for sustainable development and construction!

 

 

Cost

Cost

In most cases, aluminum alloys and products should be a lot cheaper than steel. Although both of them boast recyclability and sustainability as a construction material, aluminum retains its position as the less expensive metal because of its strength to weight ratio.

 

 

Why Aluminum is Such a Good Material

With all of the benefits that aluminum provides, it’s no wonder that aluminum is one of the most popular building material. It doesn’t stop there however because it’s also used in many various industries!

One of the most popular industries where it is applied in the automotive industry. The great strength to weight ratio of aluminum makes it ideal as either frame or as doors and hoods of most cars! Other than the automotive industry, the aeronautic industry also utilizes aluminum to its utmost limits! Focusing on its lightweight and incredibly durable properties, aluminum makes up some of the key components of airplanes, enabling it to fly.

But the one thing that would probably propel aluminum as one of the best materials out there, is the fact that it is incredibly sustainable. Even though numerous cycles of recycling, it will still retain the characteristics that make it unique and versatile while also not causing damage to the environment.

In other words, being a material that is perfect for sustainable construction and development is the best benefit that it has!

 

 

Key Takeaway

Aluminum is one of the most versatile materials in the world. Its uses extend from your typical construction projects to cars, airplanes, and a whole lot of other industries that look to utilize its many benefits!

Safety First: What You Need to Know When Working with Aluminum Profiles in the Philippines

Safety First What You Need to Know When Working with Aluminum Profiles in the Philippines

What safety precautions should you know when working with aluminum profiles?

  1. Safe lifting techniques
  2. Proper material handling
  3. Heat and fire protection
  4. Beware of dust clouds

 

 

The aluminum industry, as well as the Aluminum Association, all agree that the safety of the workers and all the consumers that use their products should always come as the top priority. The data about illness and injury gathered by the Aluminum Association seem to indicate that manufacturing plants for aluminum profiles in the Philippines and in other countries are relatively safe spaces to work in.

Every day, millions of pounds of aluminum are all safely melted, cast, or extruded in foundries, casthouses, recycling, and reclamation plant all around the world. Just like any manufacturing process. However, there are still hazards and risks that are inherently involved in the fabrication and production of this metal.

But these hazards can be minimized or even eliminated entirely as long as careful attention is given to safe handling practices. Here is some general information on the safety precautions you should know when handling aluminum profiles:

 

 

Safe Lifting Techniques

The process of manufacturing aluminum profiles makes use of equipment such as fixed dummy blocks, extrusion tooling, and other similar heavy components. People that work with aluminum profiles, therefore, need to handle these items, often with great difficulty. Lifting using awkward positions create a constant risk of injuries.

In order to prevent these injuries, familiarize and train yourself in the correct lifting procedures. Use the appropriate back support belts whenever lifting anything heavy. Take a moment to find the best spot as well as the best way to lift a particular object to minimize the time you need actually lifting. Lastly, heavy lifting of the aluminum profiles should be done not with the back but with the legs. Avoid twisting and jerking your body when getting the item off of the ground.

 

 

Proper Material Handling

Proper Material Handling

Many aluminum fabrication and manufacturing plants have reported that the highest frequency of injuries happens when moving tools, profiles, and other items through the plant.

When using an overhead crane to move around aluminum profiles, make sure that the operator has received the proper training and certifications. If you are the one operating the machine, avoid sudden stops and starts which may cause you to drop the load. Do not stand near or under a load suspended from a crane even if the rack is empty. Move out of the way immediately if a load is coming toward you.

One of the more frequent injuries in an aluminum profile plant is to the hands. So avoid handling heavy, awkward tools especially if you aren’t using the proper lifting equipment. Keep your fingers away from puller teeth or jaws and stretcher jaw as to not injure them. The cut ends of aluminum profiles are also extremely sharp so exercise extreme caution.

 

 

Heat and Fire Protection

The temperatures required in the process of extruding aluminum are very high, making it hazardous to human contact. However, the outward appearance of aluminum metal usually gives no warning when it is hot. Certain parts of the press, tooling, and other equipment also experience similar high temperatures.

Make sure that any exposed workers, personnel, and even visitors to the work area should be properly informed in avoiding hot metals and other materials. Correct procedures should also be implemented to help avoid accidental contact.

Because most aluminum profile presses operate at relatively high pressures using mineral oil hydraulic systems, there is a high potential for fire. A leak in a hose, pipe, or fitting can cause the extremely flammable hydraulic oil to spray out. And since the process of making aluminum profiles is a highly thermal one, there are many sources of ignitions.

 

 

Beware of Dust Clouds

Beware of Dust Clouds

Working with aluminum requires performing activities such as polishing, grinding, cutting, sanding, sawing, and scratch brushing. This generates fine particles of aluminum, more commonly known as powder, fines, or dust, which can be potentially explosive.

In the case of making aluminum profiles, an explosion can result when ignition happens while the particles are suspended in the air as a dust cloud because the burning can extend from one particle to another very quickly. Welding equipment, matches, faulty electrical equipment, static electrical charges, cigarettes, cutting torches, and open flames are all potential sources of ignition in an aluminum profile manufacturing plant.

Qualified personnel in a fabrication plant should determine the degree of hazard presented by dust clouds by conducting laboratory testing. Dust collection systems, whether it is the wet or dry type, allows you to safely collect potentially explosive aluminum dust. Ensure that your facility has exhaust hoods or enclosures which can efficiently pick-up the dust from equipment and machines.

 

 

Key Takeaway

If you ever need to work with aluminum profiles in the Philippines, consider these safety precautions and wear the proper protective equipment such as safety masks and goggles to prevent small metal parts from getting into your body.

Wear protective gloves to protect your hands from the sharp edges and corners of aluminum profiles as well as being contaminated. Last but not least, avoid working with aluminum profiles if you are already experiencing health issues and heart problems.

The Aluminum Advantage: Properties of the Miracle Metal

The Aluminum Advantage - Properties of the Miracle Metal

What properties does aluminum have that make it the miracle metal?

  1. Lightweight
  2. Strong and durable
  3. Conductive
  4. Ductile
  5. Corrosion resistant
  6. Recyclable

 

 

There are more than a couple hundred aluminum providers and manufacturers in the entire world like One Sky Aluminum. One reason for the overwhelming number of people building their business off of aluminum is the metal’s abundance.

Aluminum is the most abundant metal and the 3rd most abundant element in the earth’s crust as it makes up approximately 8% of it. However, it is never found free in nature. Aluminum is always combined with other elements to form compounds such as aluminum oxide and potassium aluminum sulfate.

At first, extracting aluminum from these compounds was costly and labor-intensive which meant it was a luxury item in the early 1800s. As years went by and technology advanced, scientist found an easier and inexpensive way of obtaining aluminum. All this resulted in the increased availability of affordable and high-quality aluminum – another reason why it’s so widely used to this day.

Besides its abundance and affordability, there’s another thing that makes aluminum worthy of the title “the miracle metal”—its properties. What these properties are and how they make aluminum such an ideal material will be listed and explained below!

 

 

Lightweight

Lightweight

The specific weight of aluminum is 2.7g/cm3 and that is about a third of the weight of steel, which makes aluminum a very lightweight metal. In some products, this is just an advantage but for others, this is an important and crucial detail.

Using aluminum in vehicles, for example, reduces dead-weight and lowers energy consumption while simultaneously increasing load capacity. Being lightweight also means that the shipping and handling costs are lowered which ultimately leads to cheaper production costs.

 

 

Strong and Durable

Aluminum isn’t just used for day to day products like kitchen utensils or soda cans, it is also trusted for some of the most extreme uses because of its high-strength and durability. Some of the many sectors that make good use of aluminum include the automotive industry, military forces, aviation, and even NASA.

The secret to aluminum’s strength is chemistry. When pure aluminum is mixed with other elements, it makes high-strength alloys that can be further strengthened through different processing techniques. This results in a finished product that is just as strong, if not stronger, than steel.

 

 

Conductive

In relation to its weight, aluminum is almost twice as good of an electrical conductor as copper. It’s innate and excellent electric conductivity makes it a very economical material for power transmission cables, electric bulbs, and other electric fields and applications.

Aside from being a good conductor of electricity, aluminum is also a great conductor of heat. In fact, it conducts heat better than all other common metals and is three times as conductive as steel. This is a property that is important in heat exchange applications which are commonly used in the petroleum, chemical, automotive, and food industries.

 

 

Ductile

Ductile

Ductility is a physical property that is associated with a material’s ability to be hammered thin or stretched wide without breaking and one very good example of a ductile metal is aluminum.

As a material, aluminum can very easily be fabricated into different forms and designs like sheets, shapes, rods, tubes, and wires. Because of this, products made from aluminum can be formed close to the end of the manufacturing process.

 

 

Corrosion Resistant

Aluminum is corrosion resistant because it generates a protective coating on its surface called aluminum oxide. This protective layer prevents the metal underneath from coming into contact with potential corroders like air and oxygen.

Even when the surface of the aluminum is scratched, the aluminum oxide layer will rapidly reform and retain protection. Moreover, this protective layer can be further improved through different types of surface treatments like painting or lacquering.

Possessing such a property makes aluminum particularly useful for constructing buildings and household utensils.

 

 

Recyclable

One of the most impressive properties of aluminum is its sustainability – it is a 100% recyclable and sustainable metal. There is a secondary metal sector within the aluminum industry that re-melts scrapped aluminum products and recovers the metal in it. There is no downside to this since only 5% of the energy required to produce new aluminum is needed in the recycling process.

On top of this, the basic use of aluminum lowers energy cost and carbon emissions in many applications similar to how cars made from aluminum function more efficiently and environmentally-friendly.

It doesn’t stop there, though, the aluminum industry is still making improvements in the primary and secondary processes of making aluminum to make it more environmentally efficient.

 

 

Key Takeaway

There are many reasons aluminum is such a widely used product but most of it boils down to its many amazing properties which got it the title of “the miracle metal.” It is lightweight, strong and durable, conductive, ductile, corrosion resistant, and recyclable.

These properties make for a versatile material that gives manufacturers like One Sky Aluminum a wide range of options in terms of product innovation and process improvements.