Fascinating Facts about Aluminum

Fascinating Facts about Aluminum

A silvery, nonmagnetic metal, aluminum makes up eight percent of the crust by weight and is the second most abundant metal found in the Earth’s crust. This metal is used throughout the modern-day manufacturing industry in products such as vehicles, mechanical equipment, and food and beverage containers. Aluminum is not only extremely useful and versatile, it is also highly recyclable as well, making it valuable for scrap metal collection and sales.

Aluminum in Nature

Aluminum isn’t found in its purest from in nature—instead, it forms as part of a compound called alum. The metal aluminum was first extracted from this compound in 1825 by a Danish chemist named Hans Christian Oersted. However, this process was extremely difficult and expensive—thus, the price of aluminum rose higher than the price of gold. It wasn’t until 1886 that Paul Heroult and Charles Hall independently found an easier and more cost-effective way to refine aluminum. Their process, along with a process called the Bayer process, is still used today.

Aluminum in Manufacturing

Because it is plentiful and now producible via cost-effective means, aluminum is a widely-used metal. In 2012, nearly two million tons of aluminum were used in the food packaging industry, while 1.7 million tons of aluminum were used in appliances, vehicle parts, and other such goods. A single Boeing-747 jet contains 147,000 pounds of aluminum.

Aluminum in Recycling

In addition to its widespread use in manufacturing, aluminum is also one of the most recycled metals in America. Approximately 55% of aluminum cans are recycled, and about 75% of the aluminum ever made is still in use today due to recycling practices. Furthermore, it takes only five percent of the energy required to extract new aluminum to recycle aluminum scrap metal into new materials.

Are you ready to take part in the scrap metal recycling industry? Tucson Iron and Metal will buy your scrap metal in Tucson; we also offer scrap metal sales and pickup throughout the state. Click through our website or give us a call at (520) 884-1554 to learn more.