Ten reasons for aluminium in future responsible design:
- Aluminium is the most common metal on earth.
- Aluminium is 100% recyclable without degradation of the material.
- Remelting aluminium cost a low amount of energy, only 5% compared to initial production.
- Aluminium is a light material and therefore saves energy during transport and lifetime.
- Aluminium has great malleability, you can create all kinds of forms and the forming requires low amount of energy.
- Aluminium has a high specific strength, so strong and light at the same time.
- Function integration possibilities are huge, due to high deform-ability parts can be reduced saving time effort and money.
- Easy and fast to machine with long tool lifetime.
- Aluminium is highly corrosion resistant, therefore maintenance is relatively low, saving cost energy and effort.
- Aluminum waste equals money, this is the autonomic motive why aluminum is recycled so much.
Disadvantages of aluminium:
- It requires a better understanding of the design possibilities, there are so many options to from your product.
- Aluminium is flexible. If you need stiff products you have to acquire better design skills in order to solve this via design.
- Relatively low melting point (660°C pure aluminium) which allows you to use low energy in order to form your product.
- Aluminium is relative un-noble, design for corrosion requests more knowledge to make use of the passive protective oxide layer and prevent problems like galvanic corrosion by false design.
- The application of aluminium requires an pH neutral environment. In basic or acid environment the protective oxide layer will decrease.
- There is a wide variety of alloys which are used depending on the design need, luckily there are 8 main categories which are well defined.
- Aluminium is sensible for fatigue like most metals, you need to consider the aluminium design rules in order to create a robust design in dynamic application. But it allows you to create predictable interval inspections.
- Aluminium transfers heat, for fire or welding application it cools the heat and more energy is required to increase temperature.
- Due to its corrosion resistance it takes relatively long to decrease back to aluminium oxide in nature in dry environment keeping your product save.
- You won’t find it back in nature when it decreases since the earth crust consist of 8% aluminum oxide, aluminium will not damage the environment.
What’s your reason to use aluminium for your product? Let me and everybody know by commenting on this blog and I will sent you the checklist for aluminium product design.
Kind Regards, Ellen