THE HISTORY OF ALUMINIUM In 2016, Aluminium celebrated its 130th anniversary !
- In 1761, a Frenchman named de Morveau discovered a previously unknown material. He gave it the name ‘alumina’, from the Latin word ‘alumen’, which means ‘light’.
- In 1787, the chemist Lavoisier determined that alumina was an oxide of a metal that was unknown at that time.
- In 1821, bauxite was discovered at Les Baux.
- In 1825, the chemist Oersted isolated the metal for the first time in a more or less pure state by using a complex distillation method.
- In the following years, Wöhler (1827) and Deville (1854) searched for less expensive ways to produce aluminium.
- In 1855, an aluminium rod produced by Deville was exhibited next to a silver rod at the World Exhibition in Paris. The response to the new metal was enthusiastic.
- In 1865, the author Jules Verne suggested that space travel would one day become reality thanks to aluminium.
- In 1866, Charles Martin Hall and Paul Héroult developed a method for extracting aluminium from alumina by using electrolysis.
- In 1898, the Bayer process was developed. This made it possible to produce alumina powder from bauxite on a large scale. On the eve of the 20th century, aluminium was poised to acquire the status of a basic material for the production of all sorts of new and modern products. (Source: EOS)
MARKETS The principal markets for aluminium producers are in the transportation, building &construction and packaging sectors. Other markets include electrical and electronic engineering, machine construction, office furnishings, household appliances, lighting and chemical and pharmaceutical products. (Source: www.eaa.net)
ALLOYS Aluminium can be alloyed with manganese, silicon, magnesium, zinc and other elements. The addition of a small amount (0.5-3%) of one or more other metals is sufficient to enhance certain useful properties of aluminium, such as strength, hardness, weld ability or corrosion resistance.