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)
ABOUT THE METAL
In terms of its physical, chemical and mechanical properties, aluminium is a metal, just as steel, brass, copper, zinc, lead and titanium are metals.
It can be melted, cast, shaped and worked in roughly the same way as these metals and it conducts electricity.
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)
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.
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