Aluminium makes up 8% of the earth’s land mass and is a relatively abundant metal. It is found in the earth’s crust bonded to oxygen in the ore Bauxite. Aluminium is extracted from Bauxite using electrolysis as it is more reactive than Carbon. Aluminium is most commonly used in construction and containers as it is lightweight and strong. Its most common use is in the construction of cars and aircraft. Aluminium whilst strong is most commonly alloyed to other metals to increase its strength and still maintain its light weight properties. Whilst Aluminium has been known as the compound Alum (a sulfate salt of Aluminium) since the 5th century and during the Middle ages it was not until 1825 that the Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted managed to isolate the metal from its ore. It is located in Group 13 as a metallic solid at room temperature, it is relatively light weight and strong. It has a melting point of 660°c and a boiling point of 2470°c.
Hans Christian Oersted
Used for many purposes from airplanes to beverage cans. Too soft in its pure form so less than 1% of silicon or iron is added, which hardens and strengthens it.
Never occurs in free form. Obtained by electrolysis from bauxite (Al2O3).