Information about aluminum
Aluminum is a chemical element which appears in the greatest abundance in the Earth’s crust – circa 8 %.
By comparison, iron only make up about 5 %.
Aluminum occurs in nature as aluminum oxide but can be converted into metallic aluminum by a subsequent electrolysis process. The process requires a lot of power, which is the reason why aluminum productions traditionally have been located at places with access to cheap power – such as hydropower.
Primary and secondary aluminum
Aluminum produced by electrolysis is called “primary aluminum.” Aluminum, which is recycled by remelting is called “secondary aluminum.” The power consumption under the production of secondary aluminum is only 3 % of the power consumption of the production of primary aluminum.
Today, many manufacturers of aluminum use a mix of primary and secondary aluminum to produce commercial alloys.
Aluminum is utilised as:
Sheets of varying size and thickness
Extruded sections (standard or custom made for a client)
The choice of the above-mentioned is made by considering price as well as the wanted surface finish.
One or more alloys:
To achieve the best result, you need to decide which alloy(s) you want, early in the idea phase. For instance, it is not possible to apply the same alloy to sheets and sections.
Quality of anodising and charge number
Most aluminum alloys can be anodised, but the result of the anodic coating can vary significantly based on the chosen alloy, as well as the applied production method.
The alloy only tells what the actual alloy consists of, but nothing about the consistency and state.
The industry has defined different terms within sheet production, which describes a given sheet’s suitability for decorative anodising. It is mainly regarding alloy 5005 that this term is used, but it is also used about other alloys.
AQ or EQ is used regarding qualities that are visually uniform following the anodising process.
NQ is used about alloys that usually will not be visually uniform after anodising.
If the goal is a uniform look, this could be on a building’s facade; it is also essential to ensure, that all the materials come from the same Charge.
HAI always recommends a test anodising, to see the final result of a given batch.
220 W/ mºC
Thermal conductivity 20ºC
38,5m/ Ohm mm2