Physical and Chemical Properties of Aluminum and aluminum alloys

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Physical and Chemical Properties of Aluminum and aluminum alloys

Although aluminum and aluminum alloys both use aluminum as the main synthetic element, they have great differences in certain physical and chemical properties.

Aluminum is a lightweight and very active element that is easily oxidized with oxygen in the air. Aluminum and aluminum alloys often use these two characteristics, which are also the most outstanding physical and chemical properties of aluminum.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Aluminum and aluminum alloys

Physical and Chemical Properties of Aluminum and aluminum alloys

Physical properties of aluminum

Aluminum itself is a very soft object, but after being synthesized with other elements, the hardness of aluminum alloy is much higher than that of aluminum, and can even be comparable to steel.

Property Description
Symbol Al
Atomic Number 13
Atomic Mass 26.9815 g/mol
Phase at Room Temp. Solid
Density 2.70 g/cm³
Melting Point 660.32°C (1220.58°F)
Boiling Point 2467°C (4472.6°F)
Color Silvery-White
Malleability Highly Malleable
Ductility Highly Ductile
Conductivity Thermal and Electrical Conductor
Tensile Strength Relatively Low (Can be Strengthened)
Hardness Relatively Soft (Pure Aluminum)
Corrosion Resistance Excellent (Forms Protective Oxide Layer)
Crystal Structure Face-Centered Cubic (FCC)
Magnetic Properties Non-Magnetic
Thermal Expansion 23.1 x 10^-6 /°C (at 25°C)
Young’s Modulus 68.3 GPa (9860 ksi)
Shear Modulus 26 GPa (3770 ksi)
Poisson’s Ratio 0.33
Specific Heat Capacity 0.897 J/g°C
Thermal Conductivity 237 W/(m·K) at 25°C
Electrical Conductivity 37.7 x 10^6 S/m (IACS)
Resistivity 2.65 x 10^-8 ohm-m
Reflectivity Approximately 80% for visible light

Chemical Properties of Aluminum

Aluminum is very active in nature, making it difficult to purify aluminum. Aluminum can easily react with oxygen in the air to form harder aluminum oxide. People often use this property to improve the hardness of aluminum alloy surfaces.

Oxidation of Aluminum

Oxidation of Aluminum

Property Description
Reactivity with Oxygen Reacts with oxygen to form aluminum oxide (Al2O3), which provides a protective layer against further oxidation. This layer is stable and prevents the metal from corroding.
Reactivity with Acids Reacts with acids such as hydrochloric acid (HCl) or sulfuric acid (H2SO4) to produce aluminum salts and hydrogen gas. The reaction is more vigorous with concentrated or hot acids.
Reactivity with Bases Reacts with strong bases like sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to produce aluminum salts and hydrogen gas. The reaction is also quite vigorous.
Reactivity with Halogens Reacts with halogens (e.g., chlorine, bromine) to form aluminum halides (e.g., AlCl3, AlBr3). These reactions are typically vigorous and can occur at room temperature.
Combustibility While not flammable in the traditional sense, aluminum can burn in powder, flakes, or thin strips, producing aluminum oxide and heat. This is known as a thermite reaction and is used in welding and pyrotechnics.
Passivation Aluminum is capable of passivation, forming a thin, protective oxide layer on its surface that prevents further oxidation. This property contributes to its excellent corrosion resistance.
Reaction with Water Aluminum does not react with water at room temperature due to the presence of the oxide layer. However, at high temperatures, it can react with steam to produce aluminum oxide and hydrogen gas.
Alloy Formation Aluminum readily forms alloys with other metals, altering its chemical properties and enhancing its mechanical and physical properties for specific applications. Common alloying elements include copper, silicon, and magnesium.

Applications of different series of aluminum alloys

The properties of aluminum alloys vary greatly due to different synthetic elements. According to the main synthetic elements of aluminum alloys, aluminum alloys can be divided into 1000-8000 series aluminum alloys.

Aluminum alloy series Main alloying elements Application
1000 Series Almost pure Aluminum Food processing equipment, chemical processing equipment, etc.
2000 Series Cu Structural components in the aerospace and aviation industry
3000 Series Mn Fuel tank, cylinder wall and other components
5000 Series Mn & Mg Ship, automotive and aircraft parts
6000 Series Si & Mg Structural components in the construction, aerospace and automotive industries
7000 Series Zn High-strength components in aerospace and sports equipment
8000 Series Fe Packaging materials such as aluminum foil


Related Applications

Aluminum strip for insulating glass

Aluminum strip for insulating glass

Aluminum strip for insulating glass, as the name suggests, is the aluminum frame material used to make insulating glass. Insulated glass is composed of a certain width of air layer or other gas layer between two glass plates.

40ft shipping container

Aluminum plate for container

Aluminum plate for containers is a common material used in container manufacturing, which can effectively reduce weight, improve transportation efficiency, and increase service life.

Aluminum alloy for ships

Aluminum alloy for ships

Aluminum alloy for ships also called marine aluminum alloys, Commons include 5000 series, 6000 series, and 7000 series aluminum alloys, which can effectively improve the service life of ships.

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