Development of Aluminum

Development of Aluminum

“Aluminum” is a very important commercial metal element. Its applications range from aluminum easy-open cans and aluminum foil packages to large aircraft wings, all places where aluminum can be seen. At present, besides iron, aluminum is the most widely used metal. The main reason is that aluminum can be melted and reused or recycled. In the 18th century, due to difficult extraction, it became the exclusive noble metal for members of the royal family and was more precious than gold.

3 stages of how aluminum is affected by the refining technology:

1. Noble stage (Price goes higher than gold)

In 1825, Danish chemist Hans Oster successfully used potassium to reduce aluminum from aluminum chloride.
In 1827, Friedrich Weiler used potassium metal to reduce molten anhydrous aluminum chloride to obtain purer metal aluminum. The price of aluminum was higher than that of gold at that time due to the difficulty of obtaining it.

2. Becoming more common and cheap

Henri Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville purified the Ville process in 1846 and published it in a book in 1859. As a result, the price of aluminum has been reduced by 90% within ten years.
In 1886, Charles Martin Hall and Paul Héroult independently discovered the named electrolytic aluminum method. In 1889, Carl Josef Bayer (Carl Josef Bayer) continued to optimize the process of extracting alumina from bauxite, making the raw material alumina for aluminum production more economical and easy to obtain. So far, the Bayer process and the Hall-Elu process combined to produce aluminum have been the main method for large-scale industrial aluminum production.

3. Indispensable stage

In the early 20th century, German metallurgist ,Alfred Wilm, (1869-1937) added copper, magnesium, manganese, etc. to aluminum, and obtained an alloy with much higher strength than aluminum itself, referred to as aluminum alloy.From 1903 to 1915, Alfred Wilm et al have studied the physical phenomena and the invention alloy, i.e., discovering that after quenching, aluminum alloy would increase in durability and strength, where pure aluminum is soft and low in strength and would have ease in shaping various shapes. However, when left at room temperature, for a few days and nights, the hardness will automatically increase significantly. This was a major discovery in the history of aluminum alloy development, and countries have produced a batch of duralumin alloys on this basis. Aluminum alloy has the characteristics of strong, hard, tough, light weight, and high conductivity. Therefore, it was utilized widely in aircraft, automobiles, military applications, construction… etc., and other daily necessities. It is an indispensable metal in our daily life.

Source: Wikipedia, Sci- Tech- Vista

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