What is Aluminium? Physical properties of Aluminium
Aluminium is a tin-white metal which melts at 640° and is very light, having a density of 2.68. It is stiff and strong, and with frequent annealing can be rolled into thin foil. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, though not so good as Copper for a given cross section of wire. It is a tin-white metal which melts at 640° and is very light, having a density of 2.68. It is stiff and strong, and with frequent annealing can be rolled into thin foil. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, though not so good as copper for a given cross section of wire. For additional facts and information refer to Aluminum Properties. Nearly 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals which are detailed in the List of Metals. Please note that Aluminium is spelt Aluminum in some english speaking countries.
What is Aluminium? Origin / Meaning of the name Aluminium
The name 'Aluminum' was coined by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829), from the Latin words 'alumen' or 'alum' which literally means bitter salt, because it was recognised as a whitish mineral salt. Davy originally called it alumium (1812), but his publishers amended this to aluminum, which remains the U.S. word. British editors amended the name again to aluminium which is the modern preferred British form, to better harmonize with other element names like sodium, potassium, etc.
What is Aluminium? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Aluminium Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Aluminium classified in the 'Other Metals' section which can be located in groups 13, 14, and 15 of the Periodic Table. All of these elements are solid, have a relatively high density and are opaque.
Facts about the Discovery and History of the Aluminium Element
Aluminium was used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, which can be dated back to the 100BC. Alum, as it was called by the ancients was used as a bright red dye and also as an astringent to help in the healing of cuts and wounds. Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) experimented with alumina, the basis of clay, and attempted the extraction of this metal, but failed. He published his findings in 1812 in his book, Elements of Chemical Philosophy, in which he coined the name 'Aluminum'. It was identified via a reduction of aluminium chloride by the Danish chemist, Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851) in 1825. It was successfully isolated by Friedrich Wohler in 1827, using similar techniques as those used by Sir Humphry Davy, by means of electrolysis and heating a mixture of aluminum chloride and potassium metal. Charles Martin Hall received a patent for it in 1886.
Hans Christian Oersted (1777 - 1851)
What is Aluminium? Occurrence of the Aluminium Element
Occurrence of Aluminium. Aluminium never occurs in the free state in nature, owing to its great affinity for Oxygen. In combined form, as oxides, silicates, and a few other salts, it is both abundant and widely distributed, being an essential constituent of all soils and of most rocks excepting limestone and sandstone. Cryolite (Na3AlF6), found in Greenland, and bauxite, which is an aluminium hydroxide usually mixed with some iron hydroxide, are important minerals. It is estimated that aluminium composes about 8% of the earth's crust. In the industries the metal is called Aluminium, but its chemical name is aluminium.
8.1% in Earth's crust bound up in the form of compounds - see Examples of Compounds.
One of the planet's most common but most difficult metal to get
Obtained from its ore bauxite
Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 0.005%
% in Sun 0.006%
% in Meteorites 0.91%
% in Earth's Crust 8.1%
% in Oceans 5×10-7%
% in Humans 0.00009%
Associated Uses of Aluminium
Saucepans, cooking pans and pots
Production of Boats and Ships
Statues including Eros in Piccadilly Circus in London. The statue was the first in the world to be cast in aluminium and is set on a bronze fountain
Components in Airplanes
Abrasive as an oxide