Of the many different metal alloys, aluminium is without doubt the most common. Light, durable and extremely strong, this alloy was used widely in the auto and aviation industries, then aluminium cans came along and we all know about them.
Aluminium has the symbol Al and the atomic number 13. This alloy is roughly one third as dense as steel, which was first discovered in 1825, while it was first produced industrially in 1856.
Bauxite ore is the main way to extract aluminium, where it is mainly found in Australia, China, Guinea and India and this metal was widely used in aviation during the two World Wars, as it is light and very strong. When you look at the aluminium scrap price in Sydney or in your city, you realise that this light metal is worth collecting. Cans are made from aluminium and if you’re a beer drinker, you could amass quite a bit of money.
The bauxite is turned into aluminium oxide and the metal is extracted from that using electrolysis. One of the reasons aluminium is expensive is due to the high amount of electricity needed to complete the process.
The Bayer Process
This is the modern method of making aluminium and the aviation industry led the way regarding the demand for aluminium, as the jet engine took over from prop drives. In 1954, aluminium overtook copper as the most mined metal, second only to iron. Overall, aluminium is about 1.59% of the Earth’s mass, found mainly in the crust and it is contained within bauxite ore.
Aluminium began to be used in construction in the 20th century and the demand increased. In 1971, about 10 million tonnes were produced and aluminium entered the London Metal Exchange in the 1970s. As we moved into the 1990s, more aluminium was used in the building process. With the right treatment, aluminium siding requires no maintenance, plus it is a pleasant colour in its natural form.
Valuable Scrap Metal
Aluminium is well-priced when sold as scrap, mainly due to the expense of aluminium extraction. If you have any old aluminium on your property, your local scrap metal dealer would be happy to collect and pay you top prices.
Items made from aluminium include:
- Door and window frames
- Auto engines and bodywork
- Domestic appliances
- Beer cans
- Kitchen furniture
The recycling industry is highly efficient when compared to a few decades ago and registered scrap metal dealers manage to recycle around 90% of everything they collect, which is impressive by any standard.
Where Would We Be Without Aluminium?
That’s a good question. The aviation industry would suffer, as would the automotive industry and as for space, it is unlikely we would have got into orbit without the use of aluminium. This amazing metal is found throughout the universe – the result of supernovas, when massive stars implode on themselves and the temperatures to create the heavy metals are created. Have a look around your property and you’ll likely encounter some scrap metal. Call your local scrap metal dealer and he would be happy to arrange payment and collection, with the scrap sorted and weighed.