Aluminum and its alloys are characterized by good appearance, light weight, machinability, good physical and mechanical properties, and good corrosion resistance, making them considered the most economical and practical in many applications. Aluminum has a density of only 2.7g/cm3, about one-third that of steel, copper, or brass (7.83g/ cm3, 8.93g/ cm3, respectively). Aluminum exhibits excellent corrosion resistance under most environmental conditions, including in air, water (or brine), petrochemistry, and many chemical systems.
The surface of aluminum is highly reflective. Radiant energy, visible light, radiant heat, and electric waves are all effectively reflected by aluminum, while anodized and dark anodized surfaces can be reflective or absorbent. Polished aluminum has excellent reflectivity over a wide wavelength range and thus has a variety of decorative and reflective USES.
Aluminium usually exhibits excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, and certain aluminium alloys with high resistivity have been developed for applications such as high-torque electric motors. Aluminum is often chosen because of its excellent electrical conductivity. Aluminium is nearly twice as conductive as copper on an equal weight basis. The thermal conductivity of aluminum alloy is about 50-60% that of copper, which is beneficial for the manufacture of heat exchangers, evaporators, heating appliances, cooking utensils, as well as automobile cylinder heads and radiators
Aluminum is nonferromagnetic, an important property for the electrical and electronics industries. Aluminum is non-flammable, which is important for applications involving handling or contact with flammable and explosive materials. Aluminum is non-toxic and is used to make containers for food and drink. Its natural surface condition has a pleasing appearance. It is soft, lustrous and, for aesthetic purposes, can be tinted or stained with textured patterns.
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