Pure aluminum is a silvery-white metal with many desirable characteristics. It is light, nontoxic (as the metal), nonmagnetic and nosparking. It is somewhat decorative. It is easily formed, machined, and cast. Pure aluminum is soft and lacks strength, but alloys with small amounts of copper, magnesium, silicon, manganese, and otherelements have very useful properties.
Aluminum is the most abundant (8, 13%) metallic element in the earth's crust and after oxygen and silicon, the third most abundant of all elements in thecrust; but it is not found free in nature. Because of its strong affinity to oxygen, it is not found in the elemental state but only in combined forms such as oxides or silicates.
The metal was firstproduced in 1825 (in an impure form) by Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted. He reacted anhydrous aluminum chloride with potassium amalgam and yielded a lump of metal looking similar totin. Friedrich Wöhler was aware of these experiments and cited them, but after redoing the experiments of Ørsted he concluded that this metal was pure potassium. He conducted a similar experiment in1827 by mixing anhydrous aluminum chloride with potassium and yielded aluminum. Wöhler is generally credited with isolating aluminum, but also Ørsted can be listed as its discoverer. Further, PierreBerthier discovered aluminum in bauxite ore and successfully extracted it. Frenchman Henri Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville improved Wöhler's method in 1846, and described his improvements in a book in1859, chief among these being the substitution of sodium for the considerably more expensive potassium.
Aluminum’s composition: Density (g/cm3) = 2.69890E+00, Mean Excitation Energy (eV) =166.000000.Uses of aluminum:
* Transportation (automobiles, aircraft, trucks, railway cars, marine vessels, bicycles etc.) as sheet, tube, castings etc.
* Packaging (cans, foil, etc.)