Aluminum is an excellent metal to use for investment casting because of its many favorable properties, from being lightweight and durable to non-corrosive and highly workable. It can be utilized in numerous alloys that can accommodate diverse applications and requirements. Here are some basic facts about aluminum:
- It is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (about 8.8%), behind oxygen and silicon.
- It is naturally occurring only in compounds, and removing it from compounds is difficult. The first inexpensive process for obtaining pure aluminum was not developed until 1886.
- The melting point is 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considerably lower then many other metals commonly used in industrial applications.
- It is an excellent conductor of electricity.
- Aluminum naturally forms a very thin, whitish coating of aluminum oxide in moist air, which protects it from further reaction and corrosion, like rusting.
- Aluminum is highly flammable when in fine power form.
- Bauxite, a complex aluminum compound found in nature, accounts for over half of Jamaica’s exports and is the island country’s second largest industry after tourism.
- 28% of aluminum is used in transportation, 23% in packaging, 14% in building products and the remaining 35% in a nearly limitless array of products.