Every morning when we wake up from our sleep and start a day of life and work, there is always something like an old friend who is with us all day, that is aluminum, which has been integrated into our lives and has its presence everywhere.
Aluminum is the most abundant metal element in the earth’s crust. Aluminum is used as the main material to add aluminum alloy made of other metals. It has many excellent properties such as lightness, environmental protection and corrosion resistance. It provides us with various conveniences and green metal. The so-called aluminum has good recycling characteristics, and about 100% of the aluminum produced a hundred years ago is still serving humanity.
Aluminum is indispensable in the development and utilization of new energy. Products made from aluminum and aluminum alloys by casting, forging, extrusion and calendering are widely used. The specific gravity of aluminum is only one-third of that of steel. Industrial aluminum extrusions and aluminum rolled materials are gradually replacing steel as the basic material for transportation and construction.
From high-speed rail cars to ships, from military to civilian use, the use of aluminum alloys is increasing. The weight of spacecraft entering space orbits will be reduced by more than 100,000 yuan.
Energy saving and weight reduction are calculated in grams in the aerospace field. The aerospace industry has become an important application market for aluminum alloy materials. Automotive engines, wheels, body, high-speed rail bodies, mechanical equipment and electrical equipment, as well as daily necessities, all use aluminum alloys to achieve lightweight requirements.
In ancient times, humans began to make pottery with aluminum-containing clay. However, because aluminum has weak oxidation properties, it is difficult to extract it. Therefore, it has more reserves on earth than other metals, but it uses significantly more copper than copper. Metals such as iron are much later.
In 1825, German chemists extracted gray metal aluminum with low purity.
In 1854, French chemists succeeded in making metal ingots using sodium as a reducing agent. After a while, aluminum became an expensive material, and products made of aluminum were only available to emperors.
In 1884, other metals were added to the aluminum to make aluminum alloy materials. The first application was in the building.
In 1908, the American company invented the electrical aluminum alloy, which is characterized by high hardness and high copper content, which is applied to high-voltage transmission lines.
Later, invented cast aluminum alloys, high-strength aluminum alloys, and its application range is constantly expanding.
Aluminum alloy is a general term for aluminum as the main material. The main alloying elements are copper, silicon, magnesium, zinc, etc. The aluminum alloy has the advantages of corrosion resistance, easy processing, high strength and low density.
Aluminum alloy has corrosion resistance, which is impossible to do with many metals. Since the surface of the aluminum alloy has a hard film, the film covers the surface of the aluminum alloy, so that the aluminum alloy is isolated from oxygen. The film will continue to thicken. If the film is damaged, the protective film will be re-grown to make the aluminum product have good corrosion resistance. Of course, a later surface treatment is required to make the aluminum alloy more resistant to corrosion.
Many people think that aluminum does not oxidize. In fact, there is no metal that is not oxidized in the world, but the conditions and degrees are different. If the surface protection film is damaged, the aluminum alloy will also oxidize.
The shortcomings of aluminum alloys are also obvious, that is, they are too brittle. Now scientists have developed new aluminum alloy materials. The shortcomings of aluminum alloys are being changed. By introducing “faults” into the crystal structure of metals, it can be greatly improved. Material strength, in addition to the strength of the new aluminum alloy material is similar to stainless steel, this feature can also be used for corrosion-resistant coatings.
From the microscopic layer, the metal is composed of a layer of crystal atoms that are repeatedly stacked. When a layer is missing, it will collapse and collapse. It is interesting that these stacked faults can make the material strength become Higher, this feature is introduced into the new aluminum, which increases the material’s strength and ductility while improving its thermal stability. New products are expected to find applications in corrosion resistant coatings for electronic equipment and vehicles.
The advantages of aluminum alloys are how to process them into various aluminum alloy products. Nowadays, the extrusion process and the die-casting process are more used.
The extrusion process is to heat the aluminum alloy rod to about 400 ° C, and apply pressure to one end of the heated aluminum alloy rod in the extruder, and the other end is a mold of corresponding shape, and the aluminum alloy will become aluminum after being cooled from the mold. For alloy products, this process is like squeezing toothpaste. Different openings determine the shape of the extruded toothpaste. The extruded aluminum alloy is mainly used as a building profile.
The die-casting process is to press the aluminum alloy solution into the mold cavity to make a casting. First, the aluminum alloy solution is placed in the pressure chamber, and then the punch is pushed forward to melt the aluminum alloy into the cavity.
After the aluminum alloy melt solidifies, the die-casting mold is opened, and the casting is taken out. The die-cast aluminum alloy product has high precision and good quality, and is mainly used for parts on automobiles, airplanes, and ships.
Although aluminum alloy has good oxidation resistance, in order to better reflect product quality, enhance the use and visual effect, aluminum alloy will also do various surface treatments, mainly polishing, drawing, electroplating, sand blasting, etc. The decorative and protective properties of the alloy.
Today, people are becoming more and more demanding for low-carbon environmental protection. Aluminum alloy has become a substitute for many metals. Its low density, high strength and easy processing are used in the fields of automobiles, high-speed rail, aviation, and ships. The wider the aluminum alloy, the greater the contribution to human development.
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