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Facts about aluminum

Some of these aluminum facts are surprising. See for yourself.

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History: from nature to extraction and first use

  • The earth’s crust consists of 8 percent aluminum in different minerals, making it the third-most abundant element after oxygen and silicon
  • Aluminum does not occur in nature in its metallic form. Its existence was first theorized by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisierin 1778
  • It was first extracted in 1825 by the Danish chemist Hans-Christian Oersted
  • Before the discovery that aluminum could be made cheaply from bauxite, it was the most expensive metal in the world
Aluminum is non-toxic and was used in the cutlery of Napoleon III, for his finest meals. His guests had to make do with cutlery made from gold.


  • Aluminum is non-magnetic and often used in scanning devices to avoid interference from magnetic fields
  • Aluminum does not rust and is resistant to corrosion. This is because aluminum's reaction with oxygen forms a thin and protective oxide layer


  • Aluminum is 100 percent recyclable and does not lose any of its original properties in the process
  • Recycling aluminum requires only 5 percent of the energy that is used to make primary aluminum
  • About 75 percent of all produced aluminum is still in use
  • In Europe, about 70 percent of all aluminum cans are recycled – and used cans become new cans in less than 60 days

Aluminum is strong

Aluminum is very light, thanks to its low density. But extrusions can also be made strong and durable. It all depends on the application and the engineering behind it. In a ship, vessel designers can achieve weight savings of 40 percent over steel.

Use as opposed to steel or copper

  • Aluminum's ability to absorb energy is greater than that of steel, which is why the material is used for safety purposes such as fire and blast resistance, bullet-proofing and burglary-resistant systems
  • In comparison to aluminum, copper is heavy and more expensive. In particular for fully electric vehicles the switch to the cheaper and lighter aluminum provides opportunity to save cost and weight
  • Aluminum alloys used in shipbuilding corrode around 100 times slower than steel


  • The Ford F-150’s aluminum body includes solutions from Hydro. The F-series has been the best-selling vehicle in America since the 1970s
  • Since 1994, the Maglite flashlight has been made exclusively with fabricated aluminum from Hydro's plant in Arizona

Contact us today if you want to learn more about the usage of aluminum in your products.

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Medical applications

Aluminium solutions can help your medical devices and equipment hold tight tolerances and stand up to your rigorous cleaning and sterilization requirements.

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The material

Aluminum life cycle

Aluminum has a life cycle that few materials can match. Our move toward a circular economy involves an emphasis on recycling aluminum.

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Stihl is a leading global manufacturer of chain saws and many other outdoor power tools. It utilizes extruded aluminum as much as it can.

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