September 23, 2019
Aluminium is one the Earth’s most abundant metals, and features in a whole range of everyday items that would normally go completely overlooked. As well as this, aluminium is playing a growing role in the development of new technologies and finding increased usage through its almost infinite recyclability.
The Future of Construction
62% of global extrusion production is consumed by the construction industry, and this figure is only likely to rise in coming years. Around the globe, housing demand is constantly on the rise in conjunction with growing populations. By 2050, it is expected that some 70% of this rising population will live in urban areas.
In response to this, it will become increasingly necessary to build up, not out. This will require a construction material that is strong, lightweight and resistant to stress. Here, aluminium will find yet another niche, providing the ideal, futureproof building material.
Aluminium is already widely used in the construction industry for similar reasons but also because of its high finish quality, providing a pleasing aesthetic. Within these new homes too, aluminium will and already does find new uses as a finishing material, allowing for attractive, hygienic surfaces.
The Future of Aerospace
For decades, aluminium has provided the ideal material for aerospace construction, allowing aeroplanes and spacecraft alike to be constructed of a material that provides excellent rigidity while remaining lightweight.
Aluminium is particularly well suited to aerospace applications as its strength increases as temperature decreases, making it ideal at high altitudes. Additionally, aluminium is highly corrosion-resistant, a quality which can be further enhanced by anodising.
As demands for aircraft tolerances become higher and restrictions upon fuel usage become ever tighter, the usage of such a lightweight and durable material will only increase.
80% of the current F-16 fighter jet’s fuselage is composed of aluminium, while NASA has selected an aluminium/lithium alloy for the construction of its new Orion spacecraft.
The Future of Automotive Design
Among other industries, aluminium has begun to find a growing presence in the world of automotive design and production. With its aforementioned qualities, aluminium has an established home in both the bodies and engines of cars.
Aluminium makes ideal components for combustion engines, keeping durability high and inertia low. It is frequently used within the engines of performance vehicles as a means of improving power: weight ratios.
As we witness a shift away from traditional combustion engines, towards electric vehicles, aluminium has a continued and growing role to play. A major problem for electric car developers has been weight and aerodynamics.
Aluminium provides the opportunity to overcome both of these issues. Firstly, by its very nature aluminium is lighter than traditional mild steel, allowing for body weight to be kept to a minimum, extending battery range.
In addition, the workability of aluminium allows for increasingly complex and performance-orientated body shapes to be constructed, in turn, this increases aerodynamic capabilities and once again can have a significant impact upon battery range.
To learn more about how using aluminium extrusion can help future proof your industry, contact Orgbar Aluminium today.