Aluminum is uncovered in row 2, group 13 the the routine table. The routine table is a chart that shows just how the chemical facets are pertained to each other. Facets in the same shaft usually have comparable chemical properties. The very first element in this group is boron. However, boron is an extremely different from all other members that the family. Therefore, team 13 is well-known as the aluminum family.

Aluminum is the third most abundant facet in the Earth's crust, fall behind oxygen and silicon. it is the most abundant metal. It is somewhat surprising, then, that aluminum to be not uncovered until reasonably late in human history. Aluminum occurs naturally only in compounds, never ever as a pure metal. Remove aluminum from its compounds is fairly difficult. An inexpensive technique for developing pure aluminum was not occurred until 1886.

You are watching: Aluminum made into thin sheets of foil is an example of

symbol Al

atomic NUMBER 13

atomic MASS 26.98154

household group 13 (IIIA) Aluminum

together uh-LOO-min-um

Today, aluminum is the many widely used metal in the world after iron. the is provided in the produce of automobiles, packaging materials, electrical equipment, machinery, and also building construction. Aluminum is additionally ideal for beer and also soft drink cans and foil since it deserve to be melted and also reused, or recycled.

Discovery and also naming

Aluminum was named for one its most crucial compounds, alum. Alum is a link of potassium, aluminum, sulfur, and oxygen. The chemical surname is potassium aluminum sulfate, KAl(SO 4 ) 2 .

nobody is sure when alum was an initial used through humans. The old Greeks and Romans were familiar with the link alum. It to be mined in at an early stage Greece wherein it was offered to the Turks. The Turks offered the link to do a beautiful dye well-known as Turkey red. Records suggest that the Romans were using alum as beforehand as the an initial century B.C.

this early civilization used alum together an astringent and also as a mordant. One astringent is a chemical that causes skin to pull together. Sprinkling alum end a cut reasons the skin come close over the cut and also start that healing. A mordant is offered in dyeing cloth. Few natural water stick directly to cloth. A mordant bonds to the cloth and also the dye bonds come the mordant.

over time, chemistry gradually began to realize that alum can contain a new element. In the mid-1700s, German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf (1709-82) asserted to have uncovered a brand-new "earth" called alumina in alum. Yet he to be unable to remove a pure metal from alum.

The first person to achieve that task was Danish chemist and also physicist Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851). Oersted boil a combination of alumina and potassium amalgam. One amalgam is one alloy that a metal and also mercury. In this reaction, Oersted created an aluminum amalgam—aluminum metal in combination with mercury. He to be unable, however, to separate the aluminum native the mercury.

Today, aluminum is the most widely used steel in the civilization after iron.

Pure aluminum steel was finally created in 1827 by German chemist Friedrich Wöhler (1800-82). Wöhler offered a technique perfected through English chemist sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829), who flourished in isolating several aspects during his life-time. (See sidebar ~ above Davy in the calcium entry.) Wöhler cook a mixture that aluminum chloride and also potassium metal. Being much more active, the potassium replaces the aluminum, as presented by the following:

The pure aluminum have the right to then be accumulated as a gray powder, which should be melted to produce the glowing aluminum the is most familiar to consumers.

after Wöhler's work, it to be possible, but really expensive, to create pure aluminum. It price so much that over there were virtually no commercial uses for it.

A number of chemists realized how crucial it was to uncover a much less expensive method to prepare aluminum. In 1883, Russian chemist V. A. Tyurin discovered a much less expensive way to produce pure aluminum. That passed an electric current through a molten (melted) mixture of cryolite and also salt chloride (ordinary table salt). Cryolite is sodium aluminum fluoride (Na 3 AlF 6 ). End the next couple of years, comparable methods for isolating aluminum were emerged by various other chemists in Europe.

The most dramatic breakthrough in aluminum study was make by a college student in the united States. Charles Martin room (1863-1914) to be a student at Oberlin university in Oberlin, Ohio, once he ended up being interested in the trouble of producing aluminum. Making use of homemade tools in a woodshed behind his home, he completed success by happen an electric present through a molten mixture that cryolite and also aluminum oxide (Al 2 O 3 ).

Hall's technique was far cheaper than any previous method. After ~ his discovery, the price the aluminum fell from about $20/kg ($10/lb) to much less than $1/kg (about $.40/lb). Hall's research changed aluminum from a semi-precious steel to one that can be supplied for many everyday products.

What's in a name?

In phibìc America, aluminum is spelled with one i and also is pronounce uh-LOO-min-um. Elsewhere in the world, a 2nd i is added—making it aluminium—and words is express al-yoo-MIN-ee-um.

physical properties

Aluminum is a silver-like metal with a slightly bluish tint. It has a melting point of 660°C (1,220°F) and a boiling suggest of 2,327-2,450°C (4,221-4,442°F). The thickness is 2.708 grams per cubic centimeter. Aluminum is both ductile and malleable. Ductile method capable of being pulled right into thin wires. Malleable way capable of being hammered into thin sheets.

Aluminum is wonderful conductor of electricity. silver and copper are much better conductors 보다 aluminum however are much an ext expensive. Engineers are looking for ways to use aluminum more often in electric equipment due to the fact that of its lower costs.

chemistry properties

Aluminum has actually one exciting and very useful property. In moist air, the combines gradually with oxygen to form aluminum oxide:

The aluminum oxide develops a very thin, whitish coating on the aluminum metal. The coating stays clear of the steel from reacting further with oxygen and protects the steel from further corrosion (rusting). That is simple to check out the aluminum oxide top top aluminum the end furniture and unpainted house siding.

Aluminum is a fairly active metal. It reacts with countless hot acids. It likewise reacts through alkalis. An alkali is a chemical v properties the contrary those of an acid. Salt hydroxide (common lye) and limewater are examples of alkalis. It is unusual for an facet to react through both acids and alkalis. Such aspects are stated to be amphoteric.

Aluminum additionally reacts quickly with warm water. In powdered form, it catches fire easily when exposed to a flame.

Aluminum: priceless metal?

B efore chemists arisen inexpensive means to produce pure aluminum, the was considered a somewhat valuable metal. In fact, in 1855, a bar the pure aluminum metal was shown at the Paris Exposition. The was placed next come the French crown jewels!

Aluminum is an excellent conductor the electricity.

event in nature

The abundance of aluminum in the Earth's tardy is approximated to be about 8.8 percent. It wake up in many different minerals.

Bauxite, a facility mixture of compounds consisting of aluminum, oxygen, and other elements, is the main commercial resource for aluminum.

huge reserves that bauxite are uncovered in Australia, Brazil, Guinea, Jamaica, Russia, and also the united States. The largest producer the aluminum metal is the united States; says that create the many aluminum room Montana, Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, phibìc Carolina, southern Carolina, and Tennessee.


just one naturally arising isotope that aluminum exists, aluminum-27. Isotopes room two or an ext forms of an element. Isotopes differ native each various other according to their mass number. The number written to the right of the element's surname is the mass number. The fixed number to represent the number of protons plus neutron in the cell nucleus of an atom that the element. The variety of protons determines the element, yet the number of neutrons in the atom of any kind of one facet can vary. Each variation is one isotope.

Aluminum has six radiation isotopes. A radiation isotope provides off either power or subatomic corpuscle in order to mitigate the atom mass and also become stable. As soon as the emissions produces a readjust in the variety of protons, the atom is no longer the very same element. The particles and energy emitted from the cell core are dubbed radiation. The process of decaying from one element into an additional is recognized as radiation decay.

No radioactive isotope that aluminum has any commercial use.


Aluminum manufacturing is a two-step process. First, aluminum oxide is separated from bauxite by the Bayer process. In this process, bauxite is combined with salt hydroxide (NaOH), which dissolves the aluminum oxide. The other compounds in bauxite room left behind.

The aluminum oxide is then treated through a procedure similar come the room method. Over there is not sufficient natural cryolite to do all the aluminum needed, so fabricated (artificial) cryolite is produced for this purpose. The chemistry reaction is the same with synthetic cryolite as with natural cryolite. About 21


Aluminum alloys are offered in the structural framing of buildings.
million metric lots of aluminum were developed in 1996 by this two-stage process.


Aluminum is supplied as pure metal, in alloys, and in a selection of compounds. One alloy is do by melting and then mixing two or an ext metals. The mixture has actually properties various from those that the individual metals. Aluminum alloys space classified in numbered collection according to the other facets they contain.

The 1000 classification is reserved for alloys of nearly pure aluminum metal. They have tendency to be less strong than other alloys of aluminum, however. These steels are offered in the structural components of buildings, together decorative trim, in chemical equipment, and also as heat reflectors.

The 2000 series are alloys that copper and also aluminum. Lock are an extremely strong, are corrosion (rust) resistant, and can be


Aluminum alloys are frequently used in day-to-day kitchen utensils.
machined, or operated with, very easily. Part applications of 2000 collection aluminum alloys are in van paneling and structural parts of aircraft.

The 3000 collection is made up of alloys that aluminum and also manganese. these alloys room not as strong as the 2000 series, however they additionally have good machinability. Alloys in this series are used for cooking utensils, warehouse tanks, aluminum furniture, highway signs, and roofing.

Alloys in the 4000 collection contain silicon. They have low melt points and are provided to make solders and also to add gray coloring come metal. Solders space low-melting alloys used to sign up with two metals to every other. The 5000, 6000, and also 7000 collection include alloys consist of of magnesium, both magnesium and silicon, and zinc, respectively. These are provided in ship and also boat production, components for cranes and also gun mounts, bridges, structural components in buildings, car parts, and aircraft components.

The largest single use the aluminum is in the transportation market (28 percent). Car and truck manufacturers choose aluminum


repaint tubes are made from aluminum.
and also aluminum alloys due to the fact that they are very strong, yet lightweight. Companies are using an ext aluminum products in electric cars. These cars must be lightweight in stimulate to conserve battery power. Basic Motors, Ford, and also Chrysler have all announced advanced brand-new car designs in which aluminum products will be used more extensively. Aluminum producers additionally plan to do a broader variety the wheels because that both cars and also trucks.

Twenty-three percent of every aluminum created finds its way into packaging. Aluminum foil, beer and also soft drink cans, repaint tubes, and also containers because that home assets such as aerosol sprays room all make from aluminum.

Fourteen percent of all aluminum goes right into building and also construction. Windows and also door frames, screens, roofing, and siding, and the building and construction of mobile homes and structural parts of buildings rely on aluminum.

The staying 35 percent of aluminum goes right into a staggering variety of products, including electric wires and also appliances, car engines, heating and cooling systems, bridges, vacuum cleaners, kitchen utensils, garden furniture, hefty machinery, and specialized chemical equipment.

See more: What Happens When An Amorphous Solid Breaks ? Amorphous Solids


A fairly small amount of aluminum is supplied to do a big variety the aluminum compounds. This include:

aluminum ammonium sulfate (Al(NH 4 )(SO 4 ) 2 ): mordant, water purification and also sewage treatment, record production, food additive, leather tanning

aluminum borate (Al 2 O 3 B 2 O 3 ): manufacturing of glass and also ceramics

aluminum borohydride (Al(BH 4 ) 3 : additive in jet fuels

aluminum chloride (AlCl 3 ): repaint manufacture, antiperspirant, petroleum refining, manufacturing of man-made rubber

aluminum fluorosilicate (Al 2 (SiF 6 ) 3 ): manufacturing of fabricated gemstones, glass, and ceramics

aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH) 3 ): antacid, mordant, water purification, to produce of glass and ceramics, waterproofing of structure

aluminum phosphate (AlPO 4 ): produce of glass, ceramics, pulp and file products, cosmetics, paints and also varnishes, and in making dental cement

aluminum sulfate, or alum (Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 ): to produce of paper, mordant, fire extinguisher system, water purification and sewage treatment, food additive, fireproofing and also fire retardant, and also leather demorphs

Health results

Aluminum has no known function in the human body. There is part debate, however, regarding its feasible health effects. In the 1980s, some wellness scientists became concerned the aluminum could be connected with Alzheimer's disease. This is a condition that most commonly affects older people, resulting in forgetfulness and also loss of psychological skills. The is still not clear even if it is aluminum theatre any part in Alzheimer's disease.

part authorities think that breathing aluminum dust may also cause wellness problems. The may reason a pneumonia-like condition at this time called aluminosis. Again, there is not sufficient evidence to assistance this view.