Aluminium is light with a density one third that of steel, 2.700 kg/m3.
Aluminium is strong with a tensile strength of 70 to 700 MPa depending on the alloy andmanufacturing process. Extrusions of the right alloy and design are as strong as structuralsteel.
The Young’s modulus for aluminium is a third that of steel (E = 70,000 MPa). This means thatthe moment of inertia has to be three times as great for an aluminium extrusion to achievethe same deflection as a steel profile.
A thin layer of oxide is formed in contact with air, which provides very good protection againstcorrosion even in corrosive environments. This layer can be further strengthened by surfacetreatments such as anodising or powder coating.
The thermal and electrical conductivities are very good even when compared with copper.Furthermore, an aluminium conductor has only half the weight of an equivalent copper conductor.
Aluminium has a relatively high coefficient of linear expansion compared to other metals. Thisshould be taken into account at the design stage to compensate for differences in expansion.