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Published by: Mangala Mahanthan Janakiraman on Mar 06, 2011
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Aluminium and Construction

Mangala Mahanthan J II Semester, BEM, SPA

It can be melted. chemically and mechanically aluminium is a metal like steel. lead or titanium. cast. one of the most heavily used element. zinc. There are several aluminium properties that makes aluminium. brass. copper. In fact often the same equipment and fabrication methods are used as for steel. .Aluminium (Al) is the most abundant metal on this planet which is silverywhitish in appearance. Physically. formed and machined much like these metals and it conducts electric current.

durability. function and economy has seen aluminium fast become the material of choice . ihas become an essential product for the building industry and over the past 50 years its use in building applications has shown continuous and consistent growth. The growing understanding that the entire life cycle of a building and its fittings must be considered and balanced against the realities of design.Aluminium is a product with unique properties. Its strength. making it a natural partner for the building industry. The building and construction industry is today faced with many environmental challenges . corrosion resistance and recyclability.from its impact on climate change to its choice of materials and methods of waste disposal.

467°C.Aluminium. Heat and Electrical conductivity: Aluminium is counted among the very good conductors of heat and electricity. Strength and Weight: . . in its purest form is a soft metal and very light in weight.Physical Aluminium Properties:- Melting and Boiling Point: .2°C and it will start boiling if the temperature is raised up to 2.Aluminium melts when it is heated up to the temperature of 660.

behaviour towards acids. effect of temperature and pressure on reactivity etc. Aluminium forms a thin layer of oxide on its surface which protects it from being affected by open air. . get reduced when reacted with aluminium in the presence of high temperature. Aluminium in the molten state reacts vigorously when brought in contact with water.Chemical Aluminium Properties: Chemical aluminium properties mainly concern with chemical characteristics of aluminium such as it's reactivity. certain chemicals and solutions. Certain facts about chemical aluminium properties can be listed as follows:The compounds which contain oxygen. water.

.Characteristics: Light Weight Corrosion Resistance Electrical and Thermal Conductivity Reflectivity Ductility Impermeable and Odourless Recyclability Strength-to-Weight Ratio: Aluminium s high strength-to-weight ratio is one of its major advantages in the construction industry. The strength of the metal can be adjusted to suit the application by proper alloying. which means that it is a third the density of steel. Aluminium has a density of 2.7.

Light Weight Aluminium is a very light metal with a specific weight of 2. This has made aluminium the most commonly used material in major power transmission lines. Different types of surface treatment such as anodising. It is particularly useful for applications where protection and conservation are required. painting or lacquering can further improve this property. .7 g/cm3. Reflectivity Aluminium is a good reflector of visible light as well as heat. the use of aluminium in vehicles reduces dead-weight and energy consumption while increasing load capacity. Its strength can be adapted to the application required by modifying the composition of its alloys. for example. Electrical and Thermal Conductivity Aluminium is an excellent heat and electricity conductor and in relation to its weight is almost twice as good a conductor as copper. about a third that of steel. Corrosion Resistance Aluminium naturally generates a protective oxide coating and is highly corrosion resistant. and that together with its low weight. light fittings or rescue blankets. makes it an ideal material for reflectors in. For example.

Impermeable and Odourless Aluminium foil. The remelting of aluminium requires little energy: only about 5 percent of the energy required to produce the primary metal initially is needed in the recycling process.007 mm thickness. is still completely impermeable and lets neither light aroma nor taste substances out. Recyclability Aluminium is 100 percent recyclable with no downgrading of its qualities.Ductility Aluminium is ductile and has a low melting point and density. In a molten condition it can be processed in a number of ways. even when it is rolled to only 0. . the metal itself is non-toxic and releases no aroma or taste substances which makes it ideal for packaging sensitive products such as food or pharmaceuticals. Moreover. Its ductility allows products of aluminium to be basically formed close to the end of the product s design.

But in spite of its weight advantages. thereby enhancing the energy efficiency of the construction. The dimensions of this structure can therefore be reduced. making them particularly suitable for applications such as sash and frames of windows and patio doors. The material s rigidity ensures that. In addition. aluminium facades are being used to clad non-residential buildings. where stability is an essential property of applications such as facades. aluminium offers strength properties comparable with those of alternative metal facade panels. In addition to reducing the cost of transporting aluminium equipment. cladding and windows. . aluminium frames remain stable under normal loads. Rolled panels with a specific weight of 2 to 3kg/m3 can be mounted by hand. the materials light weight makes it easier to handle on site. Aluminium Facades and Cladding Increasingly. while slim. Such an advantage is particularly important in the case of curtain walls for high rise buildings. the material s light weight and high strength results in a low load on the supporting structure of buildings. This is particularly valued in high-rise buildings. increase its durability and provide valuable insulation properties. Such facades can improve the appearance of a building.Rigidity and Stability in Aluminium Frames Aluminium components also offer comparably high strength and rigidity. obviating the need for heavy equipment. The high strength-to-weight ratio of the aluminium is one of the properties that makes it particularly suitable for cladding applications.

They are extremely stable. durable and thermally efficient. skylights. they have low rates of expansion and contraction and also of condensation. screens and doors Highly resistant and rigid. cladding/siding. weatherproofing Aluminium siding is available with insulation and reflective foil backing.Applications: Windows. and snug and dry all the year round. so walls can be made weatherproof and energy-efficient. . Roofs and canopies Aluminium building products help keep homes cool in summer. Facades. warm in winter.

and cast products are commonly used for window frames and other glazed structures ranging from shop fronts to large roof superstructures for shopping centres and stadiums. siding. and curtain walling. the overall weight of the structure is kept down to manageable proportions due to the light weight of the aluminium frame. Most recently. staircases. bullet or burglar proof windows and doors. as well as for cast door handles. Aluminium is leading the way into the future of the construction industry. for roofing. heating and airconditioning systems. aluminium has played a significant role in the renovation of historic buildings.Aluminium extruded. The characteristics and properties of aluminium as a material have lead to revolutionary and innovative changes in building techniques and architectural and engineering projects. rolled. Aluminium in Penetration Barriers Where high security is required. While the glass for such applications may be heavy. specifically designed aluminium frames are used in the constriction of explosion. . catches for windows.

Aluminium in Fire For example. As a result. thereby avoiding the need to completely reconstruct the building or demolish it. but this behaviour is seen by fire authorities as an advantage. which may be designed to melt during a major fire. aluminium panels do not release any harmful combustion gases in fire conditions. however. Industrial roofs and external walls are increasingly made from thin aluminium cladding panels. melt at around 650°C (a temperature reached in a fire after a certain time). being a metal. . This opens the building and allows heat and smoke to escape. At the same time. Aluminium alloys will. aluminium will not burn and is therefore classified in fire protection regulations as a non-combustible construction material. thereby minimising the temperature load on the structure and facilitating the extinguishing of the fire. the structure of the building can be saved.

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