We use aluminium in our buildings as it is flexible and strong as well as being environmentally friendly. It is a fascinating metal and one with an interesting history and future, so we have compiled 10 pieces of information which might be of interest.
- Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen and silicon
- Aluminium is produced from bauxite and it is estimated that at the current rate of consumption, reserves will last more than 100 years
- Gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires are made up of mainly aluminium compounds
- Aluminium can be virtually recycled indefinitely. It is estimated that 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in use and recycling aluminium from scrap uses on 5% of the energy required to create new aluminium
- An aluminium can be recycled and back in use in as little as two months
- It is usually used as an alloy for enhanced hardness and strength but can still flex under load
- It is highly corrosion resistant unlike steel
- Aluminium is quite lightweight with only about one third the density of steel, making it easy to extrude
- In the mid nineteenth century aluminium was more valuable than gold until more efficient large scale production reduced the price. It is said that, at this time, Napoleon III held a banquet where the most distinguished guests were given aluminium cutlery – everybody else had to make do with gold knives and forks!
- As well as the well-known uses of aluminium such as aircraft, cooking utensils or the frames of temporary buildings it is probably less well known that some countries have used aluminium in their coinage.
The strength and flexibility of aluminium makes it perfect for use in a temporary building. It means that the building is light enough to be installed on site without the need for expensive groundworks, only hard standing is needed. Transporting a building to site is much easier with an aluminium framed building rather than an all steel structure. The lightweight frame also enables a temporary building to be installed in a short lead time, usually in a matter of days.
The components used in a temporary building mean that is can be used for years, certainly a lot longer than the term “temporary” implies. The speed of construction and longevity makes this type of building a viable alternative to a traditional structure.