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Dexter Macintosh
by on July 10, 2020
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Aluminium is the third most common element in the Earth’s crust and is often referred to as the ‘magical metal’, prized for its versatility and strength. Since emerging at the beginning of the 20th century, it has driven the revolution of modern architecture. In the beginning, aluminium was not widely used in architectural applications, as it was costly. However, at the start of the 1920s, innovations in the production process vastly reduced the cost. Today, there are various structures all around the world that have been built using architectural aluminium.

But what makes it such a coveted material? Why do engineers and architects prefer using architectural aluminium over other building materials? To gain a deeper understanding of the several beneficial properties of architectural aluminium, 8 reasons why it is widely used in construction and architecture will be discussed below.

  1. Aluminium is lightweight

One of the main reasons why architectural aluminium is such a popular choice is because it is one of the lightest commercially available materials. When it comes to curtain walling, a lightweight frame is a necessity, which is where aluminium comes in.

 

  1. Aluminium has high corrosion resistance properties

Regardless of the external environmental elements, the structure of the building or project will not warp over the years. This is because when architectural aluminium meets air, a protective layer of aluminium oxide forms on its surface.

 

  1. Aluminium is malleable and ductile

This means that no matter what type of shape you need to produce with the architectural aluminium, it can be bent and pressed into any form without losing its strength. In fact, it is the second most malleable metal in the world.

 

  1. Aluminium is recyclable and environmentally friendly

The quality of recycled architectural aluminium is identical to new architectural aluminium. The material can be 100% recycled many times, making it a highly sustainable building material. In fact, almost all aluminium ever produced is still being used today.

 

  1. Aluminium alloys have high tensile strength

Aluminium as a pure material has low tensile strength. Whereas, once it is alloyed with other materials, its strength vastly increases, like in the case of architectural aluminium. The strength to weight ratio of aluminium alloys is also far more impressive.

 

  1. Aluminium requires little maintenance

As mentioned previously, architectural aluminium has high corrosion resistance properties, meaning it will not require maintenance as often as other materials.

 

  1. Aluminium is not combustible

When it comes to fire safety, architects need to utilise materials that will reduce the spread of fire. While aluminium’s melting point may be at around 660°C, no harmful gases are released.

 

  1. The several different aluminium finishes

Finally, aluminium can be easily anodised, or powder coated to give it whatever decorative or textured finish is preferred or required. These finishes will not only improve the overall look of the aluminium, but also enhance its durability.

As you can see, there are many reasons why architectural aluminium is such a widely used and preferred material in the architectural and construction industries.

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