Aluminium in Today's World

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Aluminium (Aluminum) Manufacturing Methods

Methods of Aluminium Manufacture

The beauty of aluminium is that it can be processed in a number of ways – and each one gives additional properties and attributes to the form created.

The five most common methods to manufacture aluminium into products for use in today’s world are:

Method of Manufacture End Product Hulamin Businesses
Rolled into sheet, plate and foil Hulamin Rolled Products
Extruded into extruded profiles Hulamin Extrusions
Cast in moulds and dies into custom shapes  
Drawn through dies into wire  
Forged by hammering and pressing into custom shapes  


Hulamin operates in the fields of rolled and extruded products manufacture including foils and containers. The processes and products are highly complementary with various alloys and finishes supplied to the end use manufacturers, our customers.

Example of rolled and extruded products in common everyday products include:





Aluminium in today's world

The total consumption of aluminium in all its various forms (rolled, extruded, cast, forged etc.) in 2015 was estimated to be 60 million tons.

  • 50 million tons was produced from primary metal (refined from bauxite ore and smelted into aluminium)
  • 10 million tons was produced from recycled metal

Approximately 1 billion tons of aluminium are in use in the world today – as these products (planes, cars, buildings, appliances, smart phones) reach the end of their life they will provide more recycling opportunities. A beverage can has a life measured in weeks – a commercial airliner can be in service for 30 years – but they will both be recycled back into aluminium products.

Recycling aluminium consumes only 5% of the energy needed to smelt primary aluminium.

No other major industrial material has such a large difference between the impact of its two sources (primary or scrap) on the environment.

Key Properties of Aluminium

Some fun and serious facts about aluminium

  • Aluminium is the third most common element on planet earth – after oxygen and silicon.
  • It wasn’t until 1851 as modern chemistry developed that aluminium was finally separated from its ore by Henri Sainte-Claire Deville (photo right) in Paris.
  • Aluminium ore is called bauxite - a reddish earth.
  • If you want more aluminium in your diet – eat potatoes. They absorb aluminium from the soil they grow in.
  • There is lots of aluminium on the moon. The moon was once part of planet earth too.
  • In the 1850s, aluminium was more valuable than gold – aluminium was priced at $1,200 per kg and gold at $664 per kg.
  • Aluminium’s first use was in jewellery.
  • The statue of Eros in London’s Piccadilly Circus is made of aluminium – not even the pigeons can corrode it!
  • When you recycle an aluminium beverage can, it can be recycled back into a new can in under two months.
  • The energy you save by recycling a single aluminium can will run a TV for three hours.

Aluminium vs Aluminum

Why is it Aluminum in the USA but Aluminium in the rest of the world?

Sir Humphrey Davies (English chemist) named it Aluminium but for some reason Webster's Dictionary in the USA - which is their version of the Oxford dictionary - spelled it Aluminum back in 1828. Finally, the American Chemical Society formally adopted "Aluminum" in 1925.