Updated: 13 Nov 2016
Some of the more attractive aluminum properties include good appearance, ease of fabrication, good corrosion resistance, low density, high strength-to-weight ratio and high fracture toughness.
Because of these properties, aluminum is one of the most economical and structurally effective materials used for commercial and military equipment applications.
When exposed to air, a layer of aluminum oxide forms almost instantaneously on the surface of the aluminum. This layer has excellent resistance to corrosion. It is fairly resistant to most acids but less resistant to alkalis.
Pure aluminum doesn’t have a high tensile strength. However, the addition of alloying elements like manganese, silicon, copper and magnesium can increase the strength properties of aluminum and produce an alloy with properties tailored to particular applications.
Thermal conductivity of aluminum is very good, about three times greater than that of steel, a property that makes aluminum an important material for both cooling and heating applications such as heat-exchangers. Combined with it being non-toxic, this aluminum property is used extensively in cooking utensils and kitchenware.
Aluminum has a density around one-third that of steel or copper, making it one of the lightest commercially available metals.
Along with copper, aluminum has an electrical conductivity high enough for use as an electrical conductor.