Aluminum, Leading The Green Future
The story of the metal “noble”
Legend has it that in ancient Rome, one day, one went to meet Emperor Tiberius and presented a metal cup. The cup sparkled like silver, but it was very light. It is the new metal that this person extracted from clay. The emperor expressed gratitude on the surface, but he was afraid that this dazzling new metal would devalue his gold and silver treasures and ordered the inventor to beheaded. Since then, no one has ever thought of refining this “dangerous metal”. This new metal is the aluminum that everyone is very familiar with now.
Before the 19th century, aluminum was considered a rare precious metal and the price was more expensive than gold. When a European monarch bought an aluminum wine glass, he looked down on other monarchs who could not afford the luxury. Historically, the French emperor Napoleon III made a helmet with aluminum in order to show his honor, becoming a sensational news. Every time a grand state banquet, others use silver tableware, and he uses a set of aluminum tableware alone.
The Russian writer Chernyshevsky wrote in his novel “What to do”: One day, aluminum will replace wood and may even replace stone. Look, how luxurious it is all, aluminum is everywhere.
In fact, these are not surprising, because aluminum is indeed a kind of “metal” with great value. It is no exaggeration to be called “noble” in metal.
Never-ending “all-round metal”
When it comes to aluminum, people always think of “high energy consumption” – the average production of 1 ton of primary aluminum consumes about 12,000 kWh. But people don’t know, because aluminum has many excellent properties such as light weight, corrosion resistance, easy processing, and recyclability. In the process of use and the entire life cycle, it is actually a green metal that saves energy and reduces emissions. Aluminum is also known as “Metals that never die.”
Since aluminum is extremely resistant to corrosion and does not rust, it can theoretically be recycled for recycling, and there is no difference in the quality performance of recycled aluminum and primary aluminum. Since the beginning of the production of aluminum products in 1886, a total of 761 million tons of aluminum has been produced worldwide. Today, more than one hundred years later, 529 million tons of aluminum are still in use, and global recycled aluminum can reduce carbon emissions by more than 100 million tons per year. . Moreover, when aluminum is recycled, its energy consumption is only 5% of the initial processing energy consumption, which can be described as “life-saving energy saving”.
The price is only one-third of that of copper. The proportion of aluminum is only one-third of that of steel. It is an important raw material for consumer goods manufacturing, raw material manufacturing and equipment manufacturing. In 124 domestic industrial sectors, 113 sectors are involved in aluminum. The industry correlation degree of aluminum is as high as 91%, which is one of the industries with high social contribution rate in China’s non-ferrous metal industry. From space to catering, from cars to cables, aluminum is increasingly becoming the “all-round champion” in the materials industry.
“Using aluminum to steel” to promote traffic lightweighting
In the field of transportation, “aluminum-based steel” is already a trend of economic development. Whether it is a rail vehicle or a car, the promotion of aluminum body can make the vehicle lightweight, which will help the transportation industry achieve a win-win situation of energy saving, emission reduction and economic benefits. According to statistics, as of the end of 2018, the number of car ownership in the country reached 240 million, of which the number of trucks held was 25.7 million. Although the proportion of car ownership was only one-tenth, its fuel consumption accounted for the total consumption of automobile fuel. More than 25% of the amount.
Therefore, reducing the weight of trucks is an inevitable choice for energy conservation and emission reduction in the transportation sector. If the proportion of aluminum trailers in China reaches the same level as 70% in developed countries, it can reduce fuel consumption by 65.62 million tons and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 190 million tons a year. At the same time, ordinary transport vehicles can carry 100 tons of cargo. All aluminum trailers can carry 130 tons of load due to their light weight. This improves transportation efficiency without increasing fuel consumption, emissions and overload.
“Using aluminum to replace wood” to help industrialize buildings
In addition, the construction industry, as an important pillar industry of China’s national economy, is huge. According to statistics, in 2018, the total output value of the national construction industry was 23.5 trillion yuan, and the construction area of the construction industry in the country was 14.09 billion square meters.
However, the massive use of various resources by the construction industry has led to an increasingly serious environmental pollution. According to statistics, construction pollution accounts for 34% of all types of pollution, and construction waste accounts for 40% of total human active waste.
Taking the pouring formwork of building basic materials as an example, the traditional wooden formwork leads to excessive deforestation, heavy pollution of construction waste, serious damage to the ecological environment, and the quality and safety of the building are not guaranteed.
Therefore, “to replace the wood with aluminum”, to encourage the production and use of light aluminum alloy formwork has become an inevitable way to save energy and reduce emissions in the construction industry.
According to statistics, the application of aluminum alloy formwork per square meter can reduce the deforestation of 0.5 mu and reduce the construction waste by about 30%. Secondly, the aluminum formwork can be used more than 300 times, and the recovery value is high. The aluminum alloy template replaces the current large-scale use. Traditional wooden formwork is conducive to forest resources and ecological environment protection, reducing construction waste.
Guest contributors are welcome at the Alloy Wiki.It is a weekly wiki and guide on alloy information and processing technology, while also about the vast array of opportunities that are present in manufacturing. Our team of writers consists of a Machining Material Supplier / Machinist / Tool and Die Maker, a Biomedical Engineer / Product Development Engineer, a Job Development Coordinator / Adjunct Professor, and a President and CEO of a manufacturing facility.