Aluminum "Quick Facts"

  • Aluminum is the ultimate recycled material. According to Aluminum Association (AA) statistics:
    • Annual U.S. aluminum can consumption is 100 billion units, or one per day for each citizen.
    • It requires only 5% of the energy to recycle aluminum as it does to smelt new aluminum.
    • Because of recycling, over two-thirds of the aluminum ever smelted is still in use.
    • 90% of the aluminum in buildings gets recycled upon demolition.
    • One case of un-recycled cans wastes the amount of energy in a gallon of gas.
    • Cans are on average, back in use 60 days after recycling.
    • The aluminum industry has cut carbon emissions by 53% in the last 15 years.
  • Use of recycled materials is an important aspect of sustainable design and the LEED® Rating SystemTM.
  • Aluminum’s atomic number is 13. The aluminum atom has 13 electrons revolving about its nucleus in three orbits.
  • Aluminum’s chemical symbol is Al, its specific gravity is 2.7 (168.75 pounds per cubic foot), and it weighs 0.10 pounds per cubic inch, or one-third that of steel. Aluminum is lightweight, but strong. Aluminum has high resistance to most types of corrosion.
  • Aluminum can be readily alloyed. The addition of other metals in small amounts will increase strength, yield better corrosion resistance, and improve machine-ability versus pure aluminum. Aluminum as we know it and use it in our day-to-day work is always an alloy.
  • Aluminum has high electrical conductivity, and is commonly used for power transmission lines. Aluminum has high thermal conductivity. Controlled interior humidity and windows with thermal-break features have overcome this objection, and the many advantages of aluminum still make it the “material of choice” in almost 90% of the non-residential window market.
  • Aluminum has a high coefficient of thermal expansion. Generally speaking, the co-efficient of thermal expansion of aluminum is 0.0000129 per any unit of measurement, per degree Fahrenheit (about twice that of ferrous metals).