Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen and silicon), immediately making it an obvious choice for a commercial metal. Aluminum doesn’t lose strength or corrode over time — nearly 75% of all of the aluminum ever used for commercial purposes is still in use today — making it an even more intelligent choice for any business that has an eye toward the long term.
The Right Shape, Sustainably
By mixing aluminum with small amounts of other elements, it’s trivial to produce an alloy that can be processed, cast, forged, rolled, or extruded into almost any imaginable form. These alloys are 95% as strong as steel at 33% of the weight, when, when you add in the corrosion-resistant nature of the metal, makes aluminum framing the perfect decision for many industrial applications where added weight and exposure to the elements can make steel a poor choice.
Furthermore, even if an accident or disaster occurs and a worksite’s aluminum framing is destroyed, aluminum can be recycled and the framing recreated for as little as 5%-10% of the energy cost of the original production.
More Benefits of Aluminum
Aluminum provides strength very similar to that of steel, but because it can be so perfectly shaped for any given job, many applications allow you to achieve that strength with as little as 70% as much aluminum as you would normally need steel. Furthermore, aluminum is more flexible than steel, allowing it to absorb significantly greater impacts without shattering.
That makes aluminum an excellent choice for hydraulics, pneumatics, and bulk material handling applications. Each of these, be it a powerful hydraulic winch or a series of impact saddles under a fast-running conveyor belt, requires a framework to hold the machinery in place. The most common choice for these frameworks is steel, because it’s more readily available and costs less per pound.
That cost is deceptive, however, because by volume, which is actually the important metric, aluminum is less expensive. Combine that with the aforementioned reduction in total material necessary for a given job, and aluminum delivers the finishing blow by being significantly less expensive than steel for any given job.
Aluminum framing — it’s less expensive, more durable, and more sustainable. Choose it for your next industrial project and reap the rewards.