of all aluminum produced worldwide
is used in construction
Imagine that you have a light, but strong metal, which is not prone to corrosion, which is non-toxic and durable, and which can be given virtually any desired shape. Aluminium is a tool for unlimited creativity in the hands of the architect, making it possible to create structures that cannot be made from wood, plastic, or steel.
That is why it is so commonly used in modern construction.
At the beginning of the last century, Aluminium was virtually unused in civil engineering, as the metal was too expensive and not produced in sufficient volumes. Everything changed in the 1920s, when the electrolysis process reduced the cost of Aluminium by 80%. The metal became extremely popular for finishing roofs and domes and for use in drains and wall panels, as well as for decorative purposes.
The first building in which Aluminium was widely used in construction was the Empire State Building, the famous New York skyscraper built in 1931 – and the tallest building in the world until 1970. Aluminium was used in all of the building's basic structures and widely used in the interior as well. One of the building's calling cards is the fresco on the lobby ceiling and the walls are made of Aluminium and 23 karat gold
Aluminium ingots and billets are used most frequently in civil engineering, being processed into floating ceiling, windows, doors, stairs, wall panels, roof sheets and many more uses. The magnesium-silicon 6ххх alloys in billet form are better extruded, that is why it offers a vast scope for manufacturing the most intricate architectural shapes.
Flat rolled products, hot- and cold-finished, are used for the production of aluminium sheet, wire and slab.
Aluminium takes to polishing and anodizing very well and can take on any colouring, a quality highly valued by designers. Additionally, anodizing provides intensified anticorrosion protection for the metal.
Anodizing includes a number of electrochemical processes for metal surface preparation and the formation of a hard, corrosion-proof film of Aluminium oxides. Immediately after anodizing, the artificial colourless film possessing high adsorption capacity may be painted in any colour by immersing parts in a warm bath of colouring agents.
For example, the ceiling of the Aviamotornaya underground station in Moscow, the buildings of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the State Kremlin Palace feature anodic Aluminium raised plates. These elements look and sparkle like gold from afar. In using this metal, it is not necessary to waste this precious metal for gold anodizing, as the special pigment gives the colour and the oxide film gives the lustre.