At the beginning of the last century, aluminum was virtually unused in civil engineering because of it was too expensive. But in 1920s, the electrolysis process reduced the cost of aluminum by 80%. Aluminum became more and more popular in the construction of high-rise buildings and bridges. Window-frames, panels, domed roofs and other wide-span and other ornaments are made of aluminum.
Aluminum is now utilized for a host of applications in building and construction. Aluminum is the material of choice for curtain walling, window frames and other glazed structures. Structures like offshore living quarters, helicopter decks, scaffolding and ladders are also commonly made of aluminum.
The minimum design service of aluminum structures is 80 years. Aluminum can be used in any climatic conditions and does not lose its properties in any temperature. Aluminum glazing is the second most widely specified metal in building after steel.
Aluminum is used in the all sectors from commercial buildings to domestic dwellings. The main market sectors of the aluminum are windows, roofing, cladding, curtain walling and structural glazing, prefabricated buildings, shop fittings and partitions.
Primary smelter aluminum is pure and has a relatively low strength. The important quality of aluminum is its lightness. Thanks to its low specific weight, aluminum plates weigh half of steel with the same stiffness.
Aluminum is a very lightweight building material hence it helps in reducing the dead load of the building. It offers us unobstructed views hence making the interiors look big.
Modern building and construction is more than merely erecting buildings as functionally as possible. Aluminum enables every possible architectural concept to be realized- regardless of whether it is a new build or a modernization. Aluminum sections are generally thinner and deeper than equivalent steel sections to achieve the required strength and rigidity. Aluminum is not affected by moisture and aluminum windows do not warp.
Aluminum has a natural source, built-in durability, and most aluminum construction products are coated and treated. One of the main reasons for aluminum’s enduring and growing popularity is its compatibility with today’s fast-track construction techniques and just-in-time ordering.
Advantages, Properties, and Applications:
Aluminum building products are made from alloys, which are weather-proof, corrosion-resistant and immune to the harmful effects of UV rays, ensuring optimal performance over a very long serviceable lifetime.
The extrusion process offers an almost infinite range of forms and sections, allowing designers to integrate numerous functions into one profile. In addition, aluminum can be sawed, drilled, riveted, screwed, bent, welded and soldered in the workshop or on the building site.
- Hundreds of surface finishes:
Aluminum can be anodized or painted in any color, to any optical effect, using any number of surface touches, in order to meet a designer’s decorative needs. Such processes also serve to enhance the material’s durability and corrosion resistance, as well as providing an easy-to-clean surface.
- High reflectivity:
This characteristic feature makes aluminum a very efficient material for light management. Aluminum solar collectors can be installed to lower energy consumption for artificial lighting and heating in winter, while aluminum shading devices can be used to reduce the need for air conditioning in summer.
It is certain that Aluminum will become even more widely used in construction as pressure grows for buildings that are flexible, easy to maintain and offer low cost-in-use. There is certainly scope for growth in a wide variety of structural applications, such as supporting Aluminum sheet roofing on aluminum extruded roofing members.
Aluminum, while it has a relatively high initial energy cost, offers unparalleled manufacturing flexibility, the broadest ranges of finishes, an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, unlimited recyclables and has a far better environmental profile than many specifies believe.