History of aluminum. Physical and mechanical properties.
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How was aluminum obtained
Aluminum is known to man since antiquity, though not in its pure form, but in the composition of various inorganic clay compounds. In particular, aluminum-potassium alum has long been used for etching surfaces, in fabric dyeing technologies, and also as a flame retardant impregnation. Clays containing aluminum were also used in household items — amphoras, statuettes, etc.
The first researcher, who was able to get aluminum chemically, was Dane Hans Oersted. However, in 1825, there was still no precise technology for separating the components that formed during the reaction, so the total composition of aluminum could not be determined.
In 1827 experiments on obtaining aluminum were started by the German Friedrich Wöhler, and this time successfully. After 20 years of hard research, the scientist succeeded in obtaining granules of silver-white, light metal, which was aluminum.
Because outwardly the metal resembled silver, they were primarily interested in jewelers. The ductility of the metal and its ability to cover with other elements, in particular gold, led to the fact that it began to produce very complex decorations.
A new impetus to the growth of aluminum production was given by Bayer and Hall, who proposed an industrial method for producing aluminum by electrolysis of a cryolite melt. This technology, adjusted for technical improvements, is also valid in our time.
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Mechanical properties of aluminum
Technically pure aluminum is characterized by a high ability to deform, plastic, on the surface forms a thin oxide film of aluminum dioxide, which prevents its further oxidation in air.
The main technological parameters of aluminum are:
- Modulus of elasticity, GPa — 68… 70;
- The limit of the time resistance in tension, MPa — 75… 84;
- Relative elongation at tension,% — 22… 30;
- Hardness according to Brinell, HB — 245… 285;
- The limiting degree of deformation,% — 85… 90 (lower values — for doped aluminum).
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