Youngs Modulus: 70 GPa (in alloys)
These are also a property relating to how easily deformation occurs. Aluminum is both very malleable, and very ductile. In fact aluminum is the 2nd most malleable metal, and the 6th most ductile, both of these are very important for its uses. Malleability is the property of a metal to be deformed by compression without cracking or rupturing, and ductility is the ability to deform plastically without fracture under tensile force. In a practical sense if a material is malleable it means that it is possible to roll it into sheets, and if it is ductile it can be drawn into wires. Aluminum can do both like most metals can. The structure of metals as positive ions in a "sea" of negative electrons means that the positions of the ions are not as fixed as one may first imagine, and as the ions are just held in place by attraction they can slide past each other giving metals malleability and ductility.
Hardness: 420 MPa
This gives aluminum its unique lightweight property and extends the uses of aluminum vastly. Really this is the key property that sets aluminum apart from so many other metallic elements. Transport vessels made of aluminum can carry more cargo with the same amount of fuel than vessels made of other materials as the aluminum itself it so much lighter. Why does it have such a low density? Because of the number of protons and neutrons (which make up almost all of an atoms weight) in the nucleus. Aluminum has a mass of just 27, which is very low compared to most other metals.
Melting Point: 660.32 °C Boiling Point: 2519 °C
Aluminum has a very low electrical resistivity, and therefore a high electrical conductivity. This is measured in Ohms meters, as resistivity is equal to the resistance of a certain sized piece of the material multiplied by the area and divided by the length. This gives a standard measure for a material that can be used easily in comparison. In relation to other metals aluminum has quite a low resistivity, it is not the best conductor, but it is by no means the worst. Aluminum is also a very good thermal conductor as is discussed in conductivity.
Reflectivity: High 71% unpolished and when polished: 97%
Continue to the Next Section... Questions →