Aluminium - the metal of the future. Photo: Getty/iStock
Its lightness, its formability and its infinite recyclability has made it the fastest growing metal in the world. Meet aluminium – a building block of modern society and the metal of the future!
It’s everywhere nowadays – at home, at work and outdoors; in buildings and infrastructure, in cars, trains and planes; in packaging and consumer electronics.
And it won’t go anywhere either, as the light metal can be recycled forever and used in ever new applications, time after time. 75 % of all aluminium ever produced is still in use, making it an energy bank.
Recycling aluminium only requires 5 % of the original energy input. When a building is demolished or a car has fulfilled its function, the metal is simply remelted and used over again.
Aluminium parts can be given very different and specialized properties by just adding tiny fractions of other metals in the production process.
Aluminium alloys can be made hard or soft, stiff or bendable, tolerate a very hot or very cold environment – or even endure moist, salt and different kinds of chemicals without corroding. Where steel may rust, aluminium can be maintenance free.
These flexible properties are very useful, and an important reason for aluminium’s popularity.
In a beverage can you would want the aluminium to break when you pull the lid cap. Without the special alloy you wouldn’t be able to open it.
Being light, formable and infinitely recyclable, aluminium is even becoming a part of the solution to one of our time’s biggest challenges: Climate change.
When making automotive parts in aluminium instead of steel, the cars gets lighter, they need less fuel and emits less greenhouse gases.
When protecting food or beverages with a thin layer of aluminium in the packaging, nutrition may be kept fresh longer.
In a world disposing of 1/3 of all food, improved packaging is an important contribution to reducing waste and greenhouse gases. Low weight even saves emissions under transportation.
Producing a million tonne of aluminium based on hydropower saves the world from 15 million tonnes of CO2 every year, compared with producing it based on coal fired energy other places in the world.
In this country aluminium even contributes to value creation and welfare, being its third largest export after oil/gas and farmed fish.
This makes Hydro very proud of the metal it produces in Norway.
And Norwegians a bit proud of its world star, aluminium.