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Pure aluminium doesn’t have a high tensile strength. However, the addition of alloying elements like manganese, silicon, copper and magnesium can increase the strength properties of aluminium and produce an alloy with properties tailored to particular applications.
Aluminium is well suited to cold environments. It has the advantage over steel in that its’ tensile strength increases with decreasing temperature while retaining its toughness. Steel on the other hand becomes brittle at low temperatures.Corrosion Resistance of Aluminium
When exposed to air, a layer of aluminium oxide forms almost instantaneously on the surface of aluminium. This layer has excellent resistance to corrosion. It is fairly resistant to most acids but less resistant to alkalis.Thermal Conductivity of Aluminium
The thermal conductivity of aluminium is about three times greater than that of steel. This makes aluminium an important material for both cooling and heating applications such as heat-exchangers. Combined with it being non-toxic this property means aluminium is used extensively in cooking utensils and kitchenware.Electrical Conductivity of Aluminium
Along with copper, aluminium has an electrical conductivity high enough for use as an electrical conductor. Although the conductivity of the commonly used conducting alloy (1350) is only around 62% of annealed copper, it is only one third the weight and can therefore conduct twice as much electricity when compared with copper of the same weight.