Highly regarded for its durable and economic properties, aluminum has quickly become a major part of modern construction and architecture. A short and inexpensive manufacturing process saves companies time and money. With aluminum’s ability to be produced in sheets or extruded into pre-made shapes, it provides countless options for use.

We discussed some basic advantages of aluminum material in a previous blog, but here’s how those traits get put to use.

 

Flexing Some Muscle

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Photo by LondonSE1

The most popular use for aluminum materials is adding strength to buildings. Having half
the weight of a steel reinforced system, and a seventh of concrete, architects are free to design more unique structures.

Examples:

  • Exteriors can be covered in windows with the support of thin aluminum beams.
  • Skyscrapers can reach new heights with less weight. This allows more room for the building to sway under high wind conditions without the risk of collapse.

 

A Real Life Saver

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Photo by FSI Industries

Aluminum’s high strength, low weight gives it the ability to withstand more force than steel.
Sheets can be stacked to increase protection while still weighing less than other materials.

Rust and oxidation are no longer a concern as well. Aluminum is highly corrosion resistant, giving it strength against weather and UV rays.

Examples:

  • Crash barriers on highways are small and lightweight yet strong enough to keep a speeding car from going off the road.
  • Stairwells are more commonly made from aluminum. Its properties give a reliable escape route that won’t burn or collapse under weight during emergencies.
  • Areas where structures and materials suffer corrosion, such as factories and coastal regions, are starting to see more aluminum designs. Aside from protecting inhabitants from the outside, aluminum structures will survive much longer with less wear.
  • Noise cancellation slits can be cut into flat-rolled sheets to provide sound reduction. These angled spaces help diffuse sound and can be filled with fiber glass or foam to increase the effect.

 

Easy on the Eyes

the modern office

Photo by ArchiExpo

A less obvious, but equally important use, for aluminum can be found throughout buildings. Aluminum can replace many smaller components to provide more reliable features than brass or steel.

Anodizing the surface creates a porous layer that can be dyed to create unique metallic surfaces to match any look.

Examples:

  • Door knobs made from aluminum are less likely to break.
  • Aluminum-framed buildings effectively insulated against colder temperatures. Depending on the amount and quality of insulation, it performs four times better than 10 centimeters of bricks and 20 centimeters of stone.
  • Wall facades, sculptures and other decorative pieces give buildings a pleasing aesthetic. These can be made of raw aluminum for a modern look, or dyed and painted to create a variety of styles.

 

Next month, we’ll be looking into how these uses have resulted in amazing aluminum structures.

Click here to learn more about American Douglas Metals’ custom aluminum extrusion solutions and get a FREE quote on your next project.

Photo Sources:

http://www.archiexpo.com/prod/alcoa-architectural-products-merxheim-frankreich/product-67104-1689354.html
http://www.fsindustries.com/more_info/welded_aluminum_prefab_boca_stairways/welded_aluminum_boca_prefab_stairways.shtml
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/places/city-hall