Aluminum – identified by the symbol AL – is a common element that makes up 8% of the Earth’s surface and can be found in the environment as a mineral, called bauxite. It’s an important element in the age of technological development as its possibilities of use in industry, building, aerospace engineering, electronics and packaging are endless. Aluminum is notably the most recent metal exploited for industrial use as it has been produced on a large industrial scale for the first time just over 100 years ago. Like other metals (lead, tin and iron) aluminum only can be found in nature as a compound. Its name comes from Alum, an aluminum sulphate known and used since ancient times to prepare paints and drugs. The discovery of aluminum dates back to 1807 when the British chemist Sir Humphrey Davy (1778 –1829) speculated alum was the salt of a yet unknown metal which he called “alumium”, later modified to “aluminium”. Davy’s attempt to get aluminum from an electrolysis process with an aluminum oxide and potassium solution was not as successful as expected. Nowadays many goods and objects of extraordinary beauty and everyday use, such as bicycles, cars, aircrafts and trains, doors, windows and roofs, watches, design and furniture items and, of course, packaging, are made in aluminum.
For further information please visit the CIAL Aluminum Packaging Group website: www.cial.it