Aluminum (lot. Aluminium) is a chemical element of the periodic table, it has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is light, soft, plastic, ductile, easily machined, cast, extruded, anodized, and light reflecting. The element was discovered by H. C. Oersted in 1825 and isolated for the first time in 1827 by F. Wöhler, and since the middle of the 19th century it has been produced industrially.
The main Aluminum alloy elements include copper, magnesium, silica, manganese, and zinc. Aluminum alloys are divided into two groups:
• According to the method of manufacture (whether formed or cast)
• According to thermal processing (whether thermally enhanced or thermally unenhanced)
Aluminum is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth’s crust (8.13 %). It is found in compounds – feldspars, mica and other minerals. The dry mass of the majority of plants contains about 0.02 % of Aluminum , even though it is necessary only for some plants like Aluminum such as tea plants, as a deficiency causes leaf chlorosis. Large amounts of Aluminum are toxic for plants. Humans also assimilate Aluminum; it is accumulated in the pancreas, thyroid, liver, spleen, kidney, and blood. In cases of excess, it aggravates phosphate assimilation, and reduces the amount of hemoglobin. Aluminum compounds promote blood coagulation, are damaging to the nervous system, and Aluminum powder is deleterious to the respiratory tract.
During the recent years, processed Aluminum (secondary metal) has amounted to about 25% of all the Aluminum used around the world.
In Europe, Aluminum and its alloys must comply with standards: EN 1780-1, EN 1780-2, EN 1780-3. According to the standard LST EN 573, technically pure Aluminum is marked by the letters Al and numbers indicating the percentage of Aluminum .
In Russia, technically pure Aluminum is marked with the letter A and numbers indicating the percentage of Aluminum which is purer than 99 %; for instance, the inscription A99 means that there is 99 % of Al