Aluminum; It’s History And Why Its Great To Use

Pyramid Aluminum. As the name states aluminum is our metal of choice when building carports, sunrooms, and pool enclosures. This is the history of aluminum and why we choose to utilize it in our craft and why you should choose to have it.

It may be such a commonplace item that you have never really spent much time thinking about it past “do we need more foil?” as you are on your way to the grocery store. However, aluminum actually has a much larger, and historically significant role than you may know. This metal has a history of use in the U.S. that spans well over 100 years, all branching from a truly modest start. During the early years, it was considered to be a rare and precious metal, even more so than silver and gold throughout most of the 19th century. This is because of the complexities involved in the refining process of metal from ore. A pure form was first extracted from ore in 1825 by a Danish chemist. However, it wasn’t until 1889 that a cost-effective technique to produce the metal emerged. Since then, the 100 percent-recyclable metal has become a foundation of infrastructure all throughout the world. In the U.S., it is now used in everything from packaging to automotive, energy, aerospace, and construction, just to name a few areas. Its a very durable but giving metal when being utilized, it is our top choice by our contractors!

Aluminum history tidbits

The following are some fun tidbits pulled from the history that you may find interesting and entertaining. 

Rockets: In 1865, an aluminum space rocket was described by science-fiction writer Jules Vern in his novel Journey to the Moon.

Extraction: In 1886, two engineers separately but simultaneously developed a rather inexpensive electrolysis process for extracting it from aluminum oxide. 

Chemical extraction: In 1887, an Austrian engineer came up with a chemical process to extract alumina from bauxite (a naturally occurring aluminum ore). This process and the one developed in 1886 are still used all throughout the world. (Known as the Bayer and Hall-Herout processes.) 


Aluminum from the 1900s to now

The power of our favorite metal was embraced by business leaders and industrialists throughout the United States in the 1900s, thanks to its superior properties. Some of the first areas that reaped the benefits of this metal were the power transmission lines and elevated train electrical wirings. However, the metal quickly found its way into engines – even famously being used in the engine built by the Wright brothers in 1903 to power their first biplane. 

It was in 1910 that foil first entered the market, but it was not until a year later in 1911 that an alloy development that improved the physical capabilities of aluminum started flowing, opening up the doors to brand new industrial uses in many different fields. During the Great Depression, the Aluminum Association was formed. 

Aluminum through the Second World War

During the Second World War, aluminum found itself in a strategically important role. It was being used in the construction of aircraft, ships, radar chaff, as well as mess kits. Thanks to America’s supply of bauxite, the U.S. had a massive output of aluminum, which would eventually be the top-production levels of all of the Axis countries combined. During this time, the U.S. also saw their first tin foil drives, which offered free tickets to the movies in return for your foil. This is often credited for kicking off the recycling trend. 

Does Aluminum Rust 

From Edison to inside your home

The first electrical transmission network was built by Thomas Edison in 1882. During this time, aluminum was far too expensive to be used for the wiring of the network. Instead, it was built using copper wiring. How things have changed! Today, copper wiring is being replaced in droves all over the world as aluminum wiring has become the industrial staple all across the world. 

Aluminum is our safe and modest choice when it comes to building your enclosures, or whatever the case may be. Do you want durability? Aluminum is your friend and Pyramid is here to help. Contact us today to get you started on your build!

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