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Aluminium in the Building and Construction Industries

Aluminum building materials is widely used in building because of its intrinsic properties of lightness and corrosion resistance.

Aluminum is used in external facades, roofs and walls, in windows and doors, in staircases, railings, shelves, and other several applications.

Aluminium in building construction

Thanks to its features, there are many benefits that aluminum offers to the construction industry:


Pure aluminum is a low-strength metal and consequently not suitable for building applications but thanks to the addition of alloying elements such as copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc etc. and thanks to specific production processes, it changes its physical and mechanical properties to meet requirements of a large number of applications.


Aluminum alloys for Building are resistant to water, corrosion and immune to the harmful effects of UV rays, thus ensuring a lasting endurance

Low maintenance costs 

Aluminum does not require any special kind of maintenance, whether it is raw or lacquered aluminum


Aluminum can be anodized or lacquered in any color, so it’s possible to  get the most varied effects and thus meet the designer’s decorative needs. Aluminum treatments can increase the durability of the material and its corrosion resistance

Reflective properties

Aluminum is widely used for light management: its reflective properties help to  reduce energy consumption for lighting and heating.

For example, it’s possible to reduce the use of air conditioning in summer season by using aluminum shielding devices.

Aluminum is not combustible

Aluminum does not burn and is therefore it’s classified as non-combustible material (A1 fire reaction class).

Nevertheless, aluminum alloys melt at about 650 ° C, but without releasing any harmful gases. And so, more and more often, the outer covers and external surfaces of industrial structures (and not) are made with thin aluminum panel finishes which are destined to merge only in case of fierce fire, thus allowing heat and smoke to escape and reducing damage Caused by the fire.

Certified studies have proved that the alloys,  the surface treatments (coatings) and the materials used are all neutral. Aluminum used in the construction industry does not have any negative impacts either on the quality of the air inside buildings, on land or water.

These are just a few of the benefits of using aluminum, in a technical and technological development view the extraordinary properties of this metal will offer (potentially) endless possibilities for building engineering applications.

The aluminium element was discovered 200 years ago. After an initial period of technological development, aluminium alloys were used in many structural applications, including the civil engineering field. Aluminium is the second most widely specified metal in building after steel, and is used in all sectors from commercial building to domestic dwelling.

This paper contains complete overview of use of Aluminum corbel in building construction. How it is beneficial in modern age building construction. This paper also contains the properties, advantages. Some question arises that whether aluminium is sustainable, fabricated for fast track, requires maintenance, are explained in detail in this paper.

Aluminium is the second most widely specified metal in buildings after steel, and is used in all construction sectors, from commercial buildings to domestic dwellings. 40% of the UK annual production of aluminium is utilized within the construction industry, which equates to roughly 150,000 tonnes of aluminium per annum, of which approximately 65,000 tonnes is extruded products, and 25,000 tonnes sheet materials.

The main market sectors are windows, roofing, cladding, curtain walling and structural glazing, prefabricated buildings, architectural hardware, H&V, shop fitting and partitions. Aluminium is also used extensively in plant, ladders and scaffolding.

Primary smelter aluminium is pure and, as such, has a relatively low strength. For extrusions and other manufactured components, the material is alloyed to improve its strength, although even the most heavily alloyed wrought aluminium is still 92% pure.

The two series of alloys most widely used in construction are the 5000 series work-hardened magnesium alloys and the 6000 series heat-treatable magnesium silicone alloys. The latter are more extrudable and, therefore, offer greater scope for complex shapes. Silicone alloys (such as LM6) and manganese alloys (such as 3103) are also used for specific construction applications.

By selecting the right alloy, the designer is offered a wide range of properties including high strength (up to 400 MPa or 26 tonnes per sq inch), low density, high thermal conductivity, and good forming and joining characteristics. The choice of the most appropriate alloy of the 6000 series for a particular extrusion depends on the nature of the task it has to perform. A balance has to be struck between strength, ease of forming and finish. The 6063 alloy, for instance, has good extrudability, corrosion resistance and surface finish; and is thus widely used in fenestration. The properties of the individual alloys are amplified by the shape of the extruding die. Careful and knowledgeable design can take advantage of the ability of the extrusion process to distribute the material across the section to exactly where it is needed for a particular performance requirement.

Modern building and construction is more than merely erecting buildings as functionally as possible. In addition to functional and economic criteria, aesthetic and design considerations together with ecological demands placed on building projects play an equally important role. This means the materials used are of major significance. Aluminium, the building material for the modern age, established itself as an important factor in the building and construction industry during the course of the 20th century. Aluminium enables every possible architectural concept to be realised – regardless of whether it is a new build or a modernization. Possible applications range from façades and roof and wall manufacturers of Aluminium building products systems to interior decoration and the design of living are world leaders technologically – not least space, and include windows and doors, balconies because the companies have furthered the and conservatories development of modern windows and façades in the fields of surface treatment, thermal insulation and soundproofing, air conditioning and solar heating. With an annual domestic demand of about 500,000 tonnes, the building and construction industry is the second largest market for aluminium products in Germany. Its share of the total aluminium market is 15 percent.

One of Aluminium’s primary appeals to specifiers is its exceptional strength to weight ratio. At 2.7g/cm2, Aluminium is 66% lighter than steel. It is also far less susceptible to brittle fractures. Indeed, when aluminium and steel structures are compared, Aluminium’s greater modulus of elasticity means that weight ratios of 1:2 are easily attained.

While Aluminum railing has a relatively high co-efficient of linear expansion, at 24 X 10-6/’C – in its pure form, the material’s low modulus of elasticity (65,500N/mm2 for 6063 alloy) enables temperature induced stresses to be accommodated. Indeed, these are generally far lower than in a comparable steel structure (M of E = 210,000N/mm2). This is graphically illustrated by Aluminium’s load-deflection curve, which is continuous, without a yield point.

Although basic material costs will always be important to specifiers, they should be balanced against the cost of fabrication and subsequent service performance. This is an area where Aluminium, being ideally suited to highly automate manufacturing procedures to exact tolerances, offers many benefits. Aluminium door extrusions, for instance, are subjected to a rigorous quality regime, from hardness testing of the raw extrusion to conical bends, sawing, scratching, gouging, hammering and weight drops to guarantee coating performance. It is this combination of quality control, excellent cost in use and systems technology that has helped develop new markets for Aluminium roof companies in the health, education, leisure and transport sectors where changes in the funding of building procurement, such as PFI and fund-holding schools has changed the emphasis from lowest capital cost to lowest cost in use. Specifiers are increasingly looking for effective systems solutions by involving system suppliers early in the design process to ensure the most elegantly engineered solution at the lowest cost.

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