History and Usage of Aluminum

Here at Murray Material Handling, our go to material is steel.  It’s strong, resilient, long lasting, and it’s been around for a while.

That said, there are certain situations where different types of metal might be better suited.  After all, steel is rather heavy.  It can also be a little tricky to use.

And that’s why a number of the products we offer use a lovely metal called aluminum.

A Brief History of Aluminum

Aluminum, or aluminium as it’s known in most of the world, is the most abundant metal in the world (and the third most abundant element period).

Despite it’s prevalence, Aluminum wasn’t discovered until 1825.  Even then, only a small, unusable amount was produced.  For the next few decades, larger amounts of aluminum were successfully extracted, but not enough to make the material affordable to most companies.

See, even though aluminum is the most abundant metal, it is never found in its basic state.  Instead of is combined with other elements, forming compounds.  To have pure aluminum, one had to extract it from these compounds.  This process used to be so difficult that aluminum was actually considered to be a precious metal.

However, this started to change in 1889 when a man named Charles Martin Hall patented an inexpensive method for producing aluminum.  It was at this point that the metal began to receive commercial exposure.

By 1914, the cost of aluminum had dropped so drastically that it was no longer considered a precious metal.  Also around this time, the world saw the introduction of aluminum foil, a material that would revolutionize the consumable packing industry.

Over the past century, aluminum as continued to grow in popularity due to its lightweight and anticorrosive properties.  Aluminum’s strength to weight ratio is unmatched, making it especially common in the manufacturing of transportation vehicles.

True is, you can find aluminum just about anywhere, whether you’re looking at jumbo jets or warehouse shelving.

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