Aluminum Coil: An Earth-Friendly Industrial Material

Whether a project calls for aluminum foil (thinner than 0.006 inches in thickness) or aluminum sheet (0.006 inches to 0.070 inches in thickness), aluminum coil is behind the manufacturing process. Aluminum coil is formed by taking one continuous strip of aluminum and coiling it into a roll.

Some of the advantages of aluminum coil is that it is lightweight, heavy duty and able to resist corrosion. By a process called anodizing, whereby the aluminum surface is coated with a protective oxide, that corrosion resistance can be improved even further. As a result, manufacturers who need to increase their productivity and require parts that can withstand the elements rely on aluminum coil to get the job done.

Why might they opt for aluminum coiling over another durable material like steel or copper? At about 33% the density and weight of steel, aluminum renders parts that are much lighter, thereby reducing handling costs and shipping fees. What’s more, is the cost is about 50% that of copper.

In fact, according to the Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, aluminum versus copper has become “The Great Condensing Coil Debate.” In that article published by the industrial news source, while controversy stirs about one versus the other, one thing is clear. Condensing coils made from aluminum have made air conditioning more affordable. “That (aluminum coil) brought the cost of an a/c system down, making it more palatable to consumers and builders.”

But the heating, ventilation and air conditioning sector isn’t the only industry in which aluminum coil is used. The transportation industry, in fact, is the largest user of the product in the United States, accounting for close to 30% of all that is produced in the nation. Indeed, the average car driven in this country contains over 275 pounds of aluminum, and some luxury car makers use aluminum sheeting to make the entire bodies of their vehicles. Perhaps that’s why aluminum has become the most abundantly produced non-iron metal.

In the construction industry, aluminum coil is also being used more and more frequently as trim to cover base materials on homes. Because the aluminum can be anodized with a decorative oxide and comes in a wide variety of colors, it provides a pleasing finishing feature. Best of all, it is easy to install, making it a nice home project for the do it yourselfer. The most typical way in which aluminum coil is put to use in homes is as a trim finish for windows, soffit boarding, siding and roof edging.

Beyond these industrial advantages, aluminum is extremely kind to the environment thanks to its ability to be recycled. That ecological friendliness is further enhanced by aluminum’s ability to be recycled an infinite number of times. In the transportation industry alone, that adds up to substantial benefits to the earth. In concrete terms, the average car is made up for about 7% aluminum, yet aluminum amounts to around 40% of the total material scrap value of the average vehicle at the end of its useful life.

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