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Frequently asked aluminium questions

Ever wondered about the benefits of aluminium recycling? Or maybe you’re curious about its properties and uses?

From sustainability to everyday applications, our comprehensive FAQ list covers everything you need to know about aluminium!

Professional Aluminium Services

Tayco Aluminium Wollongong: is your trusted source for top-notch Aluminium Fabrication. Over the years, we have established a reputation for excellence by providing our Wollongong customers with the highest quality service and installations.

Here, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about Aluminium to empower you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.

What is Aluminium?

Aluminium, commonly spelled aluminum in America, is a fascinating and versatile element with many unique properties. Here’s a summary:

Physical properties:

  • Appearance: Silvery-white, lightweight metal.
  • Density: Very low, about one-third that of steel.
  • Strength: Strong and durable, especially for its weight.
  • Malleable and ductile: Can be easily shaped and formed.
  • Good conductor: Conducts heat and electricity well.
  • Corrosion resistant: Forms a protective oxide layer when exposed to air.

Chemical properties:

  • Highly reactive: Bonds readily with other elements, especially oxygen.
  • Never found pure in nature: Always found in compounds like bauxite.
  • Non-toxic: Safe for food contact and other applications.


Abundance and uses:

  • Most abundant metal in Earth’s crust: Comprises about 8% of its mass.
  • Third most abundant element overall: After oxygen and silicon.
  • Widely used in various industries: Construction, transportation, packaging, consumer goods, etc.
  • Recyclable: Can be recycled repeatedly without losing its properties.

Cleaning aluminium effectively depends on the specific item and the type of dirt or stains you’re dealing with. Here are some general guidelines:

General cleaning:

  • Mild dish soap and warm water: This is a gentle and effective way to clean most aluminium surfaces. Use a soft sponge or cloth to avoid scratching. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely.
  • White vinegar or lemon juice: These acidic solutions can help remove light stains and tarnish. Mix equal parts vinegar or lemon juice with water. Apply with a cloth, scrub gently, rinse well, and dry completely. 

     Don’t use vinegar or lemon juice on anodised aluminium, as it can damage the finish.

For tougher stains:

  • Baking soda paste: Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the stain and scrub gently with a soft brush. Rinse well and dry completely.
  • Cream of tartar: Mix cream of tartar with a little water to form a paste. Apply to the stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Scrub gently with a soft brush, rinse well, and dry completely.
  • Commercial aluminium cleaner: Follow the instructions on the label carefully. These cleaners can be effective for tough stains, but be sure to choose one that is safe for aluminium.

Technically, no, aluminium does not rust. However, it is important to clarify what we mean by “rust” here:

Rust: This term specifically refers to the iron oxide that forms on iron and steel when they react with oxygen and water. This reaction creates flaky, reddish-brown material that weakens the metal.

Corrosion: This is a broader term that refers to the degradation of a metal due to its interaction with its environment. Aluminium does corrode, but it undergoes a different process than iron.

Aluminium corrodes by forming a thin layer of aluminium oxide on its surface when it comes into contact with oxygen. This layer is actually beneficial because it is hard, transparent, and adheres well to the metal, effectively protecting it from further corrosion. The aluminium oxide layer gives aluminium its characteristic dull gray appearance.

Under normal circumstances, aluminium is not magnetic. This means it won’t be attracted to a magnet like iron or nickel. The reason lies in its electron configuration and atomic structure.

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