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Aluminium and the Environment

Thu, 09 May, 2024

Most of us are aware of the changing climate and the need to address the impact of humanity on the planet, and industry is no different. As governments pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move towards net zero, the aluminium industry could have a part to play.

Traditionally, the manufacture of products from aluminium has had a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other materials, like steel. However, this higher initial impact can be offset by the benefits of using aluminium. Aluminium components and structures for aerospace or automotive applications, for example, mean lighter vehicles and less fuel consumption. In addition, there are a number of techniques that can be used to further reduce the carbon footprint associated with the production of aluminium goods.

When it comes to the environment, aluminium really shows its worth through its recyclability. Regarded as one of the most environmentally-friendly metals on the planet, aluminium is sometimes referred to as ‘the green metal’ due to its sustainability.

The properties of aluminium are not changed by melting it down to its molten form, meaning that it can be recycled infinitely to produce new items. The recycling process saves 95% of the energy that is used in its initial production from raw materials.

With 75% of the estimated 1 billion tons of aluminium produced over the past 100 years still being in use today, it is clear that the effective recycling and reuse of aluminium is already helping reduce negative environmental impacts. Of course, recycled aluminium also offers cost savings for users too.

Despite these benefits, there remain challenges around the uptake of aluminium in different industry sectors. Our experience of helping industry use aluminium, including methods to join aluminium to dissimilar metals, composites, and plastics has helped leading industrial businesses and organisations to better exploit the benefits of this environmentally sustainable, lightweight and corrosion resistant material.

Email to find out more about our work with aluminium for industry and how we may be able to help with your materials challenges.

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