You’ll Never Look at Aluminum Foil the Same Way Again

Everyone knows that aluminum foil is an effective, environmentally-friendly way to cook food over an open flame and keep leftovers tasting great. But few people get creative with their aluminum foil, despite the fact that there are dozens of things you can use it for.

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If you need to close an unsealable bag, take a strip of aluminum foil and fold it over the opening of the bag. Press it down firmly and use a hot iron on it to ensure the bag is closed. For those with large kitchens, place aluminum foil on the bottoms of your drawers and cupboards to keep them clean. It’s easy to slide them out, throw them away, and replace them when they get too dirty.

Do you have fruit-bearing trees with pests? Tie a few pieces of aluminum foil to the branches of the trees to ward off squirrels and birds. Keeping produce from going bad is also easy with aluminum foil. Roll celery stalks up into aluminum foil to maintain their freshness for as long as a month, and wrap the stems of your bananas in aluminum foil to stop them from ripening so quickly.

If you’re a carb-lover, aluminum foil can combat bread mishaps of all kinds. Cook your pizza in a pan on medium for a few minutes, covered with a sheet of dome-shaped foil, to restore its crunch. When heating up a pie, cover the crust’s edges with foil to prevent them from charring. Finally, to dry out soggy bread, encase it in a sheet of foil and put it in the oven for a few minutes to make it soft but not crispy.

If you’re an avid meat-eater, you’ve likely been left with hot grease after cooking. Place a piece of aluminum sheet on the bottom of a bowl and pour the grease into it – you can throw it out when it cools and solidifies. For a clean oven, cover the base inside with foil to hold onto bits of food that find their way down, and replace the foil when it’s dirty.

To shine up your silverware, place foil dull side down in your sink and boil six cups of water. Add six teaspoons of salt and baking soda, three cups of vinegar, and your foil-wrapped silverware before adding the boiling water. Once you’ve scrubbed and soaked your silverware, it should be shiny again.

Cover old furniture with aluminum foil for a sleek, modern look, or use it to cover knobs when painting doors. You can scrunch up a sheet of foil and throw it in the dryer to prevent static, or put a bit of foil between a battery and its coil to fit it to a mismatched device. You can even make your straightening iron work like a curling iron by wrapping your hair in curls and heating them with your straightening iron.

Did you already know some or all of these super useful aluminum foil tricks? If you didn’t, don’t be afraid to try them out!

Source: http://www.aaluminum.com/anodized-aluminum-blog/316-you-ll-never-look-at-aluminum-foil-the-same-way-again.html

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New Aluminum Metal Plant could be Ohio Valley’s key to Success

In 2018, Braidy Industries will begin to build its new aluminum plant not too far from Ashland, Kentucky, supplying the area with over 500 new jobs and pumping out a whopping 370,000 tons of aluminum sheet and aluminum wire annually by 2020. Most of the aluminum produced will be used for the construction of vehicles and spacecrafts. South Shore, the selected city, is sure to gain much from these plans.

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The improvements made to how steel and aluminum are created are mainly thanks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the team of which has created a method of producing aluminum metal that creates a slightly more lightweight and significantly stronger product than the industry’s current high-strength steel. This new method could soon be implemented in certain factories and leave the rest eternally stagnant. Advancements in the aluminum are comparable to those of the internet in the 1990s.

In terms of clean power to run aluminum and steel plants, Appalachia is a great choice mostly due to its effective electrical power conduction. Not only that, but the potential employees in the area are eager to get back to work. Many of the families those people come from have been employed by either the coal industry or the steel industry in past decades and are hoping for a job comeback in the field.

Unfortunately, the steel and coal industries have been suffering lately, and because they are so closely connected, there’s little that can be done to revive them both. Instead, politicians residing near the Ohio River are seeing the effects and searching for a solution to the job loss problem that resulted from the coal industry’s scrutiny during President Obama’s time in office.

Most American citizens aren’t too keen on seeing expansions occur within the coal and steel industries, but Appalachia is a notable exception. Residents welcome the possibility with open arms, hoping for a series of new jobs and a financial regrowth of the area. In addition to eager potential workers, Appalachia features railway lines, interstate highway proximity, and inexpensive clean energy production.

Two areas that have taken advantage of job loss situations in recent decades and transformed them into booming industry locations are the Raleigh-Dunham region of North Carolina and the now famous Silicon Valley. The former was able to bring together its many university professionals to form The Research Triangle, while the latter experimented with silicon computer chips and came out very successful in its endeavour. Both areas focused on their strengths and turned them into opportunities for their residents and their business partners.

It may seem farfetched, but the Ohio Valley could very well obtain the success in the aluminum industry that the Silicon Valley obtained in the computer industry. Of course, it will take great amounts of time, effort, and dedication, all of which the residents of the area have and will maintain if it means they’ll have access to new jobs. It’s been done many times before and can be done again – they’ll just have to keep moving forward.

Source: http://www.aaluminum.com/anodized-aluminum-blog/315-new-aluminum-metal-plant-could-be-ohio-valley-s-key-to-success.html

3D Printed Aluminum Vehicle released by Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium

Three years ago, Local Motors presented its 3D printed electric car, the very first of its kind. Since then, many transportation devices have been 3D printed, including electric skateboards, electric buses, motorcycles, and new car models from automakers like Honda and Volkswagen. The innovation of 3D printing shows no signs of slowing as the Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium constructed its own double-seated electric vehicle, the frame and interior of which was 3D printed and made mostly from aluminum metal.

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Image: 3Dprint.com

Car enthusiasts were introduced to this new aluminum creation when it was put on display for the Taipei AMPA and Autotronics car and motorbike show, held at the Nangang Exhibition Center, associated with and in close proximity to the Taipei World Trade Center.

The consortium’s personal pavilion displayed its recent accomplishments in the realm of research and development, its 3D printed aluminum sheet car accompanied by over twenty of its other new products, which all emphasized the growing popularity of autonomous technology.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs owns the research consortium and is pushing for more advancements in the automotive field as well as stronger international ties. The Ministry’s Department of Industrial Technology encouraged several research companies to form the consortium back in 2005, and it now has six members that work together to find solutions to the many research and development problems institutions currently face.

The Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium quickly became the top research and development organization in the country, and to uphold its title, its members began to focus their efforts on combining widely tested technologies from multiple different sources. This experimentation led to an improvement in the way electric vehicles were created and how they functioned. In the near future, the consortium hopes to develop a collaborative space for research teams, domestic companies, and university staff, which could lead to more breakthroughs in modern technology.

If successful, the consortium could be advancing quickly in the coming years. Its new electric car already features a 6.6kWh lithium-ion battery and a 100km driving capability after a single charging period, reaching a maximum speed of 60kph. The construction of the car, as expected, wasn’t typical. All parts of the vehicle except for the doors were created with a 3D printer. This impressive feat, if implemented regularly, could cut down on the amount of time it takes to build vehicles. Additionally, the electrical nature of these cars would have a positive impact on the environment.

The 3D printed vehicle weighing in at 98,7kg is made primarily of aluminum sheet, the best material for the construction of cars, bikes, planes, and heavy weaponry. If 3D printer vehicles are produced more frequently, manufacturing costs could be only 60% of what they currently are. The consortium plans to do this, but it is unsure as to how soon.

Although the consortium’s 3D printed aluminum vehicle was the most intriguing of its new products, it also displayed its Cooperative Vehicle Positioning System and its Forward Object Detection System, both developed to create safer driving conditions. Most can agree that any new technology is exciting.

Source: http://www.aaluminum.com/anodized-aluminum-blog/314-3d-printed-aluminum-vehicle-released-by-taiwan-automotive-research-consortium.html

Aluminum Wire or Copper Wire – Which is Best?

All metallic elements conduct electricity, but some are better at it than others. The two most commonly used metals for creating electrical wire are aluminum wire and copper wire and for good reason. While both are sufficient conductors, each one has its specific uses.

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For the last few decades, copper has been the number one electrical conductor used in the construction of commercial and residential buildings. The composition of the pinkish-orange metal allows it to transport a large amount of electrical energy in a short amount of time. Gold and silver are both superior to copper in terms of conduction, but they’re both very expensive metals. Copper is a perfect cheap alternative in almost every case.

As a conductor, copper also functions well due to its ability to combat oxidation, withstand a great amount of pressure, and carry more electrical energy through a smaller volume of material. For these reasons, copper wiring can be created thin without fear of incidental damage or insufficient electrical supply. Copper is an especially good option for small rooms and hidden spaces.

Copper may seem like a no-brainer to use in most electrical situations, but compared to aluminum, it’s tougher, denser, and more expensive to use for certain projects. Avoid copper wiring if you need to set up a long, intricate electrical system in a large building, like a residential complex or factory. Otherwise, you’ll likely exceed your budget and end up with a sub-par result.

Aluminum wire has been in use for electricity for a while as well, and it was used solely in utility areas for many years. Currently, aluminum wiring is being built into giant industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Many homes have a small amount of aluminum wire somewhere, most often in their breaker panels. Despite its reasonable cost and wide application, aluminum has some notable drawbacks when it comes to conducting electricity.

Expect to create large wires if you’re using aluminum, because it only conducts half as much electricity through a specific volume as copper does. Because of the difference in density and malleability, aluminum is more lightweight than copper and will require a bigger diameter when shaped into the wiring. Fortunately, aluminum wiring can be strengthened to increase its malleability and durability. To prevent the natural expansion and contraction from damaging the wiring, electricians can install dual rated lugs.

Copper wire doesn’t oxidize very quickly, but when it does, it can actually help conduction. Oxidized aluminum, on the other hand, is a full-on insulator. Coating aluminum wires with a specialized grease can stop oxidation from occurring in high-risk areas like moist or open sections. In situations where copper cannot be used as an electrical conductor, aluminum metal is a great substitute. With its many uses, it’s cheap, effective, and easy to access.

Aluminum and copper can both be used in many different commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. Each project will call for a specific setup, influenced by factors like cost, safety, and space. For more information, talk to us at Aaluminum Sheet & Wire.

Source: http://www.aaluminum.com/anodized-aluminum-blog/313-aluminum-wire-or-copper-wire-which-is-best.html

Aluminum Sheet Metal Becomes a Contender as Auto Industry Pushes for Lighter Vehicles

According to a new report, the car industry’s sheet metal sector is encouraging the development and implementation of more lightweight car frames.

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The industry works in collaboration with several others, and last year, the top four companies made up two-fifths of the entire market when combined. Despite the minimal obstacles businesses have to overcome when entering the market, creating and running new sheet metal processing locations is expensive and material-heavy. For this reason, new companies don’t come flooding into the market.

The top companies in the automotive sheet metal industry consistently aim to create better products. Companies that constantly improve what they’re selling beat out competitors by intriguing customers and catering to desires. Those who put enough time, effort, and money into research and development will hold a greater market share worldwide.

Ambitious auto companies have begun to tackle international markets with specialized vehicles and outstanding passenger vehicles. The worldwide auto sheet metal industry is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 3.7% from 2017 to 2025. By this prediction, the $137.35 billion value will increase to $187.53 billion by 2025.

Although aluminum and aluminum sheet has been getting a lot of attention in the automotive industry lately, steel was last year’s biggest revenue contributor, making up three-fifths of the global market’s total. Steel will continue to be favoured by automakers over the next decade or so, according to recent market predictions.

The Asian Pacific market is currently in the lead in the auto sheet metal industry across the world. China in particular is expected to hold its place as a top consumer of passenger cars, driving the sheet metal industry as well as the continent’s overall market. If things continue to go this way, China may hold the number one spot in the world for the market sector by the end of 2025.

The 2010s have brought about a sharp increase in worldwide auto production, due largely in part by the growing need for passenger vehicles in many regions alongside the push to create less weighty vehicles with specialized alloys. These two key demands have allowed the auto sheet metal market to expand very quickly. A shift in environmental awareness has also brought about the release of electric vehicles and hybrid fuel vehicles, both of which will become more common in the coming years.

Vehicles are expected to become smaller and lighter in the near future to reduce their carbon footprint and save companies money. The price changes in aluminum and steel greatly affect the auto sheet metal market, and China remains the leader in the production of both steel and aluminum sheet. Due to recent legal violations, however, the country is beginning to downsize its production capacity.

The supply and demand of aluminum and steel has been fluctuating worldwide in recent years, causing companies to begin to worry about the accessibility and pricing of both metals. Largely influenced by global production, aluminum and steel will unsurprisingly have the greatest impact on the automotive industry and its lightweight vehicle building endeavour.

Source: http://www.aaluminum.com/anodized-aluminum-blog/312-aluminum-sheet-metal-becomes-a-contender-as-auto-industry-pushes-for-lighter-vehicles.html

National Security has been put in Danger by Chinese Aluminum Industry

Although the low-quality steel from China has negatively affected the US in previous years, aluminum is the new focus, and unlike steel, the US can’t produce enough on its own to meet demands. But how does that connect to national security?

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Low-quality aluminum from China was fed into markets and the amount of smelters in the US dropped to a little more than one-fifth of what it was before, all upon China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization. In addition to job loss on a grand scale, high-quality aluminum used in the US to construct small planes and artillery has disappeared, threatening the country’s protection.

Due to the unlikely scenario in which the US calls upon the few other countries to import aluminum, President Trump has ordered an official investigation into the products the country has received as of late. The government hopes to get its biggest aluminum plant running at full capacity once again so as not to depend solely on China for the precious material. The plant’s production could be discontinued otherwise.

The possibility of added taxes and quotas would help, but the overproduction of aluminum in China is what truly needs fixing. The country’s government funding, which was intended to keep exportation going, is what drives the industry heads to refine more than they can handle. To truly grasp the severity of the situation, the data shows that China produces over 50% of the world’s aluminum, something that no single country has ever done before.

Fortunately, the US is taking the issue very seriously. Not only has the Trump administration set out to identify possible solutions, but the Obama administration also wrote to the World Trade Organization to request the withdrawal of China’s government funding. This potential remedy is approved by Canada, Japan, Russia, and the European Union as well, all of which play a part in the aluminum industry.

Clearly, this issue is more than a disagreement between two countries. It’s beginning to have a global effect, and no one is happy about it. The World Trade Organization will need to put something into place soon to avoid any other conflicts within the aluminum industry.

Source: http://www.aaluminum.com/anodized-aluminum-blog/295-national-security-has-been-put-in-danger-by-chinese-aluminum-industry.html