A short summary: aluminium
We could honestly write an entire book about this topic (and they surely exist), but we wanted to write about our own relationship with aluminum as well. As a design agency we work with this material a lot. Also one of our biggest expertise in the field of design happens to be to create click connections made out of aluminum profiles (more about this later).
All around us
Aluminum has become essential in our daily life. You wake up by the alarm clock of your smartphone and then open the door to your kitchen to make yourself a delicious cup of coffee. All of this without realizing that you already came into contact with aluminum products several times. Whether you go to work by car, bicycle or public transport, you use aluminum. Shelters, modern cars and a variety of bicycles are all (partly) made of aluminum.
To realize all these different products, a large variety of alloys exist which all have their own unique properties. Aluminum is known as a lightweight metal, which conducts warmth and electricity well, without being ferromagnetic. When other materials are added, like copper of magnesium, a variety of properties can be optimized.The production methods are endless and therefore also the applicability. Aluminum is a material that can easily be extruded in any shape imaginable. It’s also castable and in most cases can be machined as well. The freedom aluminum provides during designing makes it a great fit for any possible product.
Sustainability has become a popular term and aluminum scores relatively well in this area too. It is not without reason that we say "relative", as there are some remarks. Shortly: mining the raw material that’s the base to make aluminum, Bauxite, and converting it to aluminum requires quite a bit of energy. On the other hand, it is true that if Bauxite has turned into aluminum, it can be recycled indefinitely. The melting temperature is around 660 degrees, which means that relatively little energy is needed to reshape the material.