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EPiC database - Aluminium bar

posted on 10.12.2020, 20:48 by Robert Crawford, André Stephan, Fabian Prideaux
This material is part of the free Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database. The EPiC Database contains embodied environmental flow coefficients for 250+ construction materials using a comprehensive hybrid life cycle inventory approach.

Aluminium is a ductile non-ferrous metal. It is a lightweight metal with an average density of 2.7 t/m³. It is durable, corrosion resistant, a good reflector of both visible and infrared radiation, and highly recyclable. Aluminium alloys are used in the construction industry as raw aluminium typically lacks the strength required for most of its applications.

Aluminium is extracted from bauxite, its common ore, through an extensive process. Bauxite is converted to aluminium oxide through the Bayer process. Aluminium oxide (or Alumina) is then converted to aluminium billets by the electricity-intensive Hall-Héroult process, made of 99% aluminium, which can be further purified if needed. Aluminium billets are then thermoformed into the relevant shape. Powder coating provides additional durability, custom colour and improved performance.

Aluminium is commonly used as a construction material, notably as cladding, structural and window framing, and as a thermal reflector. Aluminium bars are typically extruded and can be used as a finishing product (flat bars) and as ventilation grilles.