At the beginning of the last century, aluminium was practically unused in construction, as it was too expensive and not available in sufficient amounts. All this changed in the 1920s, when reduction technology lowered the cost of aluminium by 5 times. The metal began to be used not only in the finishes of ceilings and rooves, and for drains and wall panels, but also for decorative and aesthetic purposes.
The minimum service life of aluminium constructions is 80 years. Furthermore, aluminium will maintain these properties in any type of climate and in temperatures ranging from -80°C to +300°C. While aluminium structures are relatively resistant to fire damage, in low temperatures the metal will last longer.
Equally, if not more important in terms of properties of aluminium is its lightness. Thanks to its low volume weight, aluminium plates turn out to be 2 times lighter than steel in the same conditions. As a result, aluminium structures are 2-3 times lighter than steel and up to 7 times lighter than concrete structures but with the same loading capacity.
Therefore, aluminium is nowadays used in the construction of tall buildings and skyscrapers. Just imagine, how much they would weigh using, for example, steel, the depth of the foundation that would have to be laid, and the how much this would raise the cost of the entire building! The low weight of aluminium drawbridges lowers the weight of their mechanical parts, minimising counterweight and giving architects more freedom to be creative. Moreover, it is simpler, more comfortable and quicker to work with lighter structures.
More and more thin, cylindrical, aluminium rods are being used in construction which are transformed during processing into suspended ceilings, windows, doors, stairs, wall panels, sheets for roof coverings, and more.
Magnesium-silicon alloys of the 6xxx series in the form of cylindrical rods are ideal for extrusion, which opens up possibilities for producing the most complex architectural designs.
Aluminium’s trademark in modern architecture is without a doubt, skyscrapers. Their glass walls or translucent facades offer structures made from glass and aluminium frameworks. These materials have been used all over the world because they make building more energy-efficient from an environmental standpoint, as well as reducing CO2 emissions.
By 2050, the population of the planet is predicted to reach 10 bln people, 2/3 of which will live in cities, meaning that environmental issues, such as lack of water, fertile land and other resources will become particularly acute. Due to the fact that aluminium structures are 100% recyclable and significantly reduce harmful emissions, this metal will become the optimal material for construction.