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No other single element which man works into useful shapes touches his life in as many ways every day as does aluminum. In addition to its many forms ideal most of the mechanical, structural, utensil and hardware products traditionally made of common metals, aluminum also offers a wide range of foils in many combinations of thickness, widths, and strengths.
Among these are foils which handle like wrapping paper, yet exclude light, air, and water and also mold and "deadfold" to a snug, dependable contour, instantly producing a package of exceptional utility and visual appeal. Stronger, more rigid aluminum foil is made into pans for bake-in packages, which keep foods in top condition in the freezer until ready for use.
Still other aluminum foils are used for cooling fins on refrigerators, and household and automotive air conditioners. In fact, the literally hundreds of applications for foil rolled from aluminum make it truly one of man's most important and attractive materials.
From the rolling mill, aluminum foils emerge with a natural shiny finish, almost as bright as a mirror; they also can be produced with an as-rolled, satin-like finish called matte. Additionally, foil has all of the unique functional characteristics of the aluminum alloy from which it is made, since it is the solid metal.
Aluminum Foil Production
In addition to being the most abundant metal on earth, aluminum also is a highly durable and recyclable material. In fact, all pure aluminum and aluminum alloy products, including foil, are readily reclaimed and at only a small fraction (about 5%) of the energy consumption initially required to produce the metal from the ore. Aluminum foil, aluminum beverage cans and closures, and all other types of aluminum products are today being recycled in unprecedented tonnage
Converting Materials & Methods
Aluminum foil's versatility extends to its excellent adaptability to practically all converting processes employed to produce scores of flexible and semi-rigid products. Aluminium foil is used plain or in combination with other materials. It is coated, and it is laminated to papers, paperboards, and plastic films. It can be cut by any cutting method, and can be wrapped and die formed into any shape
Aluminum Foil Applications
Many of the principal aluminum foil uses and markets, and a number of specialty applications, have been mentioned in connection with discussions of various properties or converting operations in other sections of this book. But the versatility of aluminum foil and the literally hundreds of ways in which it is used in commerce throughout the world, demand more comprehensive listing of end uses.