Especially at this time of year many chocolates lie temptingly in homes and workplaces. They are often wrapped in brightly coloured Aluminium foil.

The Aluminium foil wrappers keep the chocolates fresh and also provide protection from light and heat. In December 1907 Aluminium foil was first applied as a protective barrier for food products. By 1913 it was being used for wrapping chocolate and other confectionary.

As you pop the chocolate into your mouth don’t forget that it was made possible by Aluminium, and don’t forget to recycle the wrapper.



Aluminium plays a vital role in modern printing to produce high quality books, maps, magazines, and newspapers. The process relies on a high definition image being created on Aluminium plate, which is wrapped around rollers. These ‘offset rollers’ transfer the image in ink onto the print rollers which generate the printed pages.

The lithographic printing process was invented in 1796 by Bavarian author Alois Senefelder for printing theatre scripts. These early printing presses used flat plates which were made from stone or rigid metal. With the development of the modern rolling printing presses the plates needed to be flexible, leading to the use of Aluminium.

The news and printed word is brought to you by Aluminium.



Scaffolding and ladders were used during the building of the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China, providing temporary support and access during construction. The first versions of scaffolding and ladders to appear were made from timber or bamboo, but Aluminium is now the material of choice.

Scaffolding and ladders need to be rigid and durable. They also need to be lightweight, to make transport, erection and dismantling easy.

Perhaps the most important feature of Aluminium ladders and scaffolding is a property called “consistent strength”. Simply put, Aluminium is predictable and reliable because it is manufactured under strict procedures and guidelines. It remains maintenance free and retains its physical properties.



The history of modern road signs can be traced back to the development of the 'ordinary' bicycle during the 1880’s. Since the 1960’s the shape, content, and reflective properties of road signs have been strictly regulated across the developed world. Most signage is now manufactured using Aluminium for the sign and the bracing. In addition to durability the road signs need to strong and lightweight.

Changes in road layouts and regulations mean that there is a continuous supply of redundant signs which need to be recycled. The unique combination of properties and recyclability means that Aluminium is the ‘sign of the times’.



One fateful night in May 1944, the Canadian Halifax bomber LW 682 was shot down over Belgium. The plane was recovered in 1997 and the aluminium from the aircraft has become part of a war memorial in London.

In early January 2012, Aluminium from the plane was melted into a sheet ingot and then turned into coated plates. These Aluminium plates have been used in the ceiling of the RAF Bomber Command Association Memorial Building honouring airmen who died during World War II. The memorial, in Green Park in London, was unveiled on June 28th 2012.

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