ADVANCED COMPUTING ON-THE-GO The demand for lightweight and high power mobile computing has continued to push the boundaries of materials and design. A faster computer requires more efficient heat dissipation to cool the ‘chips’, without giving up ‘looking good’ or adding weight. A new generation of laptop computers are now available thanks to Aluminium. The machined casings form the lower element of the laptop, accommodating the keyboard and main electrical components. The casing is machined from a solid piece of extruded Aluminium. The Aluminium casing acts as a heat-sink to aid the cooling of the microprocessors. The result is a lightweight, strong construction with high efficiency. The Aluminium surface can be anodized or powder coated to achieve the desired aesthetic style.
ALUMINIUM – ‘THE GLINT THAT CATCHES YOUR EYE’ Metallic paint also called polychromatic or "metal flake" paint, is the preferred finish for many everyday items, from cars to tennis racquets, trainers, fabric, cosmetics, and mobile phones. Most metallic paints and polymers use Aluminium platelets to reflect light and enhance the surface shine. The metallic finish can be achieved through spray and powder coating processes, providing a striking impression that catches the eye. The same effect is created by Aluminium flakes in metallic printing inks. The world is a brighter place thanks to Aluminium.
LIGHTWEIGHT RIGIDITY MOBILITY The earliest record of wheelchairs dates back to the 6th century, as an inscription found on a stone slate in China. Harry Jennings and his friend Herbert Everest, both mechanical engineers, invented the first lightweight, collapsible wheelchair in 1933. Mr Everest had broken his back in a mining accident. Their "x-brace" design is still in common use, albeit with updated materials and other improvements. Many rigid models are now made with aluminium. Light weight manual wheelchairs can attract high prices. The high end of the market contains ultra-light aluminium models, extensive seating options and accessories, and all-terrain features.
ALUMINIUM CRUISING TO A WORLD SPEED RECORD The legendary ocean liner S.S. United States took to the water 4th July 1952, smashing the transatlantic speed record, previously held for 14 years by Queen Mary. It then broke the westbound crossing record on her return trip back to America. Although the speed of this ship was widely attributed to its four massive steam turbine engines, it used more aluminium than any other structure on earth or sea at that time. The SS United States used 2,200 tonnes of Aluminium in its superstructure, furniture, lifeboats, and handrails. This weight saving significantly reduced the ships displacement. It also improved the ships stability by reducing the top-heaviness, making it safer and more comfortable for passengers in rough waters.
PROTECTION FROM THE HEAT Being highly reflective and lightweight, Aluminium is used extensively for personal heat protection clothing. Working around fire and other heat sources is uncomfortable and hazardous. The intricate design of body suits allows workers and fire fighters to operate in temperatures of 700°C to 900°C. The lightweight suits using aluminium as the outer skin weighs only 25kg. Many suits used by fire crews have an outer layer of aluminized fabric, achieving a 90% heat reflection. From a simple oven glove to life-saving fire suits, Aluminium takes care of us.
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