Aluminium is the most widely used non-ferrous metal. Global production of aluminium in 2005 was 31.9 million tonnes. It exceeded that of any other metal except iron (837.5 million tonnes).Forecast for 2012 is 42–45 million tonnes, driven by rising Chinese output.
Aluminium is almost always alloyed, which markedly improves its mechanical properties, especially when tempered. For example, the common aluminium foils and beverage cans are alloys of 92% to 99% aluminium. The main alloying agents are copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and silicon (e.g., duralumin) and the levels of these other metals are in the range of a few percent by weight.
1. Transportation (automobiles, aircraft, trucks, railway cars, marine vessels, bicycles, etc.) as sheet tube, castings, etc.
2. Packaging (cans, foil, etc.)
3. Construction (windows, doors, siding, building wire, etc.).
4. A wide range of household items, from cooking utensils to baseball bats, watches.
5. Street lighting poles, sailing ship masts, walking poles, etc.
6. Outer shells of consumer electronics, also cases for equipment e.g. photographic equipment.
7. Electrical transmission lines for power distribution
8. MKM steel and Alnico magnets
9. Super purity aluminium (SPA, 99.980% to 99.999% Al), used in electronics and CDs.
10. Heat sinks for electronic appliances such as transistors and CPUs.
11. Substrate material of metal-core copper clad laminates used in high brightness LED lighting.
12. Powdered aluminium is used in paint, and in pyrotechnics such as solid rocket fuels and thermite.
13. Aluminium can be reacted with hydrochloric acid or with sodium hydroxide to produce hydrogen gas.
14. A variety of countries, including France, Italy, Poland, Finland, Romania, Israel, and the former Yugoslavia, have issued coins struck in aluminium or aluminium-copper alloys.
15. Some guitar models sport aluminium diamond plates on the surface of the instruments, usually either chrome or black. Kramer Guitars and Travis Bean are both known for having produced guitars with necks made of aluminium, which gives the instrument a very distinct sound.
Aluminium is usually alloyed – it is used as pure metal only when corrosion resistance and/or workability is more important than strength or hardness. A thin layer of aluminium can be deposited onto a flat surface by physical vapour deposition or (very infrequently) chemical vapour deposition or other chemical means to form optical coatings and mirrors