Aluminium Powder

Aluminum is a metallic element present in the Earth’s crust contained in bauxite. Aluminium powder is powdered aluminium. This was originally produced by mechanical means using a stamp mill to create flakes. It is used in the production of many types of explosives and fireworks. Subsequently, a process of spraying molten aluminium to create a powder of droplets was developed by E. J. Hall in the 1920s. The resulting powder might then be processed further in a ball mill to flatten it into flakes for use as a coating or pigment. It is also employed in the manufacturing of certain types of electronics.

Aluminum is a silvery metal that is soft and easily molded as well as being non-toxic and non-magnetic. In both its solid and powdered forms, aluminum has a range of uses at both the commercial and individual levels. Aluminium powder, if breathed in, is not particularly harmful and will only cause minor irritation. The melting point of aluminium powder is 660 °C. Powdered aluminum is included in many paints and sealants. Certain products design to carry electrical current, such as solar cells is often made using aluminum powder. Aluminum powder is an important component of the solid propellants used in missile and rocket fuel. Rocket Fuel is often made with aluminum and many solid rocket fuels are based on chemical reactions involving this metal.

Usage

  • cosmetic colorant
  • pyrotechnic
  • in paints as a metallic silver pigment
  • Fingerprint powder
  • Rocket and missile fuel
  • thermite
  • refractory
  • production of Autoclave aerated concrete.

Depending on the usage, the powder is either coated or uncoated. Aluminum powder is highly flammable and so one of its most common uses is in pyrotechnic displays. Aluminum powder burns very brightly and is used to create different flash effects in fireworks displays by using different grades of powder.

Aluminum powder is often used to create silver metallic pigments and is sometimes sold in art stores as aluminum bronze. Aluminum bronze is a flaky aluminum powder that is usually coated with steatite or another compound that reduces its reactivity.

Aluminum powder is frequently used at crime scenes to develop latent fingerprints on smooth, non-porous surfaces. The easy availability of aluminum powder, combined with its high reactivity and combustible nature means that when used as a solid fuel it can be used in large amounts, providing a large amount of thrust for relatively little cost.