Aluminium Powder: What is it and what is it used for?

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Aluminium powder simply refers to the powdered form of the aluminium metal. It is sourced from normal aluminium in its natural state that is passed through a stamp mill to break it down into smaller pieces.

However, in the 1920s, another method of producing aluminium powder was invented by E.J Hall which involved the spraying of molten aluminium to derive powder. Aluminium powder is commonly used in so many industries today and does not pose any health risks. Inhaling the powder only causes minor irritation that could lead to sneezing. There are no health concerns with using the product outside that.

Uses of aluminium powder

Now that we know what aluminium powder is and how it is produced, let us take a look at its applications and uses in our everyday life:

It is used to make Autoclaved Aerated Concrete

Aluminium powder is an important component of autoclaved aerated concrete alongside other items like limestone, quartz sand, cement, calcined calcium sulfate, and water. Autoclaved aerated concrete is a lightweight concrete material used for different types of building constructions.

It is used as fingerprint powders

There are several powders used as fingerprint powders, mainly for their fine textures and aluminium powder is one of them. This is an important use of aluminium powders as it is used by security agencies to confirm identities and track down criminals.

Used for pyrotechnics

Pyrotechnics refers to all processes surrounding the production and use of fireworks. Aluminium powder is one of the major flash powders used in pyrotechnics alongside potassium perchlorate. Aluminium powder is used in pyrotechnics because of its stability and fire power.

It is used for rocket and missile power

Rockets and missiles with SSL boosters use aluminium powders for fuel. It is accompanied by ammonium perchlorate as the oxidizer. Aluminium is a highly reactive substance that has good fire power and is stable which makes it a perfect choice for rocket and missile fuels.

It is used as a colorant in cosmetics

Many cosmetic and makeup products contain aluminium power as the colorant. It is mainly used to give creams and other cosmetic products the signature white colour and is safe for use on the skin, nails, and hair.

It is used in metallic paint

Aluminium powder can be used to create metallic or silver coloured paint. When mixed with linseed oil, aluminium powder gives off a silver colour. Also, it produces the metallic sheen noticed in silver or other metal coloured paints.

It is used in thermite process

Thermite refers to the composition of powders and metal oxides in pyrotechnics. Aluminium powder is a favourite for thermite because it produces enough heat while reducing the metallic oxide to produce the desired effects.

Conclusion

Aluminium powder is one of the most abundant substances on our planet and is in several industries that affect human lives from buildings and constructions to cosmetics, fireworks, and even for rockets and missile launches. However, given the nature of aluminium powder, proper care and knowledge is required to use it in order to avoid accidents.

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