# Aluminum

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## Characteristics

Aluminum, the second element in III. Main group of the periodic table is a silver-white light metal.

Aluminum crystallizes in a face-centered cubic unit cell with the coordination number 12.

If aluminum is used at temperatures above 600 $° C$when heated, it acquires a grainy structure. With the help of shaking machines, aluminum grits are obtained. By crushing, further comminution down to powder can be achieved.

The metal is very elastic and can be pulled out or rolled into the thinnest of wires, sheets or foils.

The heat of fusion of aluminum is very high, so it is despite its relatively low melting point of 660.4 $° C$ more difficult to melt than copper, but remains - technologically of particular importance - liquid longer.

The electrical conductivity of an aluminum wire is about 65% of that of a copper wire, i.e. for the same length and conductivity, the cross-section of the aluminum wire must be about 1.5 times that of the copper wire. Because of the lower density, the weight of a thicker aluminum wire is only about half the weight of a copper wire.

toxicity
For a long time aluminum was considered to be toxicologically safe for humans, but in recent years there have been increasing indications of a possible influence of the element with regard to the outbreak and course of Alzheimer's disease. According to a study by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) from 2007, there is no Alzheimer's risk for items made of aluminum due to the comparatively small quantities released; However, as a precautionary measure, acidic foods should not be kept in contact with aluminum pots or foil.

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