Aluminium & sustainability
RECYCLABLE WITHOUT DEGENERATION
Material of the future
✓ 100% recyclable time after time without loss of quality
✓ The most common metal in the world, no scarcity
✓ The best possible use of renewable energy and a high degree of recyclability will speed up the greening of Aluminium
Aluminium: more sustainable than you think
Sustainable construction and manufacturing is now high up on the social agenda and rightly so. To what extent can aluminium also uphold its name as a material of the future in this field?
The well-known carbon footprint indicates how much energy the entire manufacturing cycle requires to use a raw material in a product. This is because energy consumption gives an indication of the potential greenhouse gases that can be released through the generation of energy..
The primary production of aluminium has always been extremely energy intensive, but this has greatly improved in recent years owing to the development of new techniques. More than 70% of aluminium is recycled nowadays, without degeneration of the mechanical properties during the recycling process.
So, in order to use ‘old’ aluminium once again, only 5% of the energy used during the initial production is needed.
The strength of aluminium
LIGHTWEIGHT, STRONG IN USE
Up to 3 times lighter than steel, depending on the chosen alloy
Bridges, lifting equipment and superstructures; the examples speak for themselves
Freedom of form
The material can be formed, machined and processed in countless ways
100% recyclable time after time without loss of quality
Material of the future
OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE SPEARHEAD
A number of aspects play an important role in determining the sustainability of a material. First of all, the energy consumption during the entire manufacturing cycle, as an indication of the potential effects of greenhouse gases. But also the rarity of the raw material used. In other words, to what extent is the material naturally available and how quickly will these reserves run out? With a growing number of applications in both consumer products and in industry, the reusability and recyclability of a metal is becoming increasingly important.
The reuse of a metal is of crucial importance when we talk about sustainability. Aluminium stands out above all the other materials in this field and has a lifecycle that very few other metals can match.
Not a critical raw material
Aluminium is the most common metal on Earth. The established stocks are therefore much larger than those of other raw materials. For this reason, aluminium is not on the European Commission’s list of critical materials (Critical Raw Materials 2017).
Low energy consumption
Aeroplanes, cars, trucks and trains are becoming increasingly lightweight through the use of aluminium, resulting in lower environmental impact and energy consumption. The weight advantages are also reflected in freight transport: lighter products ultimately require less energy for transportation.
Preservation of our planet
Aluminium does not rust and can, as a rule, be used maintenance-free without needing a protective layer during the lifespan of a product. In this way, we can prevent chemicals from being released into the natural environment. With regard to this point, aluminium appears to be extremely sustainable.
Why become a member of the DAA?
The DAA organizes a variety of activities in which knowledge sharing plays a key role. We also organize several networking events throughout the year. DAA members have free access to all DAA events, and more! Check out our event calendar for the scheduled activities.
The DAA operates under the auspices of the Koninklijke Metaalunie. This offers a range of additional benefits. For example, we are supported by a well-organized office and a proactive sector manager.