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US Aluminum industry generates nearly $71 billion a year

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NEW YORK (Scrap Register): The U.S. aluminum industry generates nearly $71 billion a year in direct economic impact. When all suppliers and related business functions are taken into account, the industry drives $174 billion in economic impact— almost 1 percent of GDP, according to the Aluminium Association.

Pound for pound, aluminum absorbs twice the crash energy of steel and performs as well in an accident. Aluminum crash rails fold up like an accordion, which dissipates and directs energy away from the vehicle’s occupants. Aluminum also provides advantages in stopping distance, handling and performance.

Increasingly, aluminum foil is being merged with flexible films to create lightweight, flexible packages. This technology allows the packaging to expand to the shape of their contents then contract as the product is consumed. 

Aluminum cans contain on average 70 percent recycled content -- more than 3X the amount in a glass or plastic bottle. Cans are also recycled at far higher rates than competing beverage container types.

Independent studies have confirmed that aluminum in automobiles has a 20 percent smaller life cycle CO2 footprint than steel. And compared with steel vehicles, a fleet of aluminum vehicles saves the equivalent of 44 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Unlike wire conduit made from steel, rigid aluminum does not spark, resists corrosion and will not rust. These properties of aluminum are vitally important for electrical applications within coal mines, grain elevators and refineries (where the sparking can lead to catastrophic outcomes).

The National Electrical Code has permitted the use of aluminum wire since 1901, a mere four years after the first recognized national electrical code was published in 1897. AA-8000 aluminum conductors have more than 40 years of reliable field installations.

Aluminum is superior to steel and iron in its ability to reflect the infrared (heat) rays of the sun. Properly coated aluminum roofs can reflect up to 95 percent of the solar energy that strikes them, dramatically improving energy efficiency. Aluminum is a key component in LEED-certified green buildings.

The Orion MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) will serve as NASA’s next-generation space exploration vehicle. Lockheed Martin chose aluminum-lithium for construction of the primary structures of the spacecraft.

Infinitely recyclable and highly durable, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Aluminum is 100 percent recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely. Aluminum is one of the only materials in the consumer disposal stream that more than pays for the cost of its own collection.

Recycling aluminum saves more than 90 percent of the energy that would be needed to create a comparable amount of the metal from raw materials. Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline. Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced is still in use today.

More than 162,000 workers are directly employed in the aluminum industry.  In total, more than 692,000 U.S. jobs are supported by the production, processing and use of aluminum.

Ford releases the all-aluminum-body F-150 in 2015. The truck will shed 700 pounds (approximately 15 percent of the vehicle’s body weight) by using of high-strength, military-grade aluminum. This weight reduction will allow Ford to meet new demands for fuel economy and sets the stage for fleet-wide efficiency improvements

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