Strip and sheet for renewable energy

Strip and sheet for renewable energy

Endless power

As an excellent material for engineering, aluminium can be a major helper in capturing renewable power from sun, wind, waves or water.

  • Key features

    • Good thermal and electrical conductor
    • Corrosion resistant
    • Lightweight and strong
    • Non-magnetic
    • Numerous surface functions and treatments
    • Excellent formability either in extruded, cast, drawn and milled processing
    • Non-combustible - does not contribute to a fire
    • Good welding and adhesive bonding properties
    • Recycable
  • Application areas

    • Concentrated solar power plants
    • Solar thermal collectors
    • Facility sub-structure and mounting elements
    • Thin-film photovoltaics
    • Other renewable power facilities and infrastructures

Strip and sheet for renewable energy

Our value chain

The mineral bauxite is the starting point for production of aluminium metal

Aluminium is the third-most abundant element in the earth's crust. It is found in different types of minerals. Bauxite is the primary raw material for refining aluminium oxide, or alumina, which is used to produce primary aluminium metal. Bauxite deposits are mainly found in a wide belt around the Equator.

Alumina is refined bauxite and is a raw material for making aluminium

The raw material required for the production of primary aluminium is aluminium oxide, or alumina, a white powder refined from bauxite. To produce one tonne of aluminium in an electrolytic reduction process requires approximately two tonnes of alumina.

A large amount of electricity is needed to produce aluminium metal

The aluminium electrolytic process requires electric energy, about 13 kWh per kilo aluminium produced in modern production lines. Energy accounts for roughly a third of the cost of production of aluminium. Therefore, an important factor is long-term supplies of energy at affordable prices.

The production of primary aluminium takes place in large production lines

Pure aluminium is made from the alumina by a process carried out in electrolytic cells, where a carbon cathode placed in the bottom of the cells acts as an electrode. The anodes, also made of carbon, are consumed during the electrolytic process when the anode reacts with the oxygen in the alumina. Molten aluminium is tapped from the cells.

Other metals are added to the molten aluminium to form various foundry alloys

Molten aluminium is tapped from the pots and cast into logs, rolling slabs or ingots, depending on whether further processing is extruding, rolling or remelting. Small quantities of other metals can be added to the liquid aluminium to produce foundry alloys of different durability and tensile strengths.

Aluminium can be processed
in a cold and hot condition

Aluminium is ductile. Foil can be rolled to only 0.007 mm thickness, but will still be completely impermeable and lets neither light, aroma nor taste substances in or out. The metal itself forms a protective oxide coating and is highly corrosion resistant. Different types of surface treatment can further improve these properties.

Aluminium can be extruded and shaped into a variety of tubes and profiles

Aluminium ingot is heated and pressed through shaping tools, to make profiles for various products. Aluminium is increasingly taking over from copper as preferred metal for tubing in heat exchangers and air conditioners. There is no end to what shapes aluminium end products can take.

Only your imagination can limit the use of aluminium

Windows, car parts, doors, tubes, façade panels, cans… Hydro is the industry leader in many product areas for aluminium, especially in transport, buildings, packaging and lithographic plates. And in the end, the used product can be recycled – again and again.

Updated: October 3, 2016