The History of Metals in America
Chapter Eight: Aluminum—The Light Metal
This chapter discusses the development of aluminum, its industry growth, and its modern uses in manufacturing. It begins with the biography of Charles Martin Hall, who invented the process for reducing aluminum from its ore. The evolution of aluminum production from the Pittsburgh Reduction Company to a pilot plant on Smallman Street in Pittsburgh, to a production plant in New Kensington, and to Niagara Falls, New York, is then described. This is followed by a discussion on early aluminum applications and the usage of lower-cost raw materials. The chapter provides information on aluminum production process integrated by Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) and the numerous technical problems and solutions related to Alcoa's research from World War I to World War II. The aerospace applications for aluminum alloys are also presented. The chapter concludes with a section on aluminum alloys developed by Alcoa.
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