Aluminum is a chemical element with atomic number 13 and the symbol Al. Aluminum is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and makes up about 8% of the Earth’s crust. Aluminum is a silvery, non-magnetic, highly reactive, and ductile metal. Its malleability, durability, conductivity, and resistance to corrosion make it incredibly popular.
Aluminum is a very useful metal, its oxides and sulfates being the most useful compounds. The most common uses of aluminum include construction, transportation, consumer goods, and electrical purposes. In construction, due to its resistance to corrosion and thermal efficiency, aluminum is a great material for buildings. The first building in which aluminum was widely used was the Empire State Building in 1931. Aluminum is used in transportation for its strength and lightweight, making it ideal for improved fuel efficiency. Aluminum alloys are used in modern aircraft and spacecraft due to its light weight, strength, and flexibility. Aluminum is increasingly being used in consumer goods, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and televisions, allowing for technology to look sleek, be durable, and remain light in weight. For electrical purposes, aluminum is used for long-distance power lines, motors, appliances, and power systems.
The United States imported 5.5 million metric tons of aluminum in 2018, which is about $24.3 billion worth. The U.S.’s aluminum imports in 2018 came from a total of 134 countries. About 81.9% of aluminum imports into the U.S. came from these 15 countries, based on the highest dollar value worth of aluminum:
Of the $24.3 billion in imported aluminum, 42.6% is unwrought aluminum metal, 16.2% is alumni plates and sheets, 7.8% is miscellaneous aluminum, 6.7% is for aluminum structures (bridges or towers), 5.8% is aluminum foil, 4.9% is aluminum household items (kitchenware, etc.), 4.9% is aluminum bars and rods, 4.6% is aluminum scrap, 3% is aluminum wire, 1.1% Is aluminum cans and containers, and 0.7% is aluminum tubes and pipes.
The majority of the aluminum the US imports comes from 15 countries: Canada, China, The United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Russia, India, Bahrain, Germany, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, and Taiwan.