Aluminum, a metal we use daily, has a magnetic mystery. It is often used for cans and utensils. Aluminum is not your typical magnet-friendly material. So it does not stick to the fridge. Yet, aluminum will have very low attraction if it is near a strong magnetic field.
Since 1825, this metal material has been used for daily life applications. But the big question remains: Is aluminum magnetic or non-magnetic? Different from most metals, there is no simple answer to whether it is magnetic or not magnetic. It does not stick to the fridge, but it has unpaired electrons. Is it not contradictory? Most metals that have unpaired electrons are magnetic.
All metals follow the magnet rulebook except aluminum. Its electrons make its magnetic attraction less attractive. Although aluminum doesn’t stick to magnets, it still dominates among metallic materials. From metal foils to aircraft parts, aluminum is everywhere.
So, is aluminum magnetic? The best answer is that aluminum is not magnetic under normal circumstances. But if we give it a magnetic powerhouse, it might surprise you. It’s like the metal with a magnetic secret – not like typical metals.
In this article, we will explain If Aluminum is Magnetic or Not. What makes it so? Overall magnetic behavior of substances. The science behind magnetic behavior. Some uses of magnetic behavior. What makes aluminum so useful for different engineering and routine practices?
What is Aluminum?
Aluminum is a very useful metal that’s been around since ancient times. Its name comes from the French, who got it from a mineral called alum. In 1824, a smart guy named Hans Christian Orsted tried to make the metal. He mixed aluminum chloride with potassium amalgam and got a chunk of metal that looked a bit like tin.
Aluminum is the third most abundant element on Earth after oxygen and silicon. It constitutes nearly 8% of the Earth’s core mass. It is present at the 13th position in the periodic table. Aluminum has a white-silver appearance. Yet it appears dull when air forms an oxidant layer on it. Its prevalent minerals in ores are cryolite and bauxite. Due to its abundance, aluminum is cost-effective. It is widely used in engineering applications.
Air oxidizes its surface to form Alumina. It prevents it from corrosion. It is lighter than steel. Its malleability and ductility allow easy shaping without breakage. Aluminum is a good conductor of electricity. It finds everyday use in electrical wiring. And aluminum ensures minimal resistance during energy transmission.
It is more valuable because of its corrosion resistance, resemblance to noble metals, and chemical composition. Aluminum does not corrode easily. So, it finds its use in cutlery and utensils. It is like noble metals which are not more reactive. It can make alloys with copper, silicon, magnesium and manganese.
- Atomic Weight: 26.982g
- Atomic Number: 13
- Melting Point: 1220 °F
- Boiling Point: 4,473 °F
- Valency: 3
- Electron Configuration: 1s22s2 2p6 3s2 3p1
- Specific Gravity at 68 °F: 2.70
What is the Meaning of Magnetic?
The meaning of magnetic is different to different people. For some people, a magnet is something that acts like a permanent magnet. For others, it is something attracted by a permanent magnet. Some materials behave so upon their ordering of magnetic moment in the magnetic field. This makes the term magnetic really subjective. Materials and substances are grouped based on how they respond to magnetic fields. Here are their main types:
- Paramagnetic Materials
- Diamagnetic Materials
- Ferromagnetic Materials
- Ferrimagnetic Materials
These materials aren’t super-attracted to magnets. Their examples include aluminum, tin, and magnesium. They get magnetized only when near a super strong magnetic field. Then, they act along that magnetic field. Their relative permeability is small but positive, like aluminum’s 1.00000065.
These materials get pushed away by magnets. Their examples are Zinc, mercury, lead, sulfur, copper, silver, and bismuth. When put in a powerful magnetic field, they become slightly magnetic. But their field is in the opposite direction.
Iron, nickel, and cobalt are strongly attracted by magnets. These materials have super high permeability. It sometimes ranges into the thousands. The magnetic effects of electrons don’t cancel out. They create a strong internal magnetic field.
Ferrites are a particular group between ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials. They’re made of tiny ferromagnetic particles stuck together with a binding resin. Ferrites have a good amount of magnetization for practical use. However, it is less than pure ferromagnetic materials.
Ferrimagnetic materials, such as magnetite (Fe3O4), also have aligned magnetic parts. They don’t cancel out, creating a net magnetic effect. While not as strong as ferromagnets, they still show magnetism.
The word “magnetic” is used to refer to a substance that is strongly attracted to a magnet. These are Ferromagnetic substances like Fe, Ni, Co. Other substances, either because of their electronic structure or their magnetic orientation, are non-magnetic.
Is Aluminum Magnetic?
Pure aluminum is not magnetic. It cannot generate its magnetic field. Magnets cannot attract aluminum in normal conditions. Yet, certain aluminum alloys can become magnetic. It depends on their composition, such as those including nickel and iron.
Aluminum is paramagnetic. Paramagnetic means very little magnetic. The very small magnetism of aluminum results from its valence electrons. With three unpaired electrons in its outermost shell, aluminum exhibits paramagnetic properties. Paramagnetic materials have a slight attraction to magnetic fields. But do not possess true magnetism.
Strong magnets can attract weakly the aluminum. Strong magnets magnetize it for a time when aluminum is in the magnetic fields. But it quickly loses this magnetization when aluminum is outside that applied strong field. This behavior is more noticeable at low temperatures.
Aluminum isn’t naturally magnetic because its electrons are randomly organized. For something to be magnetic, electrons should align, but aluminum lacks this alignment. Magnetic materials have straightly aligned domains in a magnetic field, making them stick to magnets. But aluminum, being paramagnetic, lacks this feature, making it not stick to magnets.
Why Aluminum is Not Magnetic?
Aluminum isn’t magnetic. It’s paramagnetic, meaning it doesn’t get pulled toward a magnet. It is because aluminum has unpaired electrons in its atoms. These cause a weak magnetic attraction. Unlike diamagnet materials, where paired electrons cancel out. Paramagnetic materials like aluminum don’t cancel out their spinning. The more unpaired electrons, the stronger the attraction to magnets. But aluminum has only one unpaired electron, resulting in a very weak magnetic pull. Yet, this weak magnetism fades when the magnetic field is gone.
Scientists measure magnetic property with “magnetic susceptibility. ” Aluminum has a low value of 2.2B.M. It is a positive magnetic susceptibility. It means Aluminum has some response to a magnetic field. Yet, 2.2 is still relatively low for magnetism. This is why aluminum is paramagnetic instead of magnetic. In simple terms, aluminum doesn’t stick to magnets. Because its magnetic response is too weak. It quickly disappears without the applied magnetic field.
So, aluminum is paramagnetic, not magnetic. Only very weak attractions to very strong applied magnetic fields.
The Best Place to Buy non-Magnetic Aluminum
If you are planning to buy the best Aluminum for personal or industrial uses, visit HXSCO. At HXSCO, find superior non-magnetic Aluminum for everyday use. HXSCO is the best Aluminum Supplier throughout the globe. Elevate routines with excellence – HXSCO, your trusted worldwide metal source.
How to Make Aluminum Magnetic?
Making aluminum a bit magnetic is possible with a little experiment. Get a strong magnet and tie it on a thread, then place it near an aluminum material. Aluminum has a certain magnetism at this time. The aluminum, normally not magnetic, can become a weak magnet when close to the strong magnet.
Another way to make aluminum magnetic is by passing an electric current through it. An electric field is created when an electric current passes through any conductor. In addition to the electric field, a magnetic field is also produced. Now, if you bring a ferromagnetic metal close to it, the two will attract each other. But this magnetic field is also temporary. When you remove the current flowing through it, it disappears.
Magnetic Nature of Different Daily Life Aluminum Foils
- Aluminum foil containers:
- Used for heating and grilling food
- Resist chemicals
- Offer non-magnetic protection
2. House foils:
- Versatile for wrapping and cooking
- Lack magnetic properties
- Can be turned into disposable cutlery
3. Plastic-coated lids:
- Shield food from vapor and oxygen
- Nonmagnetic and rust-resistant
4. Chocolate foils:
- Make safe packaging
5.Round seal foils:
- Share non-magnetic traits with aluminum
Different Shapes of Aluminum and Magnetic Nature
The aluminum products are available in different shapes. Metal aluminum sheet serves various purposes. Aluminum plate is strong and common. Aluminum coil finds its uses in industries. The Aluminum bar provides strength. The Aluminum flat bar is versatile. The aluminum rod is malleable. All are non-magnetic.
Aluminum is handy and light. It’s not magnetic on its own. But near strong magnets, it gets a bit magnetic. It’s paramagnetic, meaning somewhat magnetic. Aluminum is non-magnetic in most of its uses. It is also non-magnetic in most of its shapes. Aluminum alloys can be magnetic. Aluminum’s not being magnetic makes it perfect for industries. Its non-magnetic trait is useful in homes and idustries.
FAQS About Aluminum
Is Aluminum Paramagnetic?
Yes, it is paramagnetic. Yet, it does not mean it is magnetic.
Do magnets Affect Aluminum?
Not weak magnets. Strong magnets impact weakly.
Can One make Aluminum magnetic?
Yes, but for a very short time.
Is out of anodized, galvanized, or cast Aluminum any magnetic?
None of these Aluminum is magnetic.