Aluminium in the Environment
Aluminium has a high resistance to atmospheric weathering as it forms a natural oxide film on exposure to air. This protective film is integral with the metal and immediately reforms if the surface is scratched or damaged in any way.
Aluminium is resistant to small amounts of chlorine added to water for biological control.
Although containing considerable quantities of sodium carbonate, modern household detergents have sufficient silicate inhibitor to prevent corrosive action on aluminium. Aggressive or abrasive type cleaners used on anodised surfaces will result in permanent damage.
Aluminium and its alloys containing silicon, manganese, and magnesium, are resistant to sea water. Assuming the correct design considerations are observed, with particular reference to the connection of aluminium to other metals, aluminium provides excellent service.
Soil corrosion of mill finish aluminium, when it occurs, is restricted to pitting unless severe soil contamination has taken place. Light well drained soils often have no effect on aluminium whatsoever. The degree of soil wetness and openness will determine the incidence of pitting, as will other variable factors such as the chemicals contained within the ground water.
Aluminium is resistant to wet and dry steam. High pressure steam, however, will cause erosion.
Urine has a mild action on aluminium, but this can be prevented by using anodised aluminium.
Aluminium is resistant to rain water.