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Is Aluminium a Suitable Metal for Manufacturing Bicycles?

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Introduction

Is Aluminium a Suitable Metal for Manufacturing Bicyces? Extraction Process for Aluminium The ore of aluminium is Bauxite and it contains 52.9% aluminium and 47.1% oxygen. The extraction of aluminium takes three main stages: * The mining of bauxite * Refining of the ore to produce aluminium oxide * Electrolysis of aluminium oxide to produce aluminium Mining Bauxite is mined by removing the top layers of soil and then removing the ore from the area by use of explosives to break it into moveable pieces. The bauxite is then crushed on site, sometimes washed to remove soil and clay and then dried in a kiln or it may just be dried. It is then ready to be transported by railway or ships to refineries. Refining Bauxite is made of aluminium oxide-2-water (Al2O3.2H2O) and silicon (IV) oxide (SiO2) and iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3). The bauxite is refined to extract pure aluminium oxide: * The bauxite is ground * Then heated with concentrated NaOH (aq) ...read more.

Middle

+ 3e- Al(l) At Anode: C + O2(g) CO2(g) Finance The abundance of aluminium in the earth's crust compared to other metals is show in the below table: The table shows that aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earths crust and so there is plenty around for the use in bicycle frames. The bulk cost of aluminium is �0.082 per 100g, which is the second cheapest in the The cost of pure aluminium is �1.24 per 100g, which is also the second cheapest in the list. The below bar chart shows the percentage abundance by mass of each metal more clearly and shows how much more abundant aluminium is than the other metals. To produce 1 tonne of aluminium takes 2 tonnes of alumina, which in turn takes 4 tonnes of bauxite. To make 1 tonne of aluminium from alumina it takes 14000 to 16000 kilowatt hours of electrical energy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Aluminium is also resistant to corrosion as a thin and very hard layer of aluminium oxide forms on the surface. This protects the aluminium from chemical and atmospheric corrosion. Summary I think aluminium is an ideal alloy to use in the manufacture of bicycle frames for the following reasons: Advantages Disadvantages Most abundant metal in earth's crust. Expensive to produce from ore. Easily and cost effectively recycled, using 95% less energy, but still retains quality. If produced from ore uses a lot of electricity, so contributes to CO2 and SO2 and nitrogen oxide pollution (acid rain). Cheap bulk cost compared to other metals. Takes a 4 tonnes of bauxite to produce just 1 tonne of pure aluminium. Low density and impressive strength-to-weight ratio, so ideal for bicycles as would be light yet strong. Non corrosive as protected by a thin, strong, transparent layer of aluminium oxide, which protects from moisture, temperature, atmosphere and chemicals. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aluminium Emma Whiteley - 1 - ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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Response to the question

The response to the question is done well. The candidate explores a variety of factors which relate to the properties and use of aluminium for bike frames in a good depth. The summary table is adequate with a good stand ...

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Response to the question

The response to the question is done well. The candidate explores a variety of factors which relate to the properties and use of aluminium for bike frames in a good depth. The summary table is adequate with a good stand alone conclusion.

Level of analysis

I don't think the extraction of aluminium needs to be explained in as much detail as its not directly relevant to the use of the metal in manufacturing bikes. The candidate does explain the extraction of aluminium well and concisely, but does not link to how this relates to the main question at all. The candidate does explore another range of issues pertaining to the use in bikes such as the finance, environmental issues, and production leading to a nice summary table in the summary. I think the candidate should have explained the properties of the metal a lot more as this would be one of the main factors in the metals use.

Quality of writing

Punctuation, grammar and spelling are all to a good standard. The layout is done very well using clear sub-headings, tables and diagrams to explain the metal thoroughly.


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Reviewed by skatealexia 24/07/2012

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