People usually think about how fast devices are and what they can do. However, they don’t think much about what goes into making them. Today, aluminum is one of the most prominent materials in electronic devices. It’s present in smartphones, laptops, and peripheral accessories.
Nokia and HTC were the first cell phone manufacturers to engineer aluminum handsets. Yet, Apple made aluminum accessories and phones fashionable, such as the new iPad Pro with 5G, 24″ iMac (2021), etc.
Manufacturers continue to use aluminum in phones and other electronics. They’ve embraced aluminum because of its unique properties.
Keep reading to learn more about why aluminum is widely used in the electronics industry.
6 Reasons Why Do Electronics Use Aluminum
Aluminum Is Lightweight Yet Strong
A product that can withstand heavy use is a sign of good quality. Aluminum enables manufacturers to produce lightweight, quality goods. With aluminum, manufacturers trim precious ounces from the weight of devices. It also allows them to make smaller, thinner electronics.
These aluminum alloys score highly in functionality. Accordingly, they’re present in an outstanding variety of consumer products. In the electronics industry, material strength and finish are top priorities. It’s in these areas where aluminum provides the greatest benefits. Aluminum is considered the preferred choice in the electronics market for this reason.
Nowadays, you might see aluminum used to make smartphone casings. You’ll also see it used to make larger electronics, such as notebooks, tablets, TVs, and other consumer devices. When mechanical performance and strength are top priorities, aluminum excels.
Several factors compel manufacturers to use aluminum for production. For instance, they must consider the final price point of their products. Also, manufacturers must consider the design possibilities of various materials. They must think about what material is best for mass production.
As it turns out, aluminum often offers the best value. Steel comparatively, is a strong material but is also very expensive.
For instance, some electronic devices require a conductive surface for a plastic enclosure. Manufacturers can add this in post-production. However, adding this kind of surface afterward requires extra time. It also involves using more material and labor. These additional costs would get passed on to consumers. It’s much more cost-effective to use aluminum when a device needs a conductive surface. This why more companies are using aluminum to make their products.
Manufacturers can use a range of production methods when making products using aluminum. For example, die-casting is one method that manufacturers use to make consumer electronics. It enables them to produce extremely durable housings for the internal components. Also, die casting is a cost-effective manufacturing process.
The die casting manufacturing method enables companies to make products remarkably fast. Also, this allows companies to have a natural heat sink in their designs. With die casting, manufacturers can use aluminum to create complex shapes.
Additionally, die casting enables companies to make aluminum products that follow precise specifications. More importantly, they can use the material to maintain a consistent quality during the production process. Aluminum also helps manufacturers to follow stricter recycling product laws.
It’s much more efficient to recycle aluminum compared to other materials. Aluminum recycling only uses 5% of the energy needed to reclaim other materials. As a result, it’s a better option for sustainability. Recyclable tech is also good for business.
Many electronics companies use recyclable materials to show their commitment to the environment. Buyers want to know that the products they purchase aren’t harming the environment. Accordingly, more companies are meeting this demand.
Aluminum is great at heat transference. This characteristic helps with heat dissipation. Conversely, plastic tends to melt when exposed to extreme temperatures. Manufacturers could use plastic to make thinner laptops.
However, the resulting cases would not have as much resilience as aluminum. Also, thinner plastic laptops would emit searing hot air, because they wouldn’t have a way to cool. With aluminum, manufacturers can create thinner laptops than those made with plastic. It’s this characteristic that compels manufacturers to use aluminum heat sinks.
Aluminum forms a natural oxide layer. It will never rust or corrode. Resultantly, aluminum is typically the best choice for corrosion resistance. Furthermore, it can withstand temperatures of close to 200C°.
Any metal—including aluminum—could corrode when exposed to harsh conditions. However, aluminum will last longer than just about any other alloy. It can withstand some of the most intense environments imaginable. This characteristic makes aluminum ideal for electronic component housings.
Aluminum: The Possibilities Are Endless
Today’s laptops cram a lot of technology into a small space. The Apple MacBook is no exception. However, Apple has delivered a first with the device. They’ve created a fanless laptop.
Most laptops use high-RPM cooling fans to create an airflow inside the enclosure. This kind of device uses an active cooling method. If you’ve ever used a laptop, you’ll notice heat buildup if you block the vent. Without cooling fans, heat will build up inside the casing and damage the components.
However, the new MacBook Air doesn’t have this problem—even during heavy use. One of the reasons is Apple created the MacBook air with an all-aluminum design. The aluminum acts as a giant heatsink. As a result, Apple has created the first laptop with a passive cooling system.
Top-Notch, Affordable Electronics
Now you know more about why aluminum is widely used in the electronics industry. At UGREEN, we’ve used aluminum in our product line for some time. It allows us to deliver the optimal combination of innovation and value.