Aluminum is a light-weight metal with a bright silvery luster. Small amounts of other metals are added to aluminum to make harder alloys for most uses. Its affinity for oxygen makes it resistant to corrosion and attack by most chemicals. Most aluminum used in visible parts of appliances is lacquered or otherwise coated, anodized or painted.
Aluminum reacts with air to grow its own thin oxide coating very fast. This hard, dark gray coating protects the metal. It's found on all bare aluminum surfaces, including utensils which, if rubbed on a counter or range top, or other material, makes a dark gray mark. If washed off the outside of the pan, it quickly forms again. A commercial process, called "anodizing", thickens this coat and often colors it. Anodizing does not rub off. A special anodizing process produces a very hard, dark gray finish on professional type cookware.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus with references from Mary Ellen Delsipee and Isabel Jones, previous Extension Specialists.
Source: MSU Extension
Wikipedia: Aluminium or aluminum (see the spelling section below) is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery and ductile member of the poor metal group of chemical elements. Aluminium is found primarily as the ore bauxite and is remarkable for its resistance to corrosion (due to the phenomenon of passivation) and its light weight. Aluminium is used in many industries to make millions of different products and is very important to the world economy. Structural components made from aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and very important in other areas of transportation and building in which light weight, durability, and strength are needed.
Sources: Wikipedia - Read More
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