Aluminum is used in health and hygiene products, as well as a food additive and in the manufacture of electrical items like light bulbs and phone lines. Aluminum is the second most commonly used metal in industry; it is an important component in automobiles, building items and packaging materials.
Aluminum is valued in the automobile industry because it is lightweight and does not rust. It is used to make license plates, car bodies, axles and even motorcycles. Using this lightweight material rather than a heavier metal allows companies to build vehicles that are more fuel efficient. The building and construction industry values aluminum for similar reasons, using it to make siding, roofing materials and window frames that last for years without rusting and do not weigh down structures. Aluminum foil is used to package gum, crackers, potato chips and other snacks. Aluminum cans are ideal for packaging beverages because they are durable, yet lightweight and rust-free.
Aluminum is an important component in several medications and hygiene products. It is used in buffered aspirin and many antacid products, and it is an active ingredient in some astringent liquids used on the skin. Aluminum acetate and aluminum hydroxide are added to many packaged foods because they have preservative effects.