Aluminum is the most common metal found on the surface of our planet but it was one of the last to be refined and put into general and industrial service. This is because it rarely exists naturally in its native form. It is found in combination with other elements in the likes of clays such as bauxite and it is difficult to extract the aluminum. This only became commercially viable with the introduction of large scale electricity supply with which to run the extraction process.
Pure aluminum is infrequently used. Aluminum alloyed with other metals is the form more often preferred.
There is an International Alloy Designation System whereby a set of eight base numbers are given which runs from one to eight thousand. The first numeral denotes the major elements used in the alloy and the remaining 3 digits show the actual composition within that grouping.
Under the above system, aluminum 1100 is in group one which are all alloys closest to pure aluminum. I.E. they all have a minimum aluminum content of 99% by weight and they can all be work hardened. For 1100, the other main elements include silicon, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc with 99% aluminum.
Aluminum alloy 1100 wire is something of a general purpose grade which is easy to shape and form without heating (cold metalworking); it is often used in the production of cooking utensils. It is amongst the softest aluminum alloys and can be processed into sheets/strips/plates, foil, bars/rods (round, square or rectangular) and –yes – wire can be produced from it.
Uses For Aluminum 1100 Wire
We tend to associate wire primarily with electrical conducting wire and aluminum wire has been used since around 1900 for line transmission power wires (because of its lower cost and lighter weight compared with copper). In the 1960/70’s, aluminum wire was introduced into domestic circuits (again to save cost over copper wires); however, several safety issues arose over this particular use of aluminum. Some of the difficulties have been resolved by amending the manner in which the wire is used.
Other wire uses such as in wire rope and some fencing wire might require a base material stronger than Aluminum 1100 Wire. However, in areas like baling wire or wire ties, a softer more “bendable” wire, such as Aluminum 1100 Wire might be preferable.