Aluminum is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common metals, at approximately one third that of steel. It has a great affinity towards oxygen, and forms a protective layer of oxide on the surface when exposed to air. Aluminium visually resembles silver, both in its color and in its great ability to reflect light. It is soft, non-magnetic and ductile.
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The mass production of aluminium led to its extensive use in industry and everyday life. In World Wars I and II, aluminium was a crucial strategic resource for aviation, and it aftwards became the most produced non-ferrous metal, surpassing copper. Aluminum is currently widely consumed in transportation, engineering, construction, and packaging.
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