The Washington Monument, a tall white pyramid capped with an aluminum cone, stands tall on a green lawn, surrounded by flags, and in front of a clear, blue, sky.

From the mountains, to the prairies, God has blessed America with every natural resource. Coal, copper, timber, nickel, phosphate, and an endless list of abundant supplies were given to the most industrious people to ever set before themselves the experiment of freedom and liberty. These American people, when building the Washington Monument, chose a 6-pound aluminum pyramid to cap their achievements. Aluminum, once prized more than gold, had found its way into a place of high honor. Has aluminum, out of all our natural metals, lived up to such a high honor? The historical answer is yes.

Aluminum’s Economic Contribution

Aluminum has been important part of America’s economic engines specifically through the production of aluminum ore. At its height in 1981, the US produced 30% of the world’s primary aluminum. As the industry has become more aware of its environmental responsibilities, much of the US’s production has shifted to secondary production from scrap metal.

Nevertheless, having national deposits has proven a great advantage for American progress, and at times necessary for national security.

A birds-eye-view shot of a mine where tuck is being loaded with silver extraction fed by a belt.

History of Aluminum for Military Use

As a strong, lightweight metal, aluminum was destined to be the most functional alloy for military use. The French, early in the history of aluminum, looked into using it for armor, yet the prohibitive costs kept them from using it in their army. However, it was only a matter of time. With the advent of mass-produced aluminum, warfare changed forever. Let us take a look at the history of aluminum for military use.

The Word Wars and the history of aluminum for military use

During both World Wars, aluminum production in the United States experienced a boom. In World War I, the United States aviation industry relied heavily on this metal. Thousands of planes were manufactured in the United States using aluminum.

A WWII plane for military use made of aluminum with two propellers and u-shaped back wing.

In World War II, new innovations allowed for even more applications for aluminum, even being used to blind the enemy’s newly invented radar. Aluminum powder could also be used to create explosives, in addition to its more standard uses. This war also proved the importance of having national sources. The supply of aluminum from South America was put in jeopardy by German U-boats roaming international waters. Today, the history of aluminum for military use continues to be written.

Aluminum in the Modern Military

Today’s military takes advantage of aluminum to strengthen the core of its equipment. Because aluminum is lighter than steel, it can make ships, planes, and vehicles more efficient and faster. For the same reasons, missiles also are made from this metal. Furthermore, aluminum is strong enough to be used as armor and has saved countless lives as plates fortifying armored vehicles against explosives. Of course, aluminum continues to be used in variety of weapons such as M-15, M-72 and M-79.

Modern day American soldiers carrying rifles run through thick sand, while beyond a large group of soldiers stand in a tight group.

Aluminum: A continuing American success story

Today, the best aluminum and aluminum alloys continue to be manufactured in the United States. US aluminum extrusions are more versatile and precise than ever. Taber has just the right aluminum extruder for all aluminum extrusions and micro-extrusions in high selection of aluminum profiles. Proud to be an American aluminum extrusion company, Taber Extrusion is a leading fabricator of aluminum shapes, aluminum billet, and other aluminum products. Taber’s commercial network, aligned with key aluminum distributors, allows us to reach customers, both domestic and international, that might be too small to take a mill minimum order. It also gives Taber the capabilities to reach industries that aren’t used to buying direct from a mill. We serve the military, government, shipbuilding and many other industries.

Come check out your best aluminum extrusion partner today!

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