Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Charles Martin Hall and Paul L.T. Héroult, respectively an American engineer and a French chemist, attempted to provide a response to the new challenges posed by the modern world using research and ingenuity, a formula that has always produced great innovations. The pair of scholars, who are best remembered for the name of the process they created, namely electrolysis, ensured that aluminium would come to be commercialised definitively.
Until then this metal, which is commonly found on the earthʼs surface, had not been readily available owing to the high costs involved in extracting it from the minerals it is bound to in its natural form, first and foremost amongst which is bauxite. After extracting it, subjecting it to a casting process and incorporating it into alloys, the
technical properties of aluminium were heightened through a cold rolling process. It was to be the start of a new order.
Under the definition “aluminium sheet”, the metal would become distributed at a level without precedents. Over the course of the last century it has become one of the few materials capable of combining eco-friendliness with production cost efficiency and the effectiveness of a product that is flexible and resistant. The fact that it is completely recyclable and boasts a wide range of characteristics including lightness, ease of processing and conductibility ensured that aluminium would cease to be the sole preserve of the joining and finishing applications it had been relegated to for several decades. Instead it would pursue the features lent to this material which was destined to accompany modern life in all its changes.