Aluminum is one of the metals that play an important role in industrialization today. Its strength, durability and light weight make it the ideal metal. Though it is naturally occurring in the earth’s crust, it is nearly impossible to find it in its pure elemental form. Rather, because of its high affinity for oxygen, it is more likely to be found bound to it, in a compound called aluminum oxide. Said compound is naturally occurring; it is readily mined and used in industry. It is sometimes synonymously referred to as alumina.
Any bare surface of aluminum metal in its pure form quickly reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form aluminum oxide. Though there are times when such kind of oxidation is undesired, it is actually welcomed in this case. The layer forms superficially on exposed elemental aluminum, and prevents a further oxidation reaction. The layer enhances the hardness of the metal, which is a characteristic that can be enhanced in a manipulation process called anodizing. Alumina has a high melting point, so it can be used as a refractory material. It does not conduct electricity, but has high thermal conductivity.
As far as industrial application is concerned, most aluminum oxide mined is used for the production of aluminum, as it has heavily been suggested. But this does not represent the range of uses that alumina can be used in. It acts as a catalyst for some chemical reaction, like in the conversion of alcohol to alkenes which are carbon compounds. It is also used in the cosmetic industry in the making of sunscreen. Characteristically, alumina is described as highly abrasive, which gives rise to yet another application. While diamond is considered a more abrasive substance, it is uneconomical owing to its rarity and expensive nature. Alumina serves the same purpose of polishing substances, but without costing a fortune to mine. Because of its hardness, it is used with hardwood floors to provide that strong protective coating needed to ensure longevity. It’s also a compound used in laboratory and medical settings, among many other uses.
Aluminum oxide is one of the safer compounds in existence today. It is not a fire hazard, and does not react with water. It might cause some irritation when it comes to contact with the skin, but that rarely occurs as it is. It is not carcinogenic, and it is stable under normal conditions of temperature and pressure. Conclusively speaking it is not a health hazard.
There are several job hierarchies in the oil industry. The lowest job on the team of rig employees is the roustabout. Roustabouts are unskilled laborers who are just learning their trade in the oil industry. Their primary job is cleaning and maintaining the oil rig. Roustabouts are responsible for moving...