Aluminium is prevalent in many construction applications in South Africa today. Market sub-sectors in construction include buildings, bridges and water and the use of aluminium is driven by durability and aesthetic considerations.
Transportation and Automotive
Several market sub-sectors where aluminium is utilised currently exist in transportation, with the largest being automotive. The current drive for aluminium volume increase in local manufacturing is mainly governed by the rapid increase in the uptake of aluminium in automotive parts such as body panels, castings and wheel rims.
The use of aluminium in the packaging market is currently dominated by food and beverages and pharmaceuticals. A large variety of packaging products exists. Aviation use of rigid foil containers for pre-packed food is another large consumer of aluminium. Lightweight and hygienic concerns are the drivers.
Volume expansion in aluminium cable replacing copper in transmission and distribution is a current reality. A variety of final products are used at present to service grid expansion from generation through to distribution. Significant volumes of aluminium are being used in support structures and module frames for photovoltaic (PV) cells.
Durability drives aluminium applications in the consumer goods market sub-sectors. Its designabilty makes it attractive for household goods and wearables. A variety of applications exist in the market that are contributing to a small, but steady demand for aluminium.
Other – medical, military, agriculture, manufacturing, machinery and equipment
A variety of market sub‐sectors benefit from aluminium, many in the form of aluminium uptake in machinery and equipment. The structural design advantages that aluminium has, currently make it attractive for military, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and construction equipment market sub-sectors. In future, these requirements will continue, but the need for aluminium will be increased along with expansion of the 4th Industrial Revolution and its requirements for intelligent machines, and the advent of new advanced aluminium-based alloys and powders.