The eco-friendly lightweight
Aluminium is the most commonly occurring metal in the Earth’s crust. In comparison to other metals, aluminium has not been known for long – it was first produced with a chemical reaction in 1808.
Right from the start, aluminium has been used as a high-tech material, when light weight and high durability are required. Space travel as well as aircraft and carmaking are inconceivable without it and it was responsible for making some innovations possible in the first place.
Especially in the second half of the 20th century, aluminium started its triumphal advance into interior design and into design in general. Its technological mystique together with its silvery, glittering surface opened up new horizons in the use of metal in interior design. At FSB this started with the designs by Johannes Potentes in the 1950s.
Still today, the expertise which we gained at the time in the machining of aluminium is the basis of all of FSB’s families of handles made of this wonderful material.
Aluminium is a light metal (density 2.699 g/cm3). It melts at 660 degrees Celsius. Admittedly, its initial extraction requires a relatively large amount of energy. This energy balance is however compensated by its many positive characteristics in use and when recycled. The energy savings associated with recycling are about 95% compared to its initial extraction. And aluminium can be recycled again and again, without any loss.
It is very pleasant to handle, above all as this lightweight amongst the metals is very good at matching the ambient temperature. FSB only uses pure alloys from the smelters to DIN 1725 with the following material numbers:
AlMg3: material no. 3.3541.02
AlMg1: material no. 3.3315
AlMgSi0,5: material no. 3.3206
After the mechanical machining, its surface is protected by anodizing. FSB uses a standard process for anodising. This process uses direct current and a sulphuric acid electrolyte. The oxide layer built up in this standard process is approx. 10 μm thick. The hardness of this layer is up to 350 kp/mm2 (Vickers), corresponding to 2,500 to 3,500 N/mm2. The silver-white oxide layer can be coloured to extend your design options.
FSB uses two types of colouration:
1. Colouring the surface and in the central region of the oxide layer by immersion colouring which is also known as the absorption process. During this, the initially silver-white anodised aluminium is chemically coloured in organic and anorganic dye solutions. The light fastness has a value of about 6 to 7.
2. Colouring at the base of the pores of the oxide layer. Here, metals are electrolytically deposited using alternating current into the previously created silver-white oxide layer. This is called a two-stage process. The light fastness values are from 7 to 8.
After colouring, the surface becomes more dense. This ensures that the colour’s resistance to corrosion, light and weather stays within the specified values. Basically, aluminium needs no special care as a material. This artificially created anodis ed layer protects the aluminium. Dirt spots can be removed with water and a soft cloth.
In daily use aluminium surfaces can be worn or scratched by harder materials. Damage is typically caused by rings worn on fingers. This “damage” to the aluminium surface may impair the aesthetic impression but has no effect on its function. Many users even like this patina resulting from use.