Aluminum Element Number 13 Al 

Here are some pure pellets of Aluminum, these feel very light in hand, and have a very nice white silvery tone 

Al 13  Metal   AW: 26.9815  D: 2.70  Mohs: 2.75  MP: 1220f   BP: 4566f

 Aluminum is a white lightweight metal used in everyday life. I come in to contact with this metal everyday, in cookware, foil,  beverage cans, tools, building parts, the list is endless. Aluminum is the title holder of most abundant metal in the earth's crust! it ranks 3rd most abundant element on earth.

Aluminum does not ignite easily like Magnesium, It does however alloy with Mg and other metals. Aluminum can be used in pure form or alloyed, in pure form it will oxidize until a coating has formed preventing more oxidation.

Aluminum has good electrical conductivity, and is used in wires as an alternative to copper. The metal also has good thermal conductivity as well.

  Aluminum  is a metal that can be recycled, everything Aluminum can be recycled ! The metal is found in a list of rocks and minerals, it is generally processed out of Bauxite. recently it is said,  native Aluminum was discovered somewhere around the South China sea. This discovery is exciting because otherwise it is not found in a pure form in nature.

Other than being a popular metal and alloy, Al can be used in compounds, Oxides, Nitrides, Halides, Carbides. One cool Aluminum compound is Aluminum Oxide, or  corundum, or sapphires and  rubies! Corundum is used in abrasives, and has a mohs hardness of 9, diamonds are a 10! synthetic corundum stones can be lab grown using "seeds" or boules in a process called flame fusion. these stones can be flawless and have impacted the gemstone industry.

The metal is not very toxic, and is used in cookwares, antacids, and deodorant.  There are studies of Aluminum related health issues involving various body functions such as memory and hormones. I have been told cooking with Aluminum will make me lose my memory.

Aluminum is definitely one of today's most important metals, yet so common we pay little attention to it. Because it is such a valuable resource, and 100% recyclable its worth some special attention at the recycle center!

Silicon Element Number 14 Si 

 

Silicon Carbide with a 9.5 Mohs hardness, material is sometimes used to imitate diamonds. 

silicon is a metalloid, which ranks second most abundant element in the earths crust. Silicon is in the same group as Carbon, and has some similar properties. Most people are familiar with the element, but may not know they  are in contact with it many times a day.

Silicon is found in sand and rocks, Opal, quartz, asbestos, amethyst, jasper and flint to name a few. People used Silicon as some of the first tools as flint, as the stone will flake and create a sharp edge, it was used for cutting and piercing as in knives and arrowheads. Later people began to refine silicon and make glass, around 3500BC. The Romans used glass, and some roman glass can be found in modern day jewelery, there are many types of glass, depending on the other ingredients. like Aluminum, glass can be recycled!

We also may be familiar with asbestos, a fibrous form of Silicon with excellent insulating properties, in years past asbestos was used to insulate nearly everything related to heat. Many steam pipes, boilers, ovens, and other things had asbestos surrounding them. We have found asbestos to cause a sever and fatal lung disease. Many building and pipelines must have expensive work done to remove this material.

One use for pure silicon is in computers as chips, so called because they simply are small chips of silicon with integrated circuits etched into the surface, The wafer in the photo shows chips with many layers of ICs, and the number of ICs in each chip are in hundreds of thousands.the main chip in my computer is cooled by a fan, to prevent over heating of the chip while in use.

Silicon can be alloyed with Iron and Aluminum, and used in casting and refining industries. Silicon has 3 stable isotopes, and 20 radioisotopes, of which most have very short half lives. Silicon also forms compounds.Silicon dioxide is a compound also known as quartz. These crystals have frequencies and used in crystal radios. tuning forks can be matched to some quartz crystals.

Some other uses include breast implants, lubricants, ceramics, explosives, fireworks and super alloys. tiny creatures use Silicon to build skeletons, such as radiolaria and diatoms, and have beautiful structures when viewed under microscope.

below is a 6" pure Silicon wafer with integrated circuit chips, also a ornamental pure Silicon egg. 

Si  14  Metalloid   D: 2.32gm   MP: 2575   BP: 5909   AW:28.0855

This is a large disc of poly silicon or multiple crystals. the wafer above is a single crystal disc. You can see the nice crystalline patterns. I am not sure what this is used for, but I bought it for a great price.