Pure aluminum (Al) is a soft, lightweight, odorless, non-magnetic, non-sparking, silvery white colored metal. It is also highly reactive and does not occur freely in nature. Instead it is bound up as aluminum silicate in clay, minerals, rocks, and gemstones. Comprising 8 percent of the Earth's crust, aluminum is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon) and the most abundant metal.
Aluminum is also the most widely distributed and used metal in the world. It is malleable and ductile, and its melting point is among the lowest of the metals at 660° C. Household applications are common in cookware, deodorants (as aluminum salts), medicines such as buffered aspirin, and antacids (as alumina). Although aluminum is the most reactive metal in common use, it is highly resistance to weathering and corrosion. When exposed to air, aluminum quickly forms an invisible oxide layer on its surface that protects the metal from further corrosion. This oxide layer is thickened in a process termed ?anodizing.? Anodized aluminum is commonly used to coat cookware.