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3 Reasons Aluminum is Building America

empirestatebuildingThe first major use of aluminum was in the construction of the Empire State Building in the 1930’s. Since then, aluminum has been recognized as both an energy efficient and sustainable building material, with 25 percent of all aluminum produced used in construction.

Here are three reasons why this versatile and strong material has become a building essential.

1. It’s Sustainable

In today’s aluminum building materials, the estimated recycled content is between 50 and 85 percent. Buildings at the end of life-cycles can have aluminum components recycled to reduce the impact on the environment. Aluminum is one of the few materials that can be recycled an infinite number of times with no change in strength or durability.

Aluminum is also extremely reflective, reflecting back 95 percent of light and reducing cooling costs. The inclusion of aluminum makes solar cells more efficient. In fact, including aluminum in structures helps building projects qualify for LEED green building status.

2. It’s Efficient

In a world where buildings are getting taller, aluminum is a material that reduces weight. Modern skyscrapers would not be possible without aluminum. An aluminum extrusion is half the weight of a steel extrusion of the same stiffness and is less likely to fracture under pressure. Structures made with aluminum are 35 to 65 percent lighter than steel structures and significantly lighter than those made with reinforced concrete.

Despite its lightness, aluminum is also strong. Aluminum extrusions can very easily support the weight of large glass spans, allowing more natural light to shine into
buildings. Aluminum’s durability means it can serve its purpose for decades, reducing replacement costs, so a building utilizing aluminum is strong, easier to construct, lightweight and less expensive.

3. It’s Resistant

Aluminum building materials are weatherproof, corrosion resistant and immune to UV rays. Aluminum maintains its properties in both hot and cold weather and protects buildings from cold temperatures up to four times better than 10-centimeter-thick brick. Over the years, aluminum has become a popular material for outdoor building components because of its resistance to the effects of nature.

As a result of its light weight, strength, resistance and uses in energy efficiency, aluminum has become one of the world’s favorite modern building materials.

Click here to learn how you can include American Douglas Metal’s aluminum extrusion solutions in your next building project and receive a FREE project quote.



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Aluminum: Every Day Uses – Part 2

In last month’s blog we discussed how the many unique traits of aluminum give the metal a special place in architecture. From high corrosion resistance, to high-strength and lightweight properties, this economical, eco-friendly metal can be rolled or molded into nearly any shape. Surface properties give aluminum a leg up on the competition by allowing it to be painted and dyed.

This month, we’re closing out our two-part series by showcasing some of the famous and unique structures made possible by aluminum extrusions and building materials.


  1. Empire State Building – New York, New York

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most recognizable and iconic buildings ever created, this 85-year-old skyscraper has been an eye-catching piece of the New York skyline with the help of aluminum. Although some of the building is concrete and steel, 730 tons of aluminum were used on the exterior of the building. Aluminum is also found throughout the Empire State Building’s interior:

  • A two-story welcome mural, featuring a dedication plaque, clock and a scaled artistic representation of the building are all made of aluminum.
  • Metallic accents on floors and building fixtures.
  • A 204-foot TV broadcasting tower added after initial construction finished.


  1. Farnborough Airport – United Kingdom

tag-farnborough-airport-terminal-and-hangarsThe Farnborough Airport needed to be built quickly and with cost in mind. With the help of aluminum, the project resulted in:

  • A sleek, modern and appealing main terminal and aircraft hangar. The flat-rolled sheets of aluminum allowed for faster setup of stronger structures than traditional brick or concrete.
  • As populations rise or fall, the adaptable materials make for easy changes to the size of the building.


  1. Commerzbank Tower – Frankfurt, Germany

DreBa Zertifikatsvergabe mit Hr. HerrleinElevated over the skyline of downtown Frankfurt is the Commerzbank Tower, home to Germany’s second largest bank. With a focus on modern design and architecture, aluminum aided in creating experimental features such as:

  • Sky gardens located throughout the building that allow employees to step outside. The small gardens on outdoor decks improve the beauty of the building, health of workers and reduce the building’s ecological impact.
  • Heating and cooling systems assisted by aluminum ducts designed to draw from outside air, improving energy efficiency.

With all the features listed above, the Commerzbank Tower was recognized as the first ecological skyscraper.


  1. Tête Carrée – Nice, France

90398447_pLiterally meaning “thinking inside the box,” Tête Carrée is the world’s first inhabited sculpture. Built by Sacha Sosno, a world-renowned French sculptor, the structure features:

  • A framework made entirely of aluminum. The lower three floors, forming the neck, act as supports for the library offices in the upper four floors.
  • An exterior aluminum mesh covering to protect the building. The covering gives the appearance of a smooth, flat surface while visitors inside of the building can see through.

Now that we’ve highlighted the creative ways in which aluminum can be used and shown examples of aluminum structures from around the world, if you’re feeling inspired to start your own project, click here to see how we can help.


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Aluminum: Every Day Uses – Part 1

Highly regarded for its durable and economic properties, aluminum has quickly become a major part of modern construction and architecture. A short and inexpensive manufacturing process saves companies time and money. With aluminum’s ability to be produced in sheets or extruded into pre-made shapes, it provides countless options for use.

We discussed some basic advantages of aluminum material in a previous blog, but here’s how those traits get put to use.


Flexing Some Muscle


Photo by LondonSE1

The most popular use for aluminum materials is adding strength to buildings. Having half
the weight of a steel reinforced system, and a seventh of concrete, architects are free to design more unique structures.


  • Exteriors can be covered in windows with the support of thin aluminum beams.
  • Skyscrapers can reach new heights with less weight. This allows more room for the building to sway under high wind conditions without the risk of collapse.


A Real Life Saver


Photo by FSI Industries

Aluminum’s high strength, low weight gives it the ability to withstand more force than steel.
Sheets can be stacked to increase protection while still weighing less than other materials.

Rust and oxidation are no longer a concern as well. Aluminum is highly corrosion resistant, giving it strength against weather and UV rays.


  • Crash barriers on highways are small and lightweight yet strong enough to keep a speeding car from going off the road.
  • Stairwells are more commonly made from aluminum. Its properties give a reliable escape route that won’t burn or collapse under weight during emergencies.
  • Areas where structures and materials suffer corrosion, such as factories and coastal regions, are starting to see more aluminum designs. Aside from protecting inhabitants from the outside, aluminum structures will survive much longer with less wear.
  • Noise cancellation slits can be cut into flat-rolled sheets to provide sound reduction. These angled spaces help diffuse sound and can be filled with fiber glass or foam to increase the effect.


Easy on the Eyes

the modern office

Photo by ArchiExpo

A less obvious, but equally important use, for aluminum can be found throughout buildings. Aluminum can replace many smaller components to provide more reliable features than brass or steel.

Anodizing the surface creates a porous layer that can be dyed to create unique metallic surfaces to match any look.


  • Door knobs made from aluminum are less likely to break.
  • Aluminum-framed buildings effectively insulated against colder temperatures. Depending on the amount and quality of insulation, it performs four times better than 10 centimeters of bricks and 20 centimeters of stone.
  • Wall facades, sculptures and other decorative pieces give buildings a pleasing aesthetic. These can be made of raw aluminum for a modern look, or dyed and painted to create a variety of styles.


Next month, we’ll be looking into how these uses have resulted in amazing aluminum structures.

Click here to learn more about American Douglas Metals’ custom aluminum extrusion solutions and get a FREE quote on your next project.

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Introducing SwimMirror: High-Strength Pool Mirrors for Assessing Swim Techniques

SwimMirrors will quickly become a serious swimmer’s best accessory and an essential training tool for coaches. The high-strength aluminum design lays flat and sturdy at the bottom of a pool so swimmers can self-assess their strokes and make necessary improvements in real-time or immediately implement coaching instructions.

“The SwimMirror has made a big difference in the way I am able to teach and train my swim team,” said M. McGinty from SouthWest Aquatics in Orlando, Florida. “My swimmers are now able to see and understand their form and adjust to improve their speed and agility in the water. I would recommend this product to anyone looking to improve their swim training and teaching methods.”

Benefits of SwimMirror include:

  • Instant stroke feedback
  • Durable, shatter-proof aluminum
  • Simple installation and upkeep

The durable mirrors can be placed from end to end of a pool lane or used singularly with stationary swimming tools (harness, snorkel, etc.) for continuous and complete technique assessment.

Installing SwimMirror is simple: just place the durable mirror on bottom of your pool and it’s ready to be used. The upkeep is just as easy—simply rinse with water and air dry.

Enhance swim training one stroke at a time with the all-new SwimMirror. For more information about SwimMirror or to place an order, click here.

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ConnecTables on Primetime Kitchen Radio

In case you missed it, American Douglas Metal’s Vice President, Jeff Raimonde, stopped by the Primetime Kitchen radio show on Orlando 104.1 to talk about our ConnecTable table extender.

With ConnecTprimekitchables, restaurants, resorts, event centers and other dining facilities can easily increase seating capacity to efficiently accommodate large groups. ADM’s aluminum ConnecTable provides a sturdy, lightweight and cost-effective solution to provide much-needed increased seating space. All of our ConnecTables are custom-made for each of our clients’ specific needs.

For the full interview on Primetime Kitchen and to learn more about our ConnecTables and how they started, click here.

What are you waiting for? Arrange large groups faster and easier, without compromising additional seating! To find a size that best meets your needs and to request a quote, click here. For more information about ConnecTable, click here to visit our website.

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Introducing Our New Website with “Metals Market” Shopping Feature

We are happy to announce the launch of our new website (http://americandouglasmetals.com), which includes a new “Metals Market” shopping feature. The new Metals Market allows customers to view and purchase from an extensive inventory of available surplus metals and exclusive products including aluminum coils, steel sheets and more.

With solutions for a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, the updated website provides an easy-to-use navigation and modern design to present the detailed information needed to understand each of our products and services. Additionally, the update now gives customers, new and old, the opportunity to purchase precise surplus and aluminum steel products directly from the website.

“We are very excited about creating a more dynamic digital space for our customers,” says Jeff Raimonde, Vice President of Marketing at ADM. “The new metals market now creates a simple purchasing opportunity, providing the convenience of a quick and accessible ordering process.”

We have 40 years of experience delivering top quality metal products and services such as flat-rolled aluminum, flat-rolled steel and custom aluminum extrusions from our facilities in Buffalo, New York, Atlanta, Georgia and Orlando, Florida. As an all-in-one service provider and trusted source for meeting diverse metal needs, the new Metals Market now gives us the opportunity to sell and deliver products to a larger geographic region.

To visit our newly launched website, learn more about what we have to offer and to explore the Metals Market, visit http://americandouglasmetals.com.

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3 Ways to Prevent Metal Corrosion

Corrosion, the gradual destruction of metal, is a natural process caused by a chemical reaction from the surrounding environment. Oxidation is the most common type of chemical reaction between iron and oxygen, which results in the rusting of metal surfaces. It’s also common for metal to corrode when exposed to moisture, wind and electrical currents.

In virtually all situations, metal corrosion can be managed, slowed or even stopped by using the proper techniques. Here are three ways:

1. Control Environmental ImpactCorrosion 1

Since corrosion is caused by a chemical reaction between metal and gases in the surrounding environment, it’s important to consider the impact the environment can have on your metal.

By removing metal from a hazardous environment, corrosion can be reduced immediately. This can be as simple as limiting contact with rainwater by storing metals indoors or more complex by reducing the sulfur, chloride or oxygen levels in the metal’s surrounding environment.

2. Choose the Right Metal

Corrosion 2No metal is corrosion-proof in all environments, but understanding what metals are more corrosion-resistant than others is important.

For example, aluminum is a corrosion-resistant material. This makes it ideal for applications that will be exposed to various environmental elements. Stainless steel’s corrosion resistance depends on the different types of metals used to create it. The most commonly used types of stainless steel (304 and 316) are both corrosion-resistant. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is iron-based and susceptible to destruction.

3. Use Surface CoatingsCorrosion 3

Coatings, including painting and plating, are used as a protective layer of corrosion-resistant material between metal and the potentially damaging environment.

Uncoated aluminum will oxidize and insulate itself from further corrosion, which makes the metal extremely resilient.  Anodizing is commonly used on aluminum applications where the surface is both visually critical and is in constant contact with environmental elements as it makes materials very resistant to weathering and corrosion. Galvanization, on the other hand, consists of applying a thin layer of zinc to protect steel against corrosion. The zinc oxidizes when it is exposed to air, which creates a protective coating on the metal surface.

To find a corrosion-resistant metal that is the best fit for your application or to learn more about American Douglas Metals products, click here.

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Uses for Copper in Building, Design and Architecture


As one of the first metals ever extracted and used by humans, copper has been a vital part of our civilization’s development and success. Copper’s ability to be easily stretched, molded and shaped is why we still continue to rely on it for a wide variety of applications.

Construction and Design Applications

statue-libertyCopper has always played an integral role in architecture, from Ancient Egyptian temple doors to European Medieval designs. Most notably in American culture, the Statue of Liberty was built using 80 tons of copper sheet. The copper was so easily manipulated, that it was able to be cut and hammered to produce a thickness equivalent to two US pennies placed together. Copper’s ability to withstand the elements is proven by the Statue of Liberty’s almost 130 years of remaining virtually intact.


The durability of copper roofing makes it a long-lasting alternative to other materials. Not only is copper resistant to fire, hail and mildew, it can last up to 50 years or more with regular care and maintenance.

Copper is also a lightweight material, only half the weight of lead, which provides savings when it comes to supporting structures and material costs. These roofs reflect light instead of allowing heat into homes, making this an energy-efficient material.


Copper tubing is ideal for water and gas distribution. Pipes made from this reliable metal can handle extreme conditions of more than 1,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, as well as repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Copper also inhibits contaminants from penetrating pipes and helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

A copper system has the potential to be cheaper than other metals due to the easy handling, forming and joining that cuts back on installation time, materials and overall costs. Copper will also require less maintenance over time than other types of plumbing systems.


The domes and spires of some of the most well-known buildings in the world are adorned with copper accents. Over time, copper develops a green tarnish called patina which is a result of weathering and oxidation. The patina has become a visually-appealing, highly desirable design for architectural hardware and interior designs.

Additional Benefits

Incorporating copper into your building plans has a world of benefits. From cost-effectiveness to durability, the material has been the reliable choice since our ancient relatives began early construction. Here are a few additional benefits of the material that you may not have known.


Hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world use copper in their buildings for its antimicrobial value. Copper prevents bacteria from reproducing, which can limit the spread of disease-causing bacteria in healthcare facilities on items used daily like:

  • Sinks
  • IV stands
  • Bed trays
  • Door hardware
  • And more


Although we aren’t in any danger of running out of copper, it’s comforting to know that the material and its alloys are nearly 100 percent recyclable. The US recycles between 1.8 and 2 million tons of copper each year, most of which is shipped worldwide. The metal can be recycled an infinite amount of times while still retaining most of its value, making it the green choice for building materials.

Copper was an important metal to our ancient relatives and still continues to hold its value as societies advance and demands change. It still remains the material of choice for many domestic, industrial and technological applications to this day.

American Douglas Metals supplies copper in a variety of formats and compositions for use in industrial and commercial manufacturing. For more information about how copper can be used in various applications, or to get a quote on copper, please contact us today.


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4 Transportation Applications of Stainless Steel

With strength, durability and safety characteristics, stainless steel is a top choice of material for most forms of transportation.

Whether you are seeking to fly, float or roll, stainless steel is an optimal choice for the manufacturing of most vessels or vehicles. Stainless steel’s strength and durability help it withstand most elements and provides for a longer lifespan of your transportation components.

Here are four transportation applications for this versatile metal.


2015-02-Blog-PlaneAccording to the FAA stainless steel may be used on many parts of an aircraft. These parts include exhaust collectors, stacks and manifolds, structural and machined parts, springs, castings, tie rods, control cases and more.

Whether you are manufacturing the original aircraft or refurbishing/repairing, it is important that your building materials match or maintain:

  • The necessary strength of the structure
  • The contour or aerodynamic smoothness
  • The appropriate weight of the aircraft to function safely
  • The necessary corrosion resistant properties of metal material used

The properties of stainless steel enable you to easily achieve these crucial attributes when constructing or repairing an aircraft. With proper calculations for the aircraft’s aerodynamic and weight requirements, this metal can fulfill all four points.

Boats & Watercraft

2015-02-Blog-YachtStainless steel has a variety of significant applications for marine vessels, such as ships, boats, yachts and more. As watercraft encounter harsh conditions of water and wind at high speeds, durability is a substantial concern.

Stainless steel is chosen to make watercraft propellers, particularly for saltwater vessels, due to its corrosion-resistance and the ease with which it can be cleaned. These qualities of stainless steel increase the propeller’s durability. It is also used to make an assortment of anchors and ladders, as well as accessories and hardware for boats and yachts of all sizes.

Trains & Railway Cars

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStainless steel is also a commonly used metal material in the railway industry, both for exterior build and internal details. For example, stainless steel can be used for the steel coils joining rail cars together and for the handrails and tray tables inside passenger trains.

This metal is the ideal choice for both passenger railcars and equipment transport as it has:

  • High energy-absorption for increased safety
  • Corrosion resistant properties
  • Excellent fire resistance
  • Longer service lives


2015-02-Blog-CarStainless steel also plays a large role in the manufacturing of automobiles. For example, steel pipe or tube is used for the exhaust of cars and trucks. Additionally, blanking of flat-rolled steel to the specifications of your door or hood can be executed prior to stamping your stainless steel to save you money in transporting excess metal.

Likewise, motorcycle manufacturing often uses stainless steel to protect the body of the bike from the harsh elements and subsequent corrosion from dirt, wind and rain. This material is also easy to clean, enabling riders to maintain their vehicle for longer, especially important for extreme performance vehicles such as dirt bikes.

Find the Stainless Steel You Need

American Douglas Metals provides stainless steel in coils, sheets, blanks, piping and tubing to help you complete all of your transportation project needs. Our fabrication, manufacturing and distribution services help you save the time and money of working with multiple vendors and ensure your final product is the greatest quality metal working.

Learn more about American Douglas Metals’ flat-rolled stainless steel and carbon steel products today.

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Transformer Manufacturers Look to Reputable Component Providers as Solution for Increased Efficiency in Time-Sensitive Projects

American Douglas Metals is supplying Strip Aluminum as a component of distribution transformers to manufacturers who value quick and reliable delivery.

American Douglas Metals Assists Transformer Constructors who Value Reliability and Delivery Speed in Electricity Transfer Accessory Production

Orlando, FL – American Douglas Metals (ADM), a leader in metal distribution, processing and fabrication for commercial and industrial applications, is supplying Strip Aluminum as a component of distribution transformers used to serve electricity across cities, states and countries.

As distribution transformers deliver the final electric power conversion to homes, businesses and industrial properties, the manufacturers of these necessary products realize the factors of success in the industry—quick and reliable delivery of their transformer’s key components.

To better serve its customers, ADM stocks 1350 EC Strip Aluminum for faster delivery to their clients, in comparison to what could take up to six weeks of delivery from a company ordering from a producing mill or a mill directly.

Recently taking advantage of ADM’s commitment to this industry, Moloney Electric was awarded a five-year contract with Hydro One through their timely distribution of transformers, enabling Moloney Electric’s transformers to service the entire province of Ontario, Canada.

While the need for quickly completed projects rise to fill demands of various countries’ infrastructure growth, powerful and efficient distribution transformers are vital to companies’ profitability—reinforcing the requirements of timely order fulfillment.

“The 1350 EC Strip Aluminum is an integral part of every distribution transformer, acting as a crucial transformer winding to reduce voltage usage, increase production and save the company money and energy,” says Jeff Raimonde, Vice President of Marketing for American Douglas Metals. “We supply this key component in a timely fashion so our customers can avoid production delays based on unnecessary wait times associated with order fulfillment.”

With ADM’s commitment of the production and stocking of Strip Aluminum, its industry partners can expect high quality service and express shipping with the benefits and advantages of working with a trusted metals supplier. ADM is proud to provide specialized information about their products through dedication and expertise in the field of metal manufacturing.

About American Douglas Metals

American Douglas Metals (ADM) is a leader in metal distribution, processing and fabrication for commercial and industrial applications with three locations throughout the United States — Orlando, FL, Buffalo, NY, and Atlanta, GA. As a premier manufacturer and processor of aluminum and steel, ADM offers more than 300 years of combined experience in the metals industry, playing a vital role in the processing and supply of metal products for top industries in the U.S.

To learn more about American Douglas Metals visit http://www.AmericanDouglasMetals.com.

For More Information:

Vice President of Marketing
American Douglas Metals
Email: jraimonde@americandouglasmetals.com
Phone: 407.857.3290

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