ABS (Alcoa Business System)  The Alcoa Business System is an integrated set of systems, tools and language organized to encourage unencumbered transfer of knowledge across businesses and borders. It focuses on serving customer demand by emphasizing the elimination of all waste and making what the customer wants, when the customer wants it.

Alloy  A substance with metallic properties, composed of two or more chemical elements of which at least one is a metal. More specifically, aluminum plus one or more other elements, produced to have certain specific, desirable characteristics.

Alumina  Aluminum oxide produced from bauxite by an intricate chemical process. It is a white powdery material that looks like granulated sugar. Alumina is an intermediate step in the production of aluminum from bauxite and is also a valuable chemical on its own.

Aluminum foil  A flat-rolled product, rectangular in cross section, of thickness from 0.006"(0.15mm) to 0.00025"(0.006mm).

Aluminum plate  A flat-rolled product, rectangular in cross section, of thickness more than 0.250"(6.4mm) and with sheared or sawed edges.

Aluminum sheet  A rolled product, flat or coiled, rectangular in cross section, with thickness less than 0.250"(6.4mm) but not less than 0.006"(0.15mm) and with slit, sheared or sawed edges.

Aluminum Smelting Process  Aluminum is produced during an electrochemical reduction reaction in which aluminum oxide is dissolved in a bath of molten sodium aluminum fluoride (cryolite) at a temperature of 1,760 degrees Fahrenheit (960 degrees Celsius). An electric current is passed through the cell causing the reduction of alumina into primary aluminum metal. The entire process occurs in a steel furnace, or "pot". This pot is lined with a carbon layer that acts as the cathode of the smelting cell. A refractory layer isolates the carbon from the steel shell. After 5-8 years of operation, this cathode fails from a combination of factors such as erosion and cracking. When this happens, the pot is taken out of service and the lining is removed. Each pot contains up to 100 tons(90 metric tons) of a heterogeneous mixture of carbon, aluminum, sodium, fluoride, silica, calcium, and minor amounts of cyanide and iron.

Aluminum SpaceFrame  An integrated structure of aluminum castings and extruded parts that forms the primary body frame of a new generation of automobiles.

Anodizing  An electrochemical process for applying a protective or decorative coating to metal surfaces.

Bauxite  An ore from which alumina is extracted and from which aluminum is eventually smelted. Bauxite usually contains at least 45% alumina. About four pounds of bauxite are required to produce one pound of aluminum.

Brazing  Joining metals by flowing a thin layer of molten, nonferrous filler metal into the space between them.

Casting  The process of forming molten metal into a particular shape by pouring it into a mold and letting it harden.

Cold mill  The equipment on which aluminum is rolled into sheet or foil by passing it through pairs of rollers under pressure. In cold rolling, the incoming metal is normally at room temperature.

Continuous casting  A means of casting aluminum in which an ingot, billet, tube or other shape is continuously solidified and withdrawn while the molten metal is being poured, so that its length is not determined by mold dimensions.

Crossmember  Component of a vehicle structure that spans the structure, joining two sides together.

Engineered product  A basic aluminum fabricated product that has been mechanically altered to create special properties for specific purposes; forgings and extrusions are examples of engineered products.

Extractive industries  Industries that derive their principal raw materials from the earth: e.g., Alcoa produces aluminum from mined bauxite ore.

Extrusion  The process of shaping material by forcing it to flow through a shaped opening in a die.

Fabricate  To work a material into a finished state by machining, forming or joining.

Flat-rolled products  Aluminum plate, sheet or foil products made by passing ingot through pairs of rolls. By moving the rolls closer together and passing the ingot between them, the thickness is reduced and the length is increased.

Forging  A metal part worked to predetermined shape by one or more processes such as hammering, pressing or rolling.

Greenhouse gas emissions  Gases emitted from both natural and man-made sources such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor that absorb and radiate some of the sun's infrared energy.

Hydrate  An aluminum oxide with three molecules of chemically combined water.

Ingot  A cast form suitable for remelting or fabricating. An ingot may take many forms: some may be 30 feet(9 meters) long and weigh 15 tons(14 metric tons); others are notched or specially shaped for stacking and handling.

Lignite  A low-grade, brownish-black coal.

London Metal Exchange (LME)  The international trading body that facilitates the worldwide open market buying and selling of metals.

Magnesium  A light, silvery, moderately hard metallic element used in processing metals and chemicals, and in alloying aluminum to give it desired metallurgical properties.

Metric ton (mt)  A unit of mass and weight equal to 1,000 kilograms, or 2,204.6 pounds.

Micromill  Alcoa Micromill technology uses fully continuous casting and rolling processes to produce aluminum sheet with reduced capital investment, lower operating costs, and - for some products - superior metallurgical properties.

Mill products  Metal that has been fabricated into an intermediate form before being made into a finished product. The most common fabricating processes for aluminum are rolling, extruding, forging and casting. Example: aluminum sheet, a mill product, is used to make beverage cans, a finished product.

Pet  Polyethylene terephthalate A plastic commonly used to make bottles for beverages.

Pot  In aluminum production: the electrolytic reduction cell, commonly called a "pot," in which alumina dissolved in molten cryolite is reduced to metallic aluminum. A series of cells connected electrically is called a potline.

Refractory Lining  A heat-resistant ceramic insulation.

Smelt  To fuse or melt ore in order to extract or refine the metal it contains.