Aluminum is the most abundant metal on the planet, making it an attractive alternative for architects. In addition, aluminum can alloy, a process that improves the properties of the base metal by adding small amounts of other metal “alloying” elements. Many aluminum alloy grades have been developed as a result of this alloying process.
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Let’s look at the four most important factors to consider when choosing an aluminum grade.
Formality and Workability
Workability of formality is the important factor when the application demands extraordinary strength and resistance to fatigue. For example, aircraft structural components and parts of the transportation industry are applications that emphasize these two aspects.
Rectangular bars, round bars, square bars, flat sheets and plates, hexagonal bars, and square tubes are some aluminum tools used. Lawn furniture, construction tubes, luggage racks, and air cylinders are examples of uses that require advanced structure or workability.
Alloys For Formability or Workability
- Alloys 1100, 3003 – Excellent
- Alloys 2011, 2024, 5052, 6061, 6063 – Good
- Alloy 7075 – Poor
Weldability is an important factor when choosing aluminum metal. Weldability is ideal for applications where the metal is in perfect shape and works much slower than other alloys. If you choose a commercially pure aluminum grade, such as the Aluminum 1100, it will be softer and easier to handle.
Weldability must be assessed by determining whether aluminum is suitable for different applications. For example, cooking utensils, annealing, siding, storage tanks, cooking utensils, decorative trimmers, and chemical tools are among the applications that require high weldability.
Alloys For Weldability
- Alloys 1100, 3003 – Excellent
- Alloys 5052, 6061, 6063 – Good
- Alloys 2011, 2024, 7075 – Poor
Machining is a cutting process that involves removing small pieces of metal from a cutting tool. If a metal has strong machining capabilities, it can be cut with minimal strength, good finishing, and very short. These machining advantages are the deciding factor when choosing an aluminum grade.
Material machining is sought when applications rely on low human labor, high productivity, high profits and reduced effort, increased accuracy, and better performance. All these elements together make it important to inspect the aluminum grade machine.
Alloys For Machining
- Alloys 2011 – Excellent
- Alloys 1100, 3003, 6061 – Good
- Alloys 2024, 5052, 6063, 7075 – Fair
Corrosion resistance refers to an aluminum metal’s ability to withstand damage induced by chemical reactions or oxidation. As a result, this element must be considered while choosing an aluminum grade.
For example, marine environments and brackish water corrosion require high corrosion resistance. Corrosion resistance is also required in applications such as aviation components, household appliances, heavy-duty cooking utensils, marine and transport segment parts, and bulk food processing equipment. Alloys 1100, alloys 5052, alloys 6061 have the best corrosion resistance.
Alloys For Corrosion Resistance
- Alloys 1100, 5052, 6061 – Excellent
- Alloys 3003, 6063 – Good
- Alloy 7075 – Average
- Alloys 2011, 2024 – Poor
If your applications require a maximum aluminum grade, you should consider the above variables when choosing a grade. Hopefully, this blog gives you a better understanding of choosing the grade of aluminum.