Ask aluminium suppliers who know the ropes
If you want to know the ins and outs of Aluminium grades, here’s some information straight from the horse’s mouth, from respected aluminium suppliers who deal in the metal day in, day out, in all its considerable variety.
Aluminium Grades – 1 series
Grades 1050, 1060, 1100, 1145, 1200, 1230, 1350 and so on all have really good resistance to corrosion. They also have:
• high thermal conductivity
• high electrical conductivity
• low mechanical properties
• great workability
If you want extra strength, it can be achieved via strain hardening.
Aluminium Grades – 2 series
Alloy grades 2011, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2124, 2219 and so on all need special solution heat treatment to optimise their properties, after which they behave very much like low-carbon steel.
As experienced aluminium suppliers, we know that precipitation heat treatment, also called aging, can boost its mechanical properties even more, with better yield strength and less elongation loss. The tensile strength, however, doesn’t change much.
• They have less effective resistance than most aluminium alloys
• They can suffer inter-granular corrosion
• They’re great for parts needing good strength up to 150°C (300°F)
• They are not very good for welding, except grade 2219
• Some have extra-good machinability
Aluminium Grades – series 3
3003, 3004, 3105, 383.0 and so on aren’t usually heat treatable, but they have around 20% more strength than the 1 series.
Aluminium Grades – series 4
The primary alloying element in this series, which includes 4032, 4043, 4145, 4643 and so on, is silicon. Add 12% silicon and you get a dramatically lower melting range.
Aluminium Grades – series 5
Magnesium is this series’ biggest alloying element, and manganese is the best hardener. Alloys in this series include 5005, 5052, 5083 and 5086, all of which have great welding characteristics. They are also resistant to marine corrosion, but it depends on limiting the amount of cold work and permitted operating temperatures. Go too high and it becomes susceptible to stress-corrosion cracks.
Aluminium Grades – series 6
The 6 series includes 6061 and 6063, rich in silicon and magnesium which makes them heat treatable. They’re not as strong as 2 and 7 alloys but display good formability, weldability, machinability and corrosion resistance, with medium strength.
Aluminium Grades – series 7
1-8% zinc content and a small amount of magnesium makes the 7m series, which includes grades 7075, 7050, 7049 and 710.0, heat treatable to a high strength. Copper and chromium can also be added in small amounts.
The highest-strength alloys in the series are less resistant to stress-corrosion cracking, but you can achieve more strength, corrosion resistance and fracture toughness by over-aging the temper.
Aluminium Grades – series 8
The 8 series, including 8006; 8111, 8079, 850.0, 851.0 and so on, employs iron and nickel to improve the metal’s strength without losing conductivity.
If you want to know more, or want to hand over the decision process to top aluminium suppliers, UK based and with the breadth of expertise you need, we’ll be delighted to help.
The latest from the blog.