Types of Aluminum Alloys

Aluminum is a popular manufacturing material for its versatility. This corrosion-resistant element calls for minimal upkeep when included in designs for vehicles, electronics, wrappings and industrial machinery.

Businesses work with aluminum because it can be combined with other materials to heighten its natural qualities. With numerous types of aluminum alloys available today, opportunities for production are nearly endless once you know which configurations are appropriate for your industry.

What Is an Aluminum Alloy?

You can think of an aluminum alloy as a mixture of natural aluminum with at least one other material. These chemical creations give manufacturers the benefits of aluminum with the added traits of copper, manganese, silicon, magnesium, zinc and other elements.

Professionals categorize aluminum alloys using a four-digit coding system. The first number in the sequence communicates which metal was combined with natural aluminum. Review the details below to get a closer look at the differences between each aluminum alloy series:

Aluminum Alloy Series

  • 1000 Series: Alloy features at least 99% pure aluminum
  • 2000 Series: Copper
  • 3000 Series: Manganese
  • 4000 Series: Silicon
  • 5000 Series: Magnesium
  • 6000 Series: Magnesium and silicon
  • 7000 Series: Zinc

Types of Aluminum Alloys and Their Properties

Manufacturing projects require experts to select materials carefully so that a product functions as intended. Some aluminum alloys are heat-treatable to boost tensile strength while others are geared toward creating molds and castings.

1000 Series Aluminum Alloys

1000 Series aluminum alloys are useful in the creation of pipelines and chemical tanks. Manufacturers go with 1000 Series aluminum alloys because they combat corrosion and are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. This group of alloys can undergo welding in certain conditions and are considered excellent conductors of heat and electricity.

2000 Series Aluminum Alloys

2000 Series aluminum alloys contain copper, which is ideal for heat treatments. Common forms, such as 2024 aluminum plates, see a variety of uses in the aerospace industry. Exceptional yield strengths and machining capabilities make 2024 varieties perfect for computer parts and fittings.

3000 Series Aluminum Alloys

Manufacturers rely on 3000 Series aluminum alloys for the creation of heat exchange products. Everything from cookware to garage doors showcases 3000 Series alloys. The 3003 aluminum type is one of the most common materials used in the industry because it responds well to anodizing and exterior finishing.

4000 Series Aluminum Alloys

Businesses look to 4000 Series materials to make fillers and weld surfaces together. The silicon in the mixture lowers the melting point of the alloy, making it easy to turn into a liquid form.

5000 Series Aluminum Alloys

These alloys offer high tensile strength. Companies incorporate 5052 plates into bridge components, railings, vessels and mailboxes to fight inclement weather. A 5000 Series alloy gives the best of both worlds in terms of malleability and durability.

6000 Series Aluminum Alloys

6000 Series alloys are heat-treatable and often become parts of beams, bridges and other structures. You can find 6061 aluminum plates on construction sites across the country because manufacturers are able to cut, machine and weld this versatile material. Consumers find 6000 Series alloys within vehicle frames on account of their ability to handle changing temperatures.

7000 Series Aluminum Alloys

7000 Series alloys are heavy-duty and provide similar strength characteristics to steel. Professional builders encounter 7075 aluminum when assembling athletic equipment and aircraft parts.

Contact PBZ for Full-Service Manufacturing Projects

PBZ Manufacturing helps your business create metal products at lower costs. We’re a full-service company based out of Lititz, Pennsylvania, specializing in engineering, manufacturing, finishing, assembling and shipping metal goods. Trust our staff to handle your metal manufacturing endeavors from initial planning stages to project completion.

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