Aluminum is a pure metal that is easily alloyed with small amounts of other materials like copper, manganese, silicone, or magnesium.
It is not magnetic or combustible and is a good conductor of electricity. Aluminum offers good corrosion resistance and is generally easy to form and process.
It comes in several different grades and is often used because of its weight. It weighs about 1/3 of other materials like iron, steel, copper, and brass.
It conducts heat well and is non-toxic making it a good choice in a variety of applications.
AL1060 is a wrought alloy with high electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, and workability but somewhat low mechanical strength.
It’s commonly used in electrical and chemical industries.
AL6063 is most often used for architectural applications or trimming. It has high tensile properties and offers good finish options.
It also offers high corrosion resistance and is a good option for anodized applications.
AL 6061 is the most flexible heat-treated alloy with excellent workability. It’s well suited to most processes and has good corrosion resistance.
AL 5052 is the highest strength non-heat-treated aluminum alloy and offers very good fatigue resistance.
Highly workable, AL 5052 can be formed into complex shapes and offers good saltwater corrosion resistance.
- Corrosion resistant and generally offers a maintenance-free finish
- Much lighter weight than alternatives like iron, steel, copper, and brass
- Great heat conductivity
- Nontoxic so it’s suitable for food exposure and other specialized applications
- Non-combustible and reflective so often used for lighting
- Good formability, workability, weldability and machineability
- More expensive than steel
- Steel is a better option where strength is a primary concern and weight isn’t an issue
- Some alloys are less corrosion resistant than a stainless steel option
- Can affect taste of food so it’s less common for food or cooking applications
Commonly used for:
- Window frames
- Aircraft and automotive parts
- Food packaging
- Electrical products
- Machinery and equipment