After stainless steel, aluminum is the most commonly used metal. It is used in many industries and for various purposes. From decorative items to mechanical parts, and even aircrafts, aluminum has a wide number of applications.
There are also many aluminum grades, mainly due to its properties such as a great strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistance. Another reason behind its popularity is the flexibility that allows creation of various alloys with slightly different properties.
The grades of aluminum indicate the alloying additives used. These alloys can include copper, silicon, manganese, zinc, or a mixture of these in different ratios. There is nearly an endless number of grades, but some are more common than others. Today, we will take a look at these common alloys and their applications in different industries.
The most commonly used aluminum alloy is 3003. It is mainly used in manufacturing utensils, aluminum storage tanks, and for architectural application. 3003 is pure aluminum with an addition of manganese that increases the strength up to 20 percent without compromising the flexibility. This is what keeps it highly workable. However, 3003 is not heat treatable. Another alloy 5005 is also used as a more refined alternative to 3003. With magnesium being the main alloying element, 5005 is slightly higher quality, but is not as commonly used due to higher cost.
As far as non-heat treatable alloys are concerned, this is the strongest one with great resistance against salt water corrosion. This makes it a foremost choice for marine parts and components. Higher quality home appliances are often created using this alloy. It is also used for manufacturing aircraft components and heavy duty cooking utensils. 5083 was later developed as an improvement on 5052. It offers many benefits such as better welding characteristics and design efficiency.
And then comes an array of heat treatable alloys led by the 6061. It is the most commonly used aluminum alloy in the construction and architecture industry. AMD Supply carries an array of 6061 supplies as t is workable, weldable, and has good cold formidability. All these properties make this a perfect grade for sheets, extrusions, tubes, pylons, and for department of transportation related applications. Another great property of this alloy is that it can easily be treated to a perfect finish.
While 6061 is used for architectural purposes, 6063 is the one officially crowned as the ‘architectural alloy’. It is the one commonly used in extrusions due to its high tensile properties and exceptional finishing characteristics. It is the alloy we commonly used in our extrusions and hardware at AMD Supply.
Get in touch to learn more about the aluminum products that AMD Supply carries and how we can help with your construction needs throughout South Florida and the Tampa / St. Petersburg, FL. area.