When talking about aluminum alloy, it's important to know that it is a chemical composition that is obtained by blending one or more elements with pure aluminum. The mixing of aluminum with elements such as iron, silicon, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc helps to enhance the properties and strength of aluminum. These elements might take up to 15% percent of the total weight after the mixing process. The process of alloying is quite thorough and requires extensive mixing of these elements. An aluminum profile product is manufactured by following all the required steps to make them worthy.
When it comes to the characterization of the alloys, then it's a notable fact that they are allotted a four-digit number, in which the first digit denotes a general class, or series, characterized by its main alloying elements. All types of alloys can be identified on the basis of their unique class and series numbers so the operators can decide which class they would require for each application.
Here is a brief guide to the different series of commercially pure aluminum
The 1xxx series alloys contain 99% or more aluminum in their total substance. When we talk about the characteristics of these alloys, then it's a notable fact that they have excellent corrosion resistance along with greater thermal conductivity. The workability that these alloys offer is also excellent making them a suitable contender for different purposes.
The higher thermal conductivity and heat resistance makes them suitable for purposes related to electric transmission, or power grid, lines that connect the grids in different parts of the world. The four-digit numbers that are assigned to each alloy, in this case, might be 1350 for the electrical uses and 1100 for the trays that are used in food packaging. They are ideal for working as a seal for different containers and providing proper protection against leakage and atmospheric interference.
In the case of the 2xxx series, copper is used as the main alloying agent with aluminum. The blend can be strengthened by following the heat-solution procedures. The alloys, in this case, provide excellent toughness and strength, but they might fall short when it comes to atmospheric corrosion. They are often clad with high purity alloys 6xxx series alloy to obtain properties that provide better resist corrosion. The 2xxx series is often used in industries such as automobiles, where they are utilized in the bodies of various vehicles and in the making of electric wires as they have a considerably large amount of copper as a composite element.
3xxx series consists mainly of magnesium as it is used as the main alloying element with a small amount of manganese in some cases. The alloys in this series are excellent with workability and are commonly used in cooking utensils. The 3003 alloy offers moderate strength and excellent workability, making it suitable for various purposes. The most common usage of the alloy is in the case of the 3004 type of alloy, where they are used in the manufacturing of different beverage cans.
4xxx series are mixed with silicon that is often added to enhance the properties of the aluminum and to decrease the meting point as well. The distinguished properties allow the 4xxx alloys to provide excellent quality welding wire and brazing alloys where a lower melting point is needed. The most commonly used alloy is the Alloy 4043, which is used with the 6xxx series to improve the properties so they can be used for various structural purposes.
5xxx series alloys are one of the most effective and commonly used alloys with aluminum. Alloys featured in the 5xxx series have strength characteristics from moderate to high, including good weldability and corrosion resistance in different conditions. Due to their excellent characteristics, aluminum-magnesium alloys are commonly utilized in applications like the construction industry, storage tanks, and pressure vessels.
The commonly used alloys might include 5052 alloys for electronics, 5083 alloys for marine-related applications, anodized 5005 alloys for architectural applications, and 5182 is used to make aluminum beverage can lid, which is widely used in the commercial production of beverage cans on a global scale. They have excellent bending attributes that help them to certify as one of the most recycled alloys that are repetitively used in the making of food containers and beverage cans.
The 6xxx series are versatile in nature and are heat treatable in different circumstances. These alloys are highly formable and can be molded in different shapes depending on the need of the application. The amount of corrosion that they provide is exceptional, and that's what makes them compatible with the 2xxx series, where they lend them the required amount of corrosion in places where they lack.
The alloys in the 6xxx series contain elements such as silicon and magnesium for the purpose of creating magnesium silicide within the alloy. The extrusion products obtained from the 6xxx series are commonly used in structural and construction-related applications due to the excellent strength they offer in many cases. When we talk about the four-digit identity of these alloys, then one of the notable parts of this series is the alloy 6061, which is the most commonly used in applications like truck and marine frames. These alloys have also been used in some of the top-of-the-line iPhones in recent years.
When we talk about the 7xxx series, then it's notable that zinc is used as the main alloying element in this series, and magnesium is often added in small amounts when needed. The blend of zinc and magnesium results in an alloy with greater strength, making it mostly heat-treatable. The addition of various elements like chromium and copper might also be an option to enhance the properties, but they are added in a relatively small amount. The most widely used alloys are 7050 and 7075, which are commonly used in the aircraft industry. Some of the companies also use this alloy in their premium products, with the most known company being Apple which uses this alloy for the Apple Watch.