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7 Things to Consider When Choosing an Aluminum Grade

Aluminium is a metal that is available in a variety of grades and specifications. To choose the aluminium grade you need to first consider your use of the metal. The application you intend to use this metal allows you to rank the specifications of each grade from high to low. This helps you in narrowing down the list of suitable grades. For instance, if your application desires good weldability and strength is not -your concern then Alloy 1100 is well-suited for your application as it is not typically used for high-strength or high-pressure applications but has good weldability.
Let’s get to know the seven important things you should consider while choosing an aluminium grade.

Check these factors while choosing an aluminium grade:

• Weldability
• Machining
• Formability or Workability
• Strength
• Corrosion Resistance
• Heat Treating
• Typical end-use applications

Is Formability or Workability an important factor?

Formability or Workability are the factors that come into the picture where the application requires excellent strength and fatigue resistance and where a good strength-to-weight ratio is desired. The applications which consider these two factors important are, for instance, aircraft structural components and parts for the transportation industry.
You can use a variety of aluminium products such as Rectangular Bar, Round Bar, Square Bar, Flat Sheet and Plate, Hexagonal Bar, and Square Tube. Other applications which demand good formability or workability are in the manufacturing of lawn furniture, Construction tube, luggage racks, and air cylinders.

Is Weldability an important factor for aluminium metal?

Weldability is ideal for applications involving intricate forming of metals because it work-hardens really slowly than any other alloys. If you opt for a commercially pure aluminium grade, such as Aluminum 1100, it will be soft and ductile and have excellent workability.
It is important to consider the weldability of aluminium to decide whether the metal suits the various applications or not. The applications which require good weldability are in the manufacturing of cooking utensils, awnings, siding, storage tanks, kitchen equipment, decorative trim, and chemical equipment. The 3003 general-purpose alloy, like most other aluminium alloys, has moderate strength, good corrosion resistance, and excellent weldability.

Is machining an important factor of Aluminum?

Machining is the cutting process which is done by using a cutting tool to remove small chips of material a metal. If a metal has good machining ability, then it requires little power to cut, can easily obtain a good finish, and can be cut quickly. These advantages of machining form a deciding factor while choosing the aluminium grade.
Machining of the material is considered when the applications require reliability, require less human labour, high production, increased profits and reduced efforts, increased accuracy, and improved efficiency. All these factors together make it important to check on the machining of the aluminium grade.

Is Corrosion Resistance an important deciding factor of Aluminum?

The corrosion resistance of aluminium refers to how well an aluminium metal can withstand damage caused by chemical reactions or oxidation. Hence it is necessary to consider this factor while selecting any aluminium grade.
For instance, marine atmosphere and saltwater corrosion require excellent corrosion resistance. Applications like aircraft components, home appliances, heavy-duty cooking utensils, marine, and transportation industry parts, and equipment for bulk processing food, also demand good corrosion resistance.

Is Heat Treating an important factor of the Aluminum?

Heat treatment is a process that uses heating or cooling to extreme temperatures to achieve desired results like hardening or softening of a material. Heat treating a metal increases the strength of the material, making it more flexible or ductile.
It is important to know whether a particular aluminium grade can be heat treated or not to select the right grade of aluminium.

Is Strength an important factor of Aluminum?

Strength is a measure of the stress that can be applied to material until it deforms or splits permanently (yield strength) (tensile strength). If the applied stress is less than the yield strength, when the stress is removed, the material returns to its original form. When the applied stress exceeds the yield power, there is plastic or permanent deformation, and once the load is removed, the material can no longer return to its original shape.

Typical end-use applications of Aluminum grades

The different grades of aluminium are used in a variety of applications such as General Machining, Metal Spinning and General Fabrication, Aerospace Applications, General Fabrication, Architectural Applications, Aerospace Applications, and so on.
So, to conclude, if your applications desire the best aluminium grade, you need to consider these above factors while you choose the grade. We hope this article helped you understand the factors of the selection of aluminium grade in a better way.

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