You’re likely aware of the presence of pure aluminum in the primary chemical elements in the periodic table. If you’re concerned about the environment then you’re aware that aluminum has great recycling properties , as do steel and glass. It’s quite shocking that 75% of the aluminum used in the production process is still being used to this day.
The endless life-cycle of aluminium products provides a wealth of information about their impressive mechanical properties. But, making aluminum in its raw form is very labor-intensive. In case you’re not an welding or fabricator or manufacturer, there’s a slim chance that you’re aware of it is the Aluminum Association classifies aluminum alloys by their properties and composition. In this article we’ll talk about the significance of aluminum alloys as well as the diverse types of them, and the most commonly used applications.
The Evolution of Aluminum and its Impact on Everyday Life
It may seem odd It may seem odd, but the discovery of aluminum took place in 1807, but it wasn’t until early 1900s that a marketable manufacturing process was developed. At the time of its discovery it was as valuable as gold is today , and was used to make exquisite cutlery and jewelry. In the years following the discovery it was the subject of plenty of discussion about the origins of aluminum’s name as well as its manufacturing process. In 1845, an German scientist discovered the revolutionary property of aluminum that is lightness . In 1886, two metalurgists were able to dissolve an aluminum-oxide mixture in the cryolite. They then removed the aluminum by electrolysis. In the last quarter of the 1800s An Austrian scientist further improved the extraction of aluminum and soon it was one of the top items.
When the industry of manufacturing aluminum gained a foothold on the market, its production of aluminum in mass began to rise. For instance, the production of aluminum was just 200 tonnes in 1885 before exploding to over 22 million tons by 1998. Although it was initially a failure and the discovery of aluminum as well as subsequent attempts to make it economically accessible to the market shows how the mind of a human doesn’t stop until a dream is realized.
Aluminum is now an integral component of the manufacturing industry and provides equipment that is resistant to corrosion as well as the ability to withstand bending. In the automobile industry it has been utilized to make automobiles for more than hundred years. Kitchen appliances wouldn’t be as secure and safe to use without the inclusion of aluminum into the production process. The uses of aluminum can be found in every aspect of our lives and show the value of its properties when compared with other metals.
Types of Aluminum Alloys
Aluminum is a potent alternative to steel because the two metals share some of the same properties. Like steel, aluminum can be made up of a variety of other elements including manganese, copper magnesium, zinc, and manganese. This is why aluminum is classified into specific aluminum alloys which are further classified by an identification system that was developed through the Aluminum Association.
The aluminum alloys can be further classified according to their capacity to withstand the heat and chemical treatment. The two most well-known aluminum alloy types are cast and wrought aluminum. The wrought aluminum alloys are divided into non-heat-treatable heat-treatable.
The wrought-alloy designation system is made up of a four-digit identification procedure. The first digit identifies the element that is the main alloying component The second digit in the event that it is different from 0 indicates the change in the particular alloy the fourth and third digits are random numbers that are used to identify the particular alloy within the series. The heat treatable alloys can be strengthened with the help of extreme heat. This includes alloys from the 6xxx, 2xxx and the 7xxx series. The most commonly used methods used to treat heat treatable alloys are Solutions Heating Treatment as well as Artificial Aging. The alloys are typically heated up to a certain temperature in order to absorb elements then chilled to set they are placed in the proper place.
- 2xxx SeriesAluminum alloys to the 2xxx series comprise of copper that ranges between 0.7 to 6.8 percent. The main characteristics of these alloys are their strong and durable and they’re excellent at resisting extreme temperatures, especially in the aerospace and aviation industries. Some alloys aren’t weldable due to their susceptibility to stress corrosion.
- 6xx Series In addition to silicon and magnesium, this aluminum alloy series is used for welding fabrication. Magnesium and silicon are what make aluminum heat-treatable. However they are sensitive to cracks and should not be welded without filler material. The addition of filler material in the process of arc welding will stop any heat cracking issues.
- 7xxx series:This collection includes alloys that contain zinc and aluminum, and are among the most durable alloys. Like the 2xxx series, these types of alloys are able to be utilized in aerospace and aviation industries, but they are not suitable for arc welding.
Alloys of aluminum that cannot be heat-treated attain the best strength and mechanical properties through Strain Hardening that uses cold working to improve the strength of the material. This category of aluminum alloys includes alloys that are wrought in the 1xxx 3xxx and 5xxx series.
- 1xxx Series It is a series that contains alloys of aluminium in their pure form. Although they can be weld but their limited melting range necessitates special considerations in order to achieve a successful welding process. They are generally used for use in the chemical and piping tank manufacturing industries, but are generally not recommended for use in structural applications due to their inherently weak mechanical properties.
- 3xxx Series It is a series of manganese alloys and aluminum alloys which gives moderate strength, corrosion resistance and excellent shapeability. They’re strong enough to be used in high temperature applications particularly in kitchen manufacturing, automobiles and power plants.
- 5xxx SeriesWith magnesium as the principal alloying element, the alloys from this particular series are easily weldable, high-strength and are used primarily in shipbuilding, transportation bridge building as well as pressure vessels.
Cast aluminum alloys are both non-heat-treatable and heat-treatable alloys. This category includes aluminum alloys that belong to the 2xxxand 3xxx 4xxxand 7xxx series.
- 4xxx series:These are metals which comprise silicon and aluminum, and can be heat-treatable as well as non-heat-treatable. Since silicon decreases the melting point of aluminum and increases its fluidity, it can be mostly used as filler material. It also helps prevent brittleness as it is often improved with copper or magnesium. This makes this series of alloys ideal for welding wires as well as structural applications.
What to Look for in An Aluminum Service Center?
A reliable aluminum center should have the experience technology, equipment, and customer service available to help you in your aluminum alloy needs. There are different aluminum service centers that specialize in different alloys of aluminum dependent on the intended use however, the majority will provide the most commonly used series. If you’re working in the manufacturing sector and you’ve experienced it firsthand, aluminum is the most affordable and malleable, ductile and adaptable metal that can be used in a variety of applications. Aluminum is found within our houses, in aerospace and other structures that we see everyday, and the positive effects to society are tenfold.