Choosing the right aluminium alloy can be hard if you are not that familiar with all its variety.

Depending of application from and requirements choosing can be difficult. What material is available and when? Is a custom dedicated alloy developed for you? If you are an engineer and choose different materials each day probably aluminium is not a material you know all about. Maybe you even let your supplier choose the alloy for you. How do you keep track of quality and remain supplier independent? Let alone be purchaser friendly and cost effective?

Specifying the material aluminium on your drawing or 3d model requires aluminium knowledge. Let me help you. At first which basic form will your part come from?

Like the logo of aluminium metal knowledge displays there are three basic variations of aluminium categories:

Plate, Profile and Castings.

Plates

Thin plates below 4 mm are mainly in 1000 series 3000 series and the strongest in 5000 series.

Profile

Bars and profiles are 2000, 6000 and 7000 alloys. Almost all profiles are made from 6000 alloys. Bars and strips can be 2000 and 7000 alloys as well. See aluminium extrusion alloys (DUTCH). Those alloys are also often used in additional processes like forging, hydroforming or machining.

Castings

Castings are made mostly from 4000 series alloys which have 5 digit numbers like AC 46000. Commonly used for high pressure die casting is EN AC-46200 and for sandcasting EN AC-43000.

Table Cast alloys

For more info see Cast alloys (DUTCH).

Second question is which requirement is crucial /most important?

Strength, elongation, corrosion resistance, malleability etc?

Depending on the number one and the order of the other aspects a number of alloys are suitable for the application.

Of course there are many more questions to consider specifying the right alloy for your application. You can contact me if you need help but before you do first answer this question:

Why is it difficult for you to specify the aluminium alloy? Two engineers will win free access to the online course via a raffle just by answering this question. Put you answer in the comment box bellow and I let you know if you are the winner. Every reaction receives the others questions you should consider designing an aluminium product by adding checklist in your comment.

Aluminium regards,
Ellen