If you’re looking to start a new project soon that requires aluminum, you’ll definitely want to know a thing or two about the different types out there! The truth is, there are so many types of aluminum grades, and finding the right one can be a daunting task.
But hey— no need to stress! This article will cover everything you need to know about the different aluminum grades, their functions, and which ones are the best for your project. Keep reading to learn more!
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Some Quick Facts About Aluminum
Aluminum is an incredibly versatile type of metal. It’s used for a wide variety of projects and items, ranging from soda cans to aircraft parts.
One of the best things about aluminum is that can be alloyed, simply meaning that it can get combined with other metal types to make a stronger compound. Alloys are separated into ‘wrought’ and ‘cast’ alloys.
The main difference between the two is how much of another metal is in them. Cast alloys typically have anywhere from 22-70% other metals whereas wrought only has <4%.
The higher the percentage, the weaker the conductivity and less durable than the aluminum alloy is. Let’s now take a look at some of the different types of aluminum grades available today.
Aluminum Grade: 3003
The most widely-used metallic alloy in the nation, this metal is incredibly durable and great for tough projects. This is one of the primary materials in items such as garage doors, lawn furniture, and refrigerators.
What makes this grade so popular is how easy it is to weld. This has to do with it being combined with manganese. It’s also highly resistant to corrosion, though cannot be heat treated.
Aluminum Grade: 2024
A good runner-up to 3003 is 2024. You’ll see it in common types of bolts, computer parts, and even aircraft carriers.
This metal is fairly reliable, with a good mix of both strength and heat resistance. It isn’t too heavy either, making it one of the more versatile metals here.
Aluminum Grade: 5052
One of the lighter types of aluminum on the market, 5052 is generally used for smaller items such as kitchen utensils and mailboxes.
5052 is a compound alloy of magnesium and chromium. This special combination makes it light, easily bendable, and a great conductor of electricity.
Aluminum Grade: 7075
Out of all the grades on this list, 7075 takes #1 when it comes to strength. Because of it being combined with zinc, a strong metal, it becomes extremely tough to break and bend. So much so that it often rivals steel as a strong material at a generally cheaper price.
Bike frames, aircraft fittings, and other specific items are made from 7075.
Aluminum Grade: 6061
This is probably the most common type of aluminum alloy you’ll see, despite it not being the most widely used. It’s the primary material used for most pipes, sheets, and tubings across the region.
It’s also highly resistant to corrosion and easily weldable due to its high chromium content.
Where to Buy Different Types of Aluminum Grades
Unfortunately, shopping for different types of aluminum can prove to be a real challenge. The best thing you can do is to look for trusted aluminum suppliers and take a look at what their materials consist of.
For example, if you are looking for aluminum connectors, you’ll want to find something that fits the frame for the project you’re looking for. This guide serves as a way for you to measure which type is the best aluminum for your project.
Getting Started On Your Project
We hope this short guide helped you identify the different types of aluminum grades available on the market. Truthfully speaking, there are dozens more available, though those aren’t widely used.
Be sure to visit the technology section of our blog to learn more!