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Page 1: Aluminium alloys   applications


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• Conductors in either the 1000 or 6000 series alloys are sensible technical alternatives to copper for all electrical conductors, even in domestic wiring.

• A very large proportion of overhead, high voltage, power lines utilise aluminium rather than copper as the conductor on weight grounds. The relatively low strength of these grades requires that they be reinforced by including a galvanised or aluminium coated high tensile steel wire in each strand.

• Aluminium alloys have a conductivity averaging 62% of the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS) but, because of its density, it can carry more than twice as much electricity as an equivalent weight of copper.

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• Aluminium and its alloys have been the prime material of construction for the aircraft industry throughout most of its history. Even today, when titanium and composites are growing in use, 70% of commercial civil aircraft airframes are made from aluminium alloys, and without aluminium civil aviation would not be economically viable.

• The combination of acceptable cost, low component mass (derived from its low density), appropriate mechanical properties, structural integrity and ease of fabrication are also attractive in other areas of transport. There are now very many examples of its use in commercial vessels, rail cars both passenger and freight, marine hulls and superstructures and military vessels.

• Volume car production now includes aluminium as engine castings, wheels, radiators and increasingly as body parts. For general production the 5000 and 6000 series alloys provide adequate strength combined with good corrosion resistance, high toughness and ease of welding. In aircraft the very strong 2000, 7000 and 8000 series alloys are preferred, and in military vessels the weldable 7000 series alloys can provide ballistic properties to match steel armour.

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• The successful use of the 1000 series alloys as foil for food wrapping and for containers utilises their good corrosion resistance and barrier properties against UV light, moisture and odour. Foil can be readily formed, attractively decorated and can be usefully combined with paper and plastic if required.

• The most significant use of aluminium in packaging has been in the production of beverage cans which incorporate the `easy open ring pull' in the lid. This has rapidly grown to some 15% of all aluminium consumption, one hundred thousand million cans a year!

• Cans for some food products, particularly fish, which also employ the easy opening facilities of aluminium, have been used for over sixty years. From a technical point of view there is no reason why more use should not be made of aluminium as a can material, to date costs seem to be the restraining factor. This may become less important in the future, see the section on recycling.

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• Aluminium is used in buildings for a wide spectrum of applications. These include roofing for factories which incorporate foil vapor barriers, windows and pre formed sheet cladding features, doors, canopies and fronts for shops and prestigious buildings, architectural hardware and fittings, rainwater goods and replacement windows.

• Aluminium structures and cladding are also used to refurbish many of the concrete structures built in the 1950-60's which are now showing signs of deterioration and spoiling.

• In building applications the durability of aluminum is of paramount importance. There are a number of good examples of the durability of aluminium which may be familiar to the reader including the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus, London erected in 1893 and the clad dome of the church of San Gioacchino in Rome installed in 1887. More recently the oil and gas industry has employed aluminium widely in offshore structures.

• The 1000, 3000, 5000 and 6000 wrought series alloys will perform, with no reduction of strength, without protection even in industrial and marine environments. They may however suffer some deterioration in their appearance and protection by painting or anodising can be advisable.

• Anodized films may be clear, to preserve the `aluminium' finish or in a limited range of colours. Painting offers a wider range of colours and an appearance similar to other painted metals.

• These finishing operations may also, of course, be used for purely decorative effects.

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• The applications outlined above account for some 85% of consumption. The remaining 15% are consist mainly of the following applications.

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• Compressed gas cylinders with capacities up to fifty litre capacity for storage and transportation of CO2, air, oxygen and special gases. The 6000 series alloys combine light weight, good corrosion resistance, compatibility with the product to be contained and mechanical toughness.

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• High tolerance components can be machined from the 2000 and 6000 series alloys. These alloys have additions of lead and bismuth which gives them machinability that approaches that of the free machining brasses.

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• Aluminium alloys are highly suited to ladders and access equipment due to their lightweight, corrosion resistance and toughness. The 6000 series extrusions in particular are used both industrially and domestically.

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• The 2000 and 7000 series alloys are used for golf clubs and trolleys, racquets for many sports, snooker and pool cues, ski poles, often employing spin off from aerospace technology.

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• Extrusions and roll formed sheet in the 6000 and 5000 series alloys provide good corrosion resistance and decorative ability.

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• The complexity and surface finish of extrusions in the 6000 series alloys coupled with the range of shapes from castings and the use of super plastically formed sheet allows designers almost unlimited scope.

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• This is a high purity 1000 series sheet product which has its surface electrochemically grained then anodized to generate the base to receive the coatings used by printers.

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• These alloys are used for boat building and shipbuilding, and other marine and salt-water sensitive shore applications.

• 5052 aluminium alloy

• 5059 aluminium alloy

• 5083 aluminium alloy

• 5086 aluminium alloy

• 6061 aluminium alloy

• 6063 aluminium alloy

• 4043, 5183, 6005A, 6082 also used in marine constructions and off shore applications.

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• 5052 is an aluminium alloy, primarily alloyed with magnesium and chromium. It has good workability, medium static strength, high fatigue strength, good weld ability, and very good corrosion resistance, especially in marine atmospheres. It also has the low density and excellent thermal conductivity common to all aluminium alloys. It is commonly used in sheet, plate and tube form.

• Typical applications include architecture, general sheet metal work, heat exchangers.

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• 5059 is an aluminium alloy, primarily alloyed with magnesium. It is not strengthened by heat treatment, instead becoming stronger due to strain hardening, or cold mechanical working of the material.

• Since heat treatment doesn't strongly affect the strength, 5059 can be readily welded and retain most of its mechanical strength.

• 5059 alloy was derived from closely related 5083 aluminium alloy by researchers at Corus Aluminum in 1999.

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• 5083 aluminium alloy is an aluminium alloy with magnesium and traces of manganese and chromium. It is highly resistant to attack by seawater and industrial chemicalsAlloy 5083 retains exceptional strength after welding. It has the highest strength of the non-heat treatable alloys, but is not recommended for use in temperatures in excess of 65°C. [edit]Applications

• Alloy 5083 is commonly used in:

• Shipbuilding

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• 5086 aluminium alloy

• 5086 is an aluminium alloy, primarily alloyed with magnesium. It is not strengthened by heat treatment, instead becoming stronger due to strain hardening, or cold mechanical working of the material.

• Since heat treatment doesn't strongly affect the strength, 5086 can be readily welded and retain most of its mechanical strength. The good results with welding and good corrosion properties in seawater make 5086 extremely popular for vessel gangways, building boat and yacht hulls

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• 6061 aluminium alloy

• 6061 is a precipitation hardening aluminium alloy, containing magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements. Originally called "Alloy 61S," it was developed in 1935. It has good mechanical properties and exhibits good weldability. It is one of the most common alloys of aluminium for general purpose use.

• It is commonly available in pre-tempered grades such as 6061-O (annealed) and tempered grades such as 6061-T6 (solutionized and artificially aged) and 6061-T651 (solutionized, stress-relieved stretched and artificially aged).

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• 6061 is commonly used for the following:• construction of aircraft structures, such as wings and fuselages, more commonly in 

homebuilt aircraft than commercial or military aircraft. 2024 alloy is somewhat stronger, but 6061 is more easily worked and remains resistant to corrosion even when the surface is abraded, which is not the case for 2024, which is usually used with a thin Alclad coating for corrosion resistance.

• yacht construction, including small utility boats.• automotive parts, such as wheel spacers.• the manufacture of aluminium cans for the packaging of foodstuffs and beverages.• SCUBA tanks (post 1995)• 6061-T6 is used for:• the construction of bicycle frames and components.• many fly fishing reels.

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• The famous Pioneer plaque was made of this particular alloy.

• the secondary chambers and baffle systems in firearm sound suppressors (primarily pistol suppressors for reduced weight and functionality), while the primary expansion chambers usually require 17-4PH or 303 stainless steel or titanium

• The upper and lower receivers of many AR-15 variants.

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• 6061 is highly weldable, for example using tungsten inert gas welding (TIG) or metal inert gas welding (MIG). Typically, after welding, the properties near the weld are those of 6061-O, a loss of strength of around 80%. The material can be re-heat-treated to restore -T4 or -T6 temper for the whole piece. After welding, the material can naturally age and restore some of its strength as well. Nevertheless, the Alcoa Structural Handbook recommends the design strength of the material adjacent to the weld to be taken as 11,000 psi without proper heat treatment after the weld.[citation needed] Typical filler material is 4043 or 5356.

• Extrusions• 6061 is an alloy used in the production of extrusions—long constant–cross-section

structural shapes produced by pushing metal through a shaped die.• Forgings• 6061 is an alloy that is suitable for hot forging. The billet is heated through

an induction furnace and forged using a closed die process. Automotive parts, ATV parts, and industrial parts are just some of the uses as a forging.

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• 6063 aluminium alloy

• From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

• AA 6063 is an aluminium alloy, with magnesium and silicon as the alloying elements. The standard controlling its composition is maintained by The Aluminum Association. It has generally good mechanical properties and is heat treatable and weldable. It is similar to the British aluminium alloy HE9.

• 6063 is mostly used in extruded shapes for architecture, particularly window frames, door frames, roofs, and sign frames. It is typically produced with very smooth surfaces fit for anodizing.

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• Aluminum structures can be lighter than steel structures, resulting in lighter vessels, which can increase performance and/or operating economy.

• Aluminum alloys are more corrosion resistant in typical marine applications.

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• Aluminum alloys are more difficult/expensive to weld.

• Aluminum alloys don't have the strengths levels of steel alloys. This must be accommodated in design.

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