As a leading corporation in this field, in this blog post, we will take a look at the different types of aluminum and their uses in rapid prototyping. So what is aluminum and why should you use it in your designs? Keep reading to find out!
The Benefits of Aluminum for CNC Machining
CNC machining aluminum offers many advantages over other methods of machining this metal. Perhaps the most significant advantage is the fact that CNC machines can produce very accurate and precise parts. This is because CNC machines are controlled by computers, which can perform very precise movements.
Another advantage of CNC machining for aluminum is the fact that it is a very versatile process. This means that a wide variety of parts can be produced using CNC machines. In addition, CNC machining can produce aluminum parts with very intricate designs.
Different Types of Aluminum Grade
Aluminum alloys are widely suitable in engineering structures and components where light weight or corrosion resistance is required.
Alloys composed mostly of aluminum have been very important in aerospace manufacturing since the introduction of metal-skinned aircraft.
Aluminum alloys typically have an ultimate tensile strength ranging from 310 MPa (45,000 psi) to 690 MPa (100,000 psi).
There are many different types of aluminum alloys, each with its properties and applications. Here are a few of the most common:
Wrought Aluminum Alloys
These alloys are suitable for various applications that require good formability, weldability, and/or corrosion resistance. Examples include the popular 6061 alloy, which is often suitable for transportation and structural applications, and the 1000 series alloys, which are commonly suitable for chemical processing equipment.
Here is a list of the different types of aluminum alloys:
These alloys are almost pure aluminum, with a minimum aluminum content of 99%. They are very soft and ductile, making them ideal for applications where formability is important but strength is not critical. These alloys are often suitable for electrical conductivity applications, such as in transformer windings and bus bars.
These alloys contain copper as the primary alloying element and are known for their high strength and excellent fatigue resistance. They are commonly suitable for aerospace applications, such as aircraft wings and fuselage structures.
These alloys contain manganese as the primary alloying element and are known for their good corrosion resistance and moderate strength. They are often suitable for seawater applications and for manufacturing cooking utensils.
These alloys contain silicon as the primary alloying element and are known for their good welding characteristics. They are often suitable as filler material in welding applications.
These alloys contain magnesium as the primary alloying element and are known for their excellent corrosion resistance and good weldability. They are commonly suitable for marine and architectural applications, such as boat hulls and window frames.
These alloys contain both magnesium and silicon as the primary alloying elements and are known for their good formability, weldability, and corrosion resistance. They are commonly suitable for the manufacturing of bicycle frames, automotive components, and structural applications.
These alloys contain zinc as the primary alloying element and are known for their high strength and excellent fatigue resistance. They are commonly suitable for aerospace and defense applications, such as aircraft structural components and missile parts.
Cast Aluminum Alloys
These alloys are made by pouring molten aluminum into a mold to create the desired shape. They are typically suitable for auto parts and tools.
Heat-treatable Aluminum Alloys
These alloys can achieve a range of properties, such as increased strength or hardness. They are commonly suitable for aerospace and military applications.
These alloys have high strength and good corrosion resistance. They are often suitable for marine applications.
These alloys are among the most widely used, due to their combination of lightweight and good strength. They are commonly suitable for transportation applications, such as in cars and aircraft.
Commonly Used Types of Aluminum
1100 aluminum is also called pure aluminum or 99.0% ~99.9% aluminum, among the most widely used in the world. The 1100 aluminum sheet and 1100 aluminum coil are both available for various applications including chemical storage & containment, heat exchangers, electrical enclosures, architecture, stamping, and more.
3003 aluminum is a 3000 series aluminum alloy: the main alloying addition is manganese, and it is also commonly known as an anti-rust aluminum alloy.
3003 aluminum sheet metal is widely used in truck beds and trailers, as well as for storage tanks. The alloys in the 3000 series are easy to weld and have excellent corrosion resistance.
3105 aluminum is a wrought aluminum alloy with good corrosion resistance, weldability, and electrical conductivity. It also has good formability and machinability. It is often used in electrical applications because of its high conductivity.
3105 aluminum has good weldability and formability, making it a popular choice for use in electrical applications. It is also frequently used in architectural applications due to its corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal.
5052 aluminum is a 5000-series aluminum alloy: the main alloying addition is magnesium, and it is formulated for primary forming into wrought products. Typical applications include marine, automotive, and aerospace industries. In the as-fabricated (no temper or treatment) condition, it has good weldability.
6061 is one of the strongest aluminum alloys. Its strength-to-weight ratio is excellent, and it is also very resistant to corrosion. 6061 is widely used in the construction of aircraft and other structures where lightweight and strong structural integrity is required.
6063 aluminum is a precipitation-hardening alloy that combines very high strength with good formability. It has the highest strength of any 6000 series aluminum alloy. In addition, it has good weldability and corrosion resistance.
6063 aluminum can be heat treated to enhance its strength. However, it is not as strong as some other alloys in the 6000 series.6063 aluminum is mostly used in extruded products that have intricate designs.
These products include windows, doors, fencing, furniture, and railing. It is also used for pipe and tubing applications.
Aluminum 7075 is a high-strength alloy that contains zinc as the primary alloying element, with smaller amounts of magnesium, copper, and chromium. It has excellent mechanical properties, making it one of the strongest aluminum alloys available.
Aluminum 7075 has good resistance to fatigue and corrosion, making it ideal for use in aerospace and defense applications, such as aircraft structural components and missile parts.
It is also commonly used in the manufacturing of high-performance automobiles, bicycle frames, and other sports equipment where lightweight and strong materials are required.
Additionally, aluminum 7075 can be easily machined and welded, making it a versatile material for a wide range of applications.
How to Choose The Right Aluminum Alloys for Your Machining Needs?
Choosing the right types of aluminum alloy for machining can be a daunting task. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an aluminum alloy for your machining needs:
Machinability: Look for alloys with good machinability ratings, such as 6061 or 7075. These alloys have excellent chip formation and are easy to machine.
Strength: Consider the strength requirements of your application. Alloys like 2024 or 7075 are high-strength alloys that offer excellent mechanical properties.
Corrosion resistance: If your application will be exposed to harsh environments, choose an alloy with good corrosion resistance, such as 5052 or 6061.
Weldability: If welding will be required, select an alloy with good weldabilities, such as 6061 or 6063.
Cost: The cost of the aluminum alloy should also be considered, as some alloys are more expensive than others. Alloys like 5052 or 6061 are relatively inexpensive compared to high-strength alloys like 2024 or 7075.
Availability: Lastly, consider the availability of the alloy. Some alloys may not be readily available in the size or shape you need. It is always best to check with your supplier before making a final decision.
In conclusion, aluminum is a versatile material that has many benefits for CNC machining. It is important to choose right types of aluminum for your application, and our team can help you do just that. So do not hesitate to contact us! Thanks for reading.
What is Aluminum?
Aluminum is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic, ductile metal in the boron group.
Aluminum consists of a face-centered cubic (FCC) structure, in which each aluminum atom is bonded to 12 nearest neighbors. The aluminum surface has a low energy barrier for oxidation and reacts readily with oxygen in the air at room temperature to form an oxide film.
What Are The Properties of Aluminum?
Aluminum is a light metal with a silvery-white appearance and excellent corrosion resistance. It is also a good conductor of heat and electricity. Aluminum has many desirable properties, including:
Lightweight: Aluminum is a lightweight metal, with a density of only 2.7 g/cm³, making it an ideal material for applications where weight is a concern.
Corrosion-resistant: Aluminum has a natural oxide layer that forms on its surface, which protects it from corrosion in most environments.
Conductive: Aluminum is a good conductor of electricity and heat, making it useful in electrical and thermal applications.
Ductile: Aluminum is a ductile metal that can be easily formed into various shapes and sizes without cracking or breaking.
Non-magnetic: Aluminum is non-magnetic, which makes it ideal for use in electronic devices and MRI machines.
Reflective: Aluminum has a high reflectivity, which makes it useful in applications such as mirrors, reflectors, and solar panels.
Recyclable: Aluminum is 100% recyclable, and recycling it requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials.
What Are The Applications of Aluminum Parts?
Aluminum has a wide range of applications, due to its many positive properties. It is lightweight yet strong, making it ideal for use in air- and spacecraft. Its excellent conductivity makes it useful in electrical applications, and its resistance to corrosion means it can be used in a variety of settings, from food packaging to construction.
Some of the most common applications for aluminum parts include:
–Aerospace: Aluminum is often used in the construction of aircraft and spacecraft due to its light weight and strength.
-Automotive: Aluminum is used in cars and other vehicles for everything from the body to the engine.
-Construction: Aluminum is used in a variety of construction applications, from window frames to siding.
-Packaging: Aluminum foil and cans are commonly used to package food and other products.
-Electrical: Aluminum is used as an electrical conductor in a variety of settings.