Tough enough to hold up on fuel tanks yet adaptable enough to be used in utensils and fan blades, what makes 5052 aluminum such a versatile alloy?

Let’s start with the basics. 5052 aluminum is:

• Part of the 5xxx series of aluminum. Grades in this family are alloyed using magnesium (2.5%) and possess moderate-to-high strength characteristics. These grades are considered to have good weldability and resistance to corrosion. 5052 aluminum also includes .25% chromium.

• A non-heat-treatable standard aluminum alloy, which means it's strengthened through cold-working. Cold-working is “working” (e.g., rolling or forging methods) the metal to make it stronger.

What is 5052 aluminum 

Properties of Aluminum

Aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal available in a wide selection of alloys and tempers.


The difference it makes:

Light weight

This is ideal is such industries as automotive and transportation, helping improve fuel economy and increase payload.


Corrosion resistant

When exposed to atmospheric conditions, aluminum forms a thin layer of aluminum oxide. This protects the material from corrosion caused by oxygen, moisture, and various chemicals.


Easily formed

Aluminum can be easily formed. For example, grade 3003 aluminum has excellent formability. Other grades such as 5052, 6061, 6063 have good formability.


Highly conductive

Heat moves quickly through aluminum, which is ideal for exchangers, heat sinks, cooling vanes, plastic injection molds, and process vessels.



Commercially pure aluminum has a tensile strength of 13 KSI. Through cold working methods and/or the addition of alloying elements, the strength of aluminum can read 100 KSI for use in structural applications.


What is Aluminum Used For?

From solar panels to transportation applications, aluminum is essential everywhere in modern society.

Lightweight and corrosion resistant with the ability to be easily formed, aluminum can help reduce costs and improve product performance in many applications.

Across all industries, aluminum’s infinite recyclability supports sustainable manufacturing and helps improve energy efficiency.




             Heavy Industrial


How strong is 5052 aluminum?

Overall metal strength is measured by factoring together yield strength and tensile strength. Yield strength looks at the strength of a metal’s shape; measuring the point at which it permanently deforms. Tensile strength (also referred to as ultimate strength) measures the level at which metal can be stretched before it breaks.
The strength of 5052 aluminum is also determined by temper and is broken down as follows:
Strength, KSI Tension Elong. In 2" Brinell Hardness (500kg load; 10mm ball.) Ultimate Shear Strenght, KSI Endurance* Limit, KSI Mod. ** of Elast. KSIx10***
Ultimate Yield 1/16" Th. 1/2" Th.
5052-0 28 13 25 30 47 18 16 10.2
5052-H32 33 28 12 18 60 20 17 10.2
5052-H34 38 31 10 14 68 21 18 10.2
5052-H36 40 35 8 10 73 23 19 10.2
5052-H38 42 37 7 8 77 24 20 10.2

5052 Aluminum vs. 6061: What are the Differences? 

You may have wondered, what is the difference between 5052 and 6061 aluminum. Let's start with the basics of 6061 aluminum, which is one of the most common grades of aluminum sheet used in the market.

The primary alloying elements of 6061 aluminum are magnesium (1.0%) and silicon (0.6%). This makes it a heat-treatable alloy, thus stronger than 5052 aluminum. It also features high resistance to stress and cracking as well as good formability and weldability.

Due to its strength, 6061 aluminum is used in structural and engineering applications. However, 5052 aluminum is more formable than 6061 aluminum.


5052 Aluminum vs. 3003: What are the Differences?

What is the difference between 3003 and 5052 aluminum? 3003 aluminum is alloyed with 1.2% manganese. While more malleable and formable than 5052 aluminum, it is not as strong (tensile strength 17 to 30 KSI vs. 31 to 41 KSI).

Due to the presence of copper, 3003 aluminum is highly corrosion resistant. This grade also features excellent workability and weldability. Typical applications for 3003 aluminum include sheet metal work, commercial signage, and refrigerator liners.


What is 5052 aluminum used for?

Common applications for 5052 aluminum sheet include highway and road signs, marine boats, and fuel tanks. 

Ready to purchase 5052 aluminum sheet?

Check out our inventory of 5052 aluminum sheet here.


Ryerson: The Metal Supplier of Choice

Ryerson is a leading North American metal supplier that provides more than just metal. We respond to the ever-changing needs of manufacturing today.

With a vast inventory of steelstainlessaluminumalloy, and more, we are committed to providing our customers with the metal and services they need to succeed. We stock a range of shapes and sizes, or we can provide processing and fabrication for every product we sell.

Order online at for comprehensive pricing and fast delivery, or contact us today to learn more about how we can meet your metal needs.