Lightweight and corrosion resistant, aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal. The physical properties of aluminum are ideal for usage in such industries as automotive, aerospace, and defense. But in other industries, such as construction and energy, it’s the thermal and electrical conductivity properties of aluminum that make it most appealing.

When it comes to aluminum plate, sheet or coil, picking the right grade for your application often comes down to answering two simple questions: What are the properties and where is it used? 

What grade should you use when selecting aluminum plate, sheet or coil?

When it comes to aluminum, picking the right grade for your application often comes down to answering two simple questions:

  1. What are the properties?
  2. Where is it used?

Let’s focus in on some non-heat treatable (common) alloys grades. In subsequent blogs, we will look at heat treatable (strong) alloys and cast aluminum plate.

 

1100
What are the properties: This commercially pure aluminum (99.00% minimum) has excellent corrosion resistance, workability and weldability,  as well as high conductivity. Its tensile strength ranges from 14 to 24 KSI and conforms to AMS QQ-A-250/1 and ASTM B209.

Where it’s used: 1100 is used in deep drawing, spinning, sheet metal work, decorative and architectural applications.

3003
What are the propertiesThis aluminum grade is alloyed with 1-2% manganese to provide a tensile strength range of 17 to 30 KSI. It has excellent workability, weldability and corrosion resistance, and conforms to AMS QQ-A-250/2 and ASTM B209.

Where it’s used: When a slightly higher strength grade than 1100 is necessary, 3003 is often the right fit. It is used for drawing, spinning, fuel tanks and sheet metal work, among other applications.

5005
What are the properties: Alloyed with .8% magnesium, 5005 has a tensile strength range of 18 to 30 KSI, and with excellent workability, weldability and corrosion resistance. This grade conforms to the Federal specification ASTM B209.

Where it’s used: This grade is specified for applications comparable to 1100 and 3003 where anodizing is required. Its anodized finish matches that of architectural alloy 6063.

5052
What are the properties: Alloyed with 2.5% magnesium, this grade has a tensile strength range of 31 to 44 KSI, with very good corrosion resistance, good workability, weldability and strength. This grade conforms to AMS QQ-A-250/8 and ASTM B209.

Where it’s used: Aircraft fuel tanks, storm shutters, refrigerator liners, utensils, electronic mounting plates and panels and fan blades are among the most common applications for 5052. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

5083
What are the properties: Alloyed with 4.45% magnesium, 0.65% manganese and 0.15% chromium, this grade has a tensile strength range of 40 to 59 KSI. This alloy conforms to ASTM B209 and AMS QQ-A-250/6.

Where it’s used: Structures that require high weld efficiency for maximum joint strength use 5083. Its light weight and corrosion resistance make it ideal for such applications as marine components, truck bodies, construction equipment, drilling rigs and cryogenics

5086
What are the properties: Alloyed with 4.0% magnesium, .45% manganese and 0.15% chromium, this alloy has a typical tensile strength range of 40 to 54 KSI. This alloy conforms to AMS QQ-A-250/7 and ASTM B209.

Where it’s used: With resistance to stress corrosion and superior resistance to atmospheric corrosion, along with good general workability, this alloy is used in such applications as stationary, trailer and rail car tanks, as well as marine components and all types of welded assemblies.

5454
What are the propertiesAlloyed with 2.7% magnesium, 0.8% manganese and 0.12% chromium, this alloy has tensile strength range of 36 to 47 KSI. It offers good formability, weldability and corrosion resistance and conforms to AMS QQ-A-250/10 and ASTM B209.

Where it’s used: Uses include pressure vessels (ASME code approved for up to 400 degrees F), tanks, dump truck bodies and welded structures.

 

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