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 weldablility and resistance to corrosion. 5052 aluminum also includes .25% chromium.

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

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:

5052 aluminum mechanical properties


What is the difference between 5052 and 6061 aluminum? 

6061 aluminum 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. 

What are the differences between 5052 and 3003 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 resistant to corrosion. This grade also features excellent workability and weldability. Common applications for 3003 aluminum include sheet metal work, commercial signage, and refrigerator liners. 

What are the applications of 5052 aluminum sheet?

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

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