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7 Things to Consider When Choosing an Aluminium Grade


Aluminium comes in many different shapes and grades. The type of Aluminium grade you choose ultimately depends on how you intend to use the metal. Your intended use allows you to rank the characteristics of each grade from most important to least important. This will help you narrow down the list of suitable grades. For example, if weldability is most important to your project, but strength is not, it may make sense to choose Alloy 1050, as this Aluminium grade has excellent weldability, but is not typically used for high-strength or high-pressure applications.

Use the quick reference chart at the end of this article to quickly and easily find the aluminium grade that is right for you.

When choosing an aluminium grade, consider if the following are important factors:

  • Formability or Workability
  • Weldability
  • Machining
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Heat Treating
  • Strength
  • Typical end use applications

Is Formability or Workability (the fashioning parts through mechanical deformation) an important factor?

  • Alloy 1050 – Excellent Formability / Workability
  • Alloy 5083 – Excellent Formability / Workability
  • Alloy 6082 – Good Formability / Workability
  • Alloy 6083 – Good Formability / Workability

Is the Weldability of the Aluminium an important factor?

  • Alloy 1050 – Excellent Weldability
  • Alloy 5083 – Good Weldability
  • Alloy 6082 – Good Weldability
  • Alloy 6083 – Good Weldability

Is the Machining of the Aluminium an important factor?

  • Alloy 1050 – Poor Machinability
  • Alloy 5083 – Poor Machinability
  • Alloy 6082 – Good Machinability
  • Alloy 6083 – Good Machinability

Is Corrosion Resistance of the Aluminium an important factor?

  • Alloy 1050 – Excellent Corrosion Resistance
  • Alloy 5083 – Excellent Corrosion Resistance (Salt Water & Chemical)
  • Alloy 6082 – Excellent Corrosion Resistance
  • Alloy 6083 – Good Corrosion Resistance

Is Heat Treating of the Aluminium an important factor?

  • Alloy 1050 – Does not respond to Heat Treatment
  • Alloy 5083 – Does not respond to Heat Treatment
  • Alloy 6082 – Can be Heat Treated
  • Alloy 6083 – Can be Heat Treated

Is the Strength of the Aluminium an important factor?

  • Alloy 1050 – Not used for high-strength or high-pressure applications
  • Alloy 5083 – A high strength aluminum alloy
  • Alloy 6082 – Medium to high strength alloy
  • Alloy 6083 – Medium strength

Typical end use applications of Aluminium Grades:

  • Alloy 1050 – General Fabrication (maximum ductility)
  • Alloy 5083 – Structural and Marine Applications
  • Alloy 6082 – Structural Applications – General Fabrication
  • Alloy 6083 – Architectural Applications – General Fabrication

Quick Reference Chart – Choosing an Aluminium Grade

Formability or Workability Weldability Machining Corrosion Resistance Heat Treating Strength Typical Applications
Alloy 1050 Excellent Excellent Poor Excellent No Low General Fabrication
Alloy 5083 Excellent Good Poor Excellent No High Structural and Marine Applications
Alloy 6082 Good Good Good Excellent Yes Medium Structural Applications
Alloy 6083 Good Good Good Good Yes Medium Architectural Applications

Disclaimer: Please note this information is not to be used for design purposes, and in no event shall MSFFC be liable for any damages arising from the misuse of this information.


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