Aluminum is a flexible and versatile material, is suitable for all plastic processes and is very useful in a wide range of industrial sectors. Over one hundred years have passed since its earliest industrialization to the present, there are many different available alloys and each is indicated for specific uses. Profall, a leading aluminum processing company, can guide you through choosing the best alloy for your needs.
Each process has its own aluminum alloy
What makes aluminum so versatile? Almost all metals are soluble in aluminum, meaning that its limited mechanical characteristics (aluminum created through an electrolytic process, used above all in the decorative sector due to its high purity level) can be overcome and improved significantly through the addition of alloy elements, also used in combination with one another to form complex alloys.
These operations can correct, change or improve some properties of aluminum, such as, for example, facilitating processing, conductibility and various types of resistance. Every alloy has different characteristics, but those used mainly for extrusion can be grouped into three macro categories:
Series 1000 alloys
The first aluminum alloys are those of the 1000 series, formed by almost totally pure aluminum, in percentages starting from a minimum of 99.5%. These have high resistance to corrosion, excellent electrical and thermal conductibility and are easy to process. They have very low quality in terms of mechanical characteristics.
Series 3000 alloys
The second category of aluminum alloys are those in the 3000 series, in which the primary alloy element is Manganese. This aluminum alloy has improved mechanical resistance in combination with high resistance to corrosion, rendering aluminum from this series widely used in the automotive and heat exchanger sectors.
In addition, aluminum from the 3000 series is also used for coatings, coverings and equipment for the chemical and food sectors, containers for foods and beverage cans.
Series 6000 alloys
Alloys containing combinations of silica, manganese and magnesium are the 6000 series alloys, also known by the commercial name Anticorodal®, and are heat treated alloys. They have good mechanical characteristics, can be machined, welded and processed. These alloys are very useful for welded structures in general, and they are usually used to obtain extruded products, with magnesium and manganese kept under 1.5% in weight.
These aluminum alloys are used for the most part for custom designed extrusions and all mechanically processed components.
Which alloy do you need?
Profall produces its aluminum extrusions using alloys that can be defined as "light soft" alloys, in particular: