Aluminium Alloys

Aluminium Alloys

Aluminium Alloys are used in a wide range of engineering structures. These alloys have varied mechanical properties and are classified to a number system (ANSI) or by names indication their alloying constituents (DIN and ISO). Through this system, the appropriate alloy can be selected according to a range of considerations, examples of which are tensile strength, density or weldability.

A designation is made of two parts – a four-digit number and a letter.

The four-digit number designation of an aluminium alloy describes the alloy itself, with the different parts of the number meaning different things:

  • First number – The major alloying elements
  • Second number – Variation of the alloy
  • Last two numbers – The specific alloy in the series

The letter designation of an aluminium alloy is the temper designation, of which there are 5 types:

  • F – As Fabricated
  • H – Strain Hardened (cold worked). There are 3 further designations from H1 to H3 depending on strain hardening process.
  • O – Full Soft (annealed)
  • T – Heat Treated. There are 10 further designations from T1 to T10 depending on method for heat treatment.
  • W – Solution Heat Treated

An example of a complete aluminium alloy designation is 6061-T6. From this designation it can be seen that it has Magnesium and Silicon as the alloying elements and is the 61st alloy in the 6000 series. T6 indicates that it has been heat treated and artificially aged.

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