The grade of a metal basically refers to the differences in composition it may have. Whilst the metal in question is fundamentally the same, there can be slight differences in the composition (such as the percentage of impurities, other metals, etc.) that can directly affect its physical and chemical properties. As such, the grade is a very important consideration that a buyer must make before they place their order.
When it comes to aluminium, its different grades can render the metal better suited to welding thanks to better workability and formability, or they can improve its strength and resistance to pressure. Aluminium suppliers will often store eight different grades of aluminium alloys, with each possessing different advantages and disadvantages. Briefly explained, they are as follows:
Alloy 1100 – this grade of aluminium is basically ‘pure aluminium’ in the commercial sense (i.e. it still contains other metals and impurities, but it is the closest to being one hundred percent aluminium). As a soft alloy, this grade of the metal makes it ideal for welding, as it is easily shaped. It is also very resistant to corrosion, and is therefore mainly used in the food industries and other scientific industries which see the metal often come into contact with other chemicals.
Alloy 2011 – Whilst the opposite of the 1100 series in terms of weldability and corrosion-resistance, the 2011 grade of aluminium boasts of high strength and machining properties. This makes this specific variety of aluminium ideal in the construction industry and for projects that require intricate and complex details.
Alloy 2024 – as one of the most popular grades of high-strength aluminium, the 2024 series is quite similar in prospects to the former, from its high strength to poor weldability and resistance to corrosion. In occasions where corrosion-resistant properties are required, this specific variety of aluminium is often coated with either an anodized finish or with a thin coating of the 1100 grade pure aluminium to improve its resistance. Visit https://www.airportmetals.com.au/sheet/
Alloy 3003 – this is the most common grade of aluminium that is currently being used. It is produced with the inclusion manganese (around twenty percent or so of the composition) in order to boost its strength. This specific variety also has corrosion-resistant properties on par with the 1100 series, making it also a popular option for chemical appliances.
Alloy 5052 – the 5052 grade of aluminium is often used in coastal areas and in underwater settings, due to the fact that it has a high resistance to salt water corrosion and the general humid atmosphere of the coastal regions. Its strength is higher than pure 6061 T6 aluminum plate, but lower than the 2024 and 3003 series.
Alloy 6061 – as one of the heat-treatable varieties of aluminium, the 6061 grade allows for the fabrication of different shapes and sizes (which often come with rounded corners), whilst maintaining a decent amount of the original properties of aluminium. As such, the 6061 t6 aluminum grade is one of the most commonly used varieties with regards to structural applications.
Alloy 6063 – this grade of aluminium is also called an ‘architectural alloy’ due to the fact that it is mainly used in architecture. Together with the 5052 and 6061 series, it provides all-around decent properties.
Alloy 7075 – finally, the 7075 grade is arguably the strongest of the aluminium grades, and is often used where the capability to withstand to high amounts of pressure is required, such as in the case of aerospace applications.