Aluminum Sheet Alloys

Aluminum sheet alloys are integral to numerous industries due to their versatility, strength, and corrosion resistance.
HDM provides an overview of the different series of aluminum alloys properties, and applications. Each class of aluminum sheet material can be tailored to specific engineering and manufacturing needs, from the highly pure 1xxx series to the advanced 8xxx series.
Understanding Aluminum Sheet Alloys
By HDM Team
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Non-Heat Treatable Sheet Alloy

Non-heat treatable aluminum sheet alloys gain strength through strain hardening, denoted as the H-temper process. This involves deforming the sheet at room temperature, enhancing its strength for applications requiring durability and formability, without altering its composition through heat. The H-temper designation indicates the level of hardness achieved, tailoring the alloy’s properties for specific uses.

1000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 1000 series aluminum alloys are favored for their:
Containing minimal impurities like silicon and iron, these aluminium sheets metal are also used in aluminum foils, decorative items, and chemical equipment for their ductility, corrosion resistance, and electrical properties.
Aluminum Conductive Sheet
Next, let us take a look at three of the commonly used 1 series aluminum sheet alloys: 1050, 1060, and 1100.

Aluminum Content

Mechanical Properties

Specific Uses

Commonly Tempers

99.5% aluminum. High purity for excellent formability, corrosion resistance, and conductivity.

Excellent cold workability; low to moderate strength.

Chemical processing, light reflectors, jewelry.

O, H1X, H2X, H3X

99.6% aluminum. Slight strength increases over 1050, with similar corrosion resistance and conductivity.

Better mechanical properties than 1050; high corrosion resistance and formability.

Electrical components, chemical equipment, decorative uses.

O, H14, H18, H22, H24

Min 99.0% aluminum. Notable for superior corrosion resistance, and workability.

Good weldability and formability; moderate strength. Noted for resistance to chemicals and weathering.

Food processing equipment, architecture, heat exchangers, decorative purposes. Superior weldability.

O, H112, H12, H14, H16, H18, H22, H24, H26, F

3000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 3000 series aluminum alloys are recognized for their:
Featuring a blend of aluminum with manganese, these aluminum sheets metal are widely used in applications demanding good formability and corrosion resistance such as cookware, automotive parts, and construction materials (e.g., roofing and siding).
Due to their compatibility with various contents, their corrosion resistance is particularly appreciated in the automotive industry for parts exposure and in the production of beverage cans.
Types of metal roofing
Next, let us take a look at three of the commonly used 3 series aluminum sheet alloys: 3003, 3004, and 3105.

Aluminum Content

Mechanical Properties

Specific Uses

Commonly Tempers

1.2% manganese, 98.6% aluminum. Moderate strength, excellent formability, and weldability.

Excellent formability and corrosion resistance; moderate strength. Ideal for sheet metal work, and fuel tank manufacturing.

Heat exchangers, cooking utensils, pressure vessels, general sheet metal work.

O, H1X, H2X

1.0% manganese, 98.8% aluminum, 1.0-1.5% magnesium. Slightly stronger than 3003, with good formability and corrosion resistance. Higher mechanical damage resistance.

Higher strength than 3003, good formability and weldability. For more demanding applications.

Beverage cans, residential siding, roofing.

O, H1X, H2X

0.5% manganese, 0.3% magnesium, 98.9% aluminum. Stronger than 3003/3004, durable, weather resistant. Good weldability.

Increased strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and formability. For outdoor architectural features.

Residential siding, mobile homes, rain-carrying goods. Outdoor applications.

O, H1X, H2X

5000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 5000 series aluminum alloys are distinguished by their:
With its strong corrosion resistance in saltwater environments, these sheets/plates are ideal for marine uses, ranging from recreational to naval vessels.
They offer significant weight savings (55 to 67%) over traditional materials in marine construction, which improves payload capacity and efficiency. Anodizing these alloys not only enhances their corrosion resistance but also increases design flexibility.
Marine Aluminum Sheets
Next, let us take a look at three of the commonly used 5 series aluminum sheet alloys: 5052, 5083, and 5754.

Aluminum Content

Mechanical Properties

Specific Uses

Commonly Tempers

2.5% magnesium, 0.25% chromium. Excellent corrosion resistance, good workability, and weldability.

Good fatigue strength, moderate to high strength. Easily formed, with excellent welding characteristics.

Fuel tanks, marine hardware, boat hulls, sheet metal work, architectural panels, signboards.

O, H1X, H2X

Primarily magnesium, with manganese and chromium. Exceptional strength and corrosion resistance in saltwater.

Highest strength among non-heat treatables, excellent thermal conductivity, resists stress corrosion cracking.

Shipbuilding, rail cars, vehicle bodies, tip truck bodies, mine skips & cages, pressure vessels, cryogenic tanks.

H11X, H3X

Higher magnesium content (~3%), great strength, and corrosion resistance. Excellent workability and weldability.

Higher mechanical strength than 5052, superior corrosion resistance in harsh environments.

Automotive body panels, frames, flooring, shipbuilding, harbor construction, marine applications.

O, H1X, H2X

8000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 8000 series aluminum alloys are characterized by their inclusion of elements such as lithium, magnesium, and copper, these alloys offer significant weight savings and superior performance in demanding applications. However, their specialized nature and the need for specific manufacturing processes can make them challenging to work with.

Heat Treatable Sheet Alloy

Heat-treatable aluminum sheet alloys are strengthened using the T-temper process, which involves controlled heating and cooling to alter the metal’s internal structure and improve its properties. This process enables precise adjustments to the alloy’s strength, ductility, and stress resistance.
The T-temper designation, followed by one or more digits, specifies the exact treatment sequence—such as solution heat treatment, quenching, and aging—to achieve the desired characteristics.

2000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 2000 series aluminum alloys are known for their:
Primarily alloyed with copper, these aluminum panels are distinguished by their machinability and toughness. They are particularly valued in the aerospace industry for parts such as fuselage frames and wing spars.
Additionally, their high strength-to-weight ratio makes them sought after in the defense, sports, and automotive sectors.
Aluminum Spacecraft Shell
Next, let us take a look at one of the commonly used 2 series aluminum sheet alloys: 2024.

Aluminum Content

Mechanical Properties

Specific Uses

Commonly Tempers

4.4% Cu, 1.5% Mg, 0.6% Mn. High strength-to-weight, reduced corrosion resistance. Moderately conductive.

High strength, excellent fatigue resistance. Harder, and requires protective coatings for corrosion.

Aerospace structures, military vehicles, structural applications, gears. Coatings improve corrosion resistance.

O, TX, T3X, T4X, T6X, T8X

6000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 6000 series aluminum alloys are recognized for their:
With these characteristics, these aluminium plates find extensive use in transportation, architecture, consumer goods, and electrical applications.
Their adaptability for bridge construction, window framing, and various structural components is particularly notable, benefiting from their strength, environmental resistance, and aesthetic qualities.
Aluminum-facades
Next, let us take a look at one of the commonly used 6 series aluminum sheet alloys: 6061, 6082

Aluminum Content

Mechanical Properties

Specific Uses

Commonly Tempers

Contains 1.0% magnesium, 0.6% silicon, 0.28% copper, and 0.2% chromium. Offers a mix of strength, weldability, and corrosion resistance.

Medium to high strength, good toughness, heat treatable. Offers a strong strength-to-weight ratio, with moderate conductivity.

Used in aircraft, yachts, automotive parts, and scuba tanks. Ideal for fabrication and marine applications due to its machinability and corrosion resistance.

O, F, T6, T651

7000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 7000 series aluminum alloys are renowned for their:
These aluminum plates including prominent ones are specifically designed to optimize performance, offering a high strength-to-weight ratio that makes them ideal for aerospace and sports equipment.
Aluminum Airplane Skin
Next, let us take a look at one of the commonly used 7 series aluminum sheet alloys: 7075.


Aluminum Content

Mechanical Properties

Specific Uses

Commonly Tempers

1.6% Cu, 2.5% Mg, 5.6% Zn, minor Si, Fe, Mn, Ti. Notably strong.

High strength, toughness, and strength-to-weight ratio. Heat treatable for improved performance, less corrosion resistant.

Used in aerospace, military aircraft, and missiles. Also in high-stress structures like gears, shafts, and bike parts. Ideal for demanding conditions.

O, T6, T651, T73, T74, T7X51

Partially Heat Treatable Aluminum Sheet Alloy

The 4 series of aluminum alloys have both heat-treatable and non-heat-treatable types, which can also be said to be partially heat-treatable aluminum alloys.

4000 Series Aluminum Sheet Alloys

The 4000 series aluminum alloys are celebrated for their:
The versatility of the 4000 series alloys extends to manufacturing welding rods and brazing aluminum sheets, lowering aluminum’s melting point for more effective welding and brazing.
This series supports a broad spectrum of industrial applications, and is the most common aluminum alloy of welding, combining durability with workability for both structural and specialized tasks.
brazing

Aluminum Alloy Chart

The following are the main types of aluminium alloys that HDM Company operates. This aluminum alloy chart shows what we support in various forms, tempers, and surface customizations:

Alloy

Characteristics

Common Applications

High electrical and thermal conductivity, excellent corrosion resistance

Electrical conductors, chemical processing equipment

Similar to 1050, with slightly less purity

General industrial applications where high corrosion resistance is needed

Excellent workability, corrosion resistance

Food processing industries, architectural applications

High strength, excellent machinability

Aerospace applications, military vehicles

High strength, good fatigue resistance, lower corrosion resistance

Aircraft fuselage and wings, truck wheels, suspension systems

High fracture toughness, good weldability

Aerospace, high-temperature applications

High strength, good resistance to wear and fatigue

Aerospace, automotive pistons

Good workability, weldability, corrosion resistance

General sheet metal work, tanks, architectural applications

Higher strength than 3003, good formability

Beverage cans, construction materials

Good corrosion resistance, high strength

Building exteriors, gutters, downspouts

High fluidity, low melting point

Heat exchangers, brazing applications

Good corrosion resistance, weldability

Architectural applications, decorative trims

High strength, excellent corrosion resistance

Marine environments, aircraft fuel tanks

High strength, good weldability

Shipbuilding, rail cars

High strength, good corrosion resistance in marine environments

Marine applications, pressure vessels

Good ductility, moderate strength

Marine environments, structural applications

High strength, excellent corrosion resistance, good weldability

Automotive body panels, marine and transport industry

Medium strength, good corrosion resistance, excellent aesthetic after anodizing

Architectural applications, frames, fittings

Versatile, weldable, high corrosion resistance

Structural applications, automotive parts

Versatile, weldable, with good corrosion resistance

Architectural structures, window frames, doors, and railings

Similar to 6061 with higher strength

Structural applications, bridges, cranes

High electrical conductivity, good corrosion resistance

Electrical applications, busbars

High strength, good weldability

Bicycle frames, sporting equipment

High strength, good weldability, resistance to cracking

Structural applications in harsh environments

High strength, resistance to stress corrosion cracking

Aircraft structures, military applications

Higher strength than 7050

High-stress aerospace components

Very high strength, good machinability

Aerospace, military applications

Good corrosion resistance, high strength

Cladding alloy

Very high strength, poor weldability

Aerospace, military applications

High strength, good formability

Food and pharmaceutical packaging

Good thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance

Foil wraps, pharmaceutical packaging

Similar to 8011 with better strength

Flexible packaging, battery shell

Excellent formability, good strength

Packaging, pharmaceutical foils

Aluminum Sheet Alloy Tempers and process

Aluminum alloys can be treated to achieve different tempers, categorized into five main types: O, F, H, T, and W.
These tempers describe the alloy’s mechanical properties and are achieved through various heat treatments and work hardening processes.
Tempers affect the alloy’s strength, ductility, and other physical properties.
The specific processes to achieve these tempers involve a combination of:
These processes alter the microstructure of the aluminum alloys, optimizing them for their intended use by adjusting properties such as hardness, strength, and elasticity.

Standards and Specifications

International standards such as ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), GB (Chinese National Standards), and EN (European Norm) play a crucial role in the global trade and manufacturing of aluminum alloy sheets.
These standards ensure uniformity in specifications, testing methodologies, and quality across different countries, facilitating international trade, manufacturing efficiency, and product reliability.
EN
iso
astm
gbt

Conclusion

HDM Company’s guide showcases the unparalleled versatility of aluminum sheet alloys, crucial for sectors such as aerospace and construction. We cover every alloy series, from 1xxx to 8xxx, highlighting their distinct characteristics and uses. Moving ahead, we’re keen on enhancing aluminum alloys through advances in recycling, high-vacuum die-casting, and computational technologies to create materials that are lighter, stronger, and eco-friendly.

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