Aluminium

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Description


Aluminium is a relatively new material having only been commercially available since 1886. Compared to most other materials, aluminium has undergone a rapid development in its short existence as a usable metal. What was initially a decorative material with very limited properties has become a fully fledged engineering material with a vast array of properties making it suitable for an equally large array of applications. This transformation has been achieved through the development of a wide range of alloys, production processes and heat treatments.

Characteristics of Aluminium

  • High specific strength
  • High corrosion fatigue resistance
  • Low specific gravity (2.70g/cm3). Approximately one third of steel
  • Highly economic to recycle
  • Good electrical conductivity; about 60% that of copper but reduced by the presence of alloying elements
  • Non magnetic

Although available in a number of grades, aluminium can be divided into two major categories of wrought alloys:

Work hardening alloys:

(i.e. non heat treatable) Include commercially pure aluminium and the alloys including manganese or magnesium. The degree of work hardening is expressed as a temper H, with a number e.g. H22. These alloys can be fully or partly softened by annealing (at 350°-400°C).

Heat treatable or precipitation hardening alloys:

Include copper, magnesium, zinc and silicon as important constituents. Heat treatment can be used to increase strength especially those alloys with high magnesium content.

A complete range of extrusions suitable for machining, general engineering and architectural applications are available. For the machining market in particular, we carry a complete range of Speedal 2011 medium strength free machining and 6026 anodising quality free machining aluminium rod.

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