What Aluminum Grade Should I Use?

Aluminum is one of the most commonly used metals in everything from industrial to non-industrial applications. However, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which grade of aluminum available is best for your specific need or application. Factors such as physical or structural demands, as well as aesthetics, are all things that need to be considered when deciding which grade of aluminum is best for you to use.

Here is a quick breakdown of the different aluminum grades. This can help you make a quick decision on which grade might be best for your current project needs.

Alloy 1100: Commercial-grade, pure aluminum.

Alloy 2011: Excellent machining capabilities, often known as free-machining alloy, or FMA.

Alloy 2014: This copper-based alloy is very strong and has great machining capabilities. This is mostly used in aerospace structures.

Alloy 2024: A very commonly used alloy. Great for a strength-to-weight ratio.

Alloy 3003: One of the most-used alloys of them all. This is commercially pure with manganese added in order to make it about 20 percent stronger than other alloys. It is workable and has high corrosion resistance.

Alloy 5052: For non-heat-treatable alloys, this has one of the highest strength ratios. It has a high fatigue strength, and great resistance to marine atmospheres thanks to its resistance to saltwater corrosion.

Alloy 6061: A very versatile, heat-treatable alloy, this has great resistance to corrosion and can be fabricated using a lot of the most common techniques out there. This is great to use when the appearance of your product is of great importance thanks to its combo of strength and corrosion resistance.

Alloy 6063: Known as the architectural alloy, this high tensile, excellent-finishing alloy has a high resistance to corrosion and can be found in a lot of architecture through applications and trim.

Alloy 7075: One of the strongest alloys available, this alloy has one of the best strength-to-weight ratios making it one of the ideal aluminum for highly stressed parts.

This article was written by Bob Elliot, Bob is the sales/design consultant for Pyramid Aluminum Inc. Pyramid Aluminum Inc is dedicated to providing installation designed with an eye to detail and built for the long-lasting value our clients deserve. We are fully equipped to handle any project in the Tampa Bay area. Residential or commercial, no job is too large or too small!


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