Aluminum is a non-ferromagnetic metal with very useful and interesting properties. This is a low density metal but very resistant to corrosion. It is a good conductor of electricity and heat, easy recycling and extended service life. It’s a very abundant in natural environments and has a recycling process simple and fast. For these reasons, aluminum is a metal with a very low cost and performance spacious.
It can be used in pure form or in alloys. The most common and important alloys are made with copper, magnesium, zinc, silicon, titanium and chromium. All of which improve the mechanical properties of aluminum.
The most common forms of work are extrusion, casting and machining. For extrusion, an special shape is obtained by introducing the raw material through an opening. This opening will be designed according to the desired shape of the final piece. The aluminum is melted by three different casting processes: sand mold casting, injection molding or metal mold casting. These processes have several steps that must always end with a post-treatment to improve the properties. Finally, the aluminum shape the machining by chip pulling.
Aluminum is the most demanded materials to iron and steel. It is used in industry, in aeronautics, electrical, automotive, boiler ... Its most visible is in the home.
There are two principal classification criteria according to the capability for heat treatment and the purpose of the alloy (casting and wrought).
The main alloying elements are as follows:
- 1XXX series: High aluminium content
- 2XXX series: Al-Cu
- 3XXX series: Al-Mn
- 4XXX series: Al-Si
- 5XXX series: Al-Mg
- 6XXX series: Al-Mg-Si
- 7XXX series: Al-Zn
- 8XXX series: Al-Others
Norms: EN 573, EN 485, EN 486, EN 487, EN 515, EN 546, EN 576, EN 754, EN 1706, DIN 1712, DIN 1783, DIN 1798