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Aluminum Alloys: Preferred Materials for Automotive, Aerospace, And Beyond

Views: 50     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-04-10      Origin: Site


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Aluminum is a common and popular metal, ubiquitous in various parts and products. We will explore why aluminum is so widely used, the abundance of aluminum alloys, and briefly introduce the primary alloys we use at Zonze.


Aluminum, a common and highly sought-after metal, finds its place in a wide array of products, including automotive components, aerospace parts, marine and maritime equipment, consumer electronics such as smartphones, industrial machinery, heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, and more. Engineers and product designers frequently turn to aluminum and its alloys for prototyping and final-purpose parts design.

Why is Aluminium so popular?

Aluminum boasts a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it lightweight yet robust and flexible. It's cost-effective, corrosion-resistant, and performs well in a variety of applications. Due to its versatility, aluminum alloys are commonly used in automobiles. Its formability and corrosion resistance make it easy to process and shape, while its structural integrity meets crucial requirements for vehicle bodies. Strength is vital, but car bodies must be lightweight, cost-effective, rust-resistant, and possess attractive qualities consumers desire, such as excellent surface treatment characteristics. Aluminum fits these requirements perfectly.


The same applies to aerospace components. Aluminum alloys are typically the preferred material for aerospace design and engineering requirements due to aluminum's corrosion resistance and high strength capabilities. Compared to steel, it's a lightweight choice, making it an ideal material for a wide range of aircraft components and aerospace applications. Lightweighting is a core requirement for both the automotive and aerospace industries. It aids in emission reduction and meets enhanced fuel economy standards.

In aerospace, the use of aluminum alloys significantly reduces the weight of aircraft, as it is much lighter than steel, enabling aircraft to carry more weight or improve fuel efficiency. Weight reduction is closely tied to fuel efficiency. Along these lines, common applications in aerospace abound—many but not all of which are metallic: fuel delivery, heat exchangers, manifolds, turbo pumps, fluid and gas flow components, conformal cooling channels, fasteners, and more.

So why are there so many metal alloys?

Aluminum, as a pure element, possesses many desirable characteristics. However, on its own, aluminum may not be sufficient for high-durability uses or purposes. Aluminum can be combined with other elements to form alloys, which are more durable and better suited for industrial applications.


What do the numbers in alloy names represent? In Europe, there are four common methods for classifying metals: EN Standard, Temper condition, EN 10027 / DIN 1745, and ISO.

Aluminium 6082-T651 | 3.2315 | AlSi1MgMn

One of the most commonly used aluminum alloys at Zonze, if you're in need of a versatile all-rounder, this is a solid choice. Aluminum 6082 is utilized for CNC machining and is often selected for its weldability or brazing capabilities, as well as its high corrosion resistance at all temperatures. It exhibits excellent formability in the O temper condition, good in the T4 temper condition, and even stronger in the T6 temper condition. It finds applications in aerospace, automotive components, marine gears, furniture, consumer electronics, sports equipment, and more. Primarily aluminum, alloyed with up to 6.1% zinc, 2.9% magnesium, 2% copper, and other elements.

Aluminium 5083-H111 | 3.3547 | AlMg4.5Mn0.7

This alloy boasts excellent machinability, superb corrosion resistance, high fatigue strength, weldability, and moderate strength. These qualities make it highly suitable for aircraft fuel/oil pipes, tanks, other transportation sectors, automotive, marine, appliances and lighting, wiring, and rivets. Primarily aluminum, alloyed with up to 4.9% magnesium, 1% manganese, 0.4% iron, and other elements.

Aluminium 7075-T7351 | 3.4365 | AlZn5.5MgCu

The alloy undergoes solution heat treatment, followed by specialized artificial aging, to resist stress corrosion. By undergoing T6 and over-aging, it may lose some strength but gains toughness. This makes it more durable, particularly suitable for aerospace, satellite, and extremely low-temperature applications such as cryogenics.


Aluminium 7075-T651 | 3.4365 | AlZn5.5MgCu

7075 is a standard aerospace alloy from the 7000 series, known for its well-balanced performance required for aerospace applications, especially under high static loads. Primarily aluminum, alloyed with up to 6.1% zinc, 2.9% magnesium, 2% copper, and other elements.

It's utilized in aircraft components, gears, shafts, valves, molds, bicycle equipment, camping and sporting gear due to its lightweight yet sturdy nature. Chromium is added to the mix to enhance stress corrosion cracking resistance and achieve higher fatigue strength of 160MPa.

Aluminium 2024-T351 | 3.1355 | AlCu4Mg1

The aerospace-grade 2000 series exhibits a lower ultimate tensile strength (UTS) compared to 7075, but boasts better elongation and fatigue strength. This makes it highly suitable for applications requiring high cyclic fatigue resistance or structures under tensile stress.


Primarily aluminum, alloyed with up to 4.9% copper, 1.8% magnesium, 0.9% manganese, and other elements. T351 denotes tempering to T3: solution heat treated, cold worked, and naturally aged. Similar to T4, this provides good formability at slightly lower hardness and ultimate tensile strength (UTS). The fatigue strength reaches up to 140 megapascals.

Aluminium casting 3000 series | 3.2381 | AlSi10Mg

These are the pillars of our Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) process, which competes with the 3000 series alloys used in casting and die casting processes. It boasts a favorable strength-to-weight ratio, high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, as well as excellent fatigue, creep, and fracture strength. AlSi10Mg also exhibits good thermal and electrical conductivity. Components made from AlSi10Mg undergo heat treatment after laser welding to relieve stress.

For inquiries regarding aluminum alloys, other materials, or any manufacturing services at Zonze, please contact us at info@zonzescm.com.

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