People use aluminium both for industrial and non-industrial purposes. From doors and windows to utensils, you may find aluminium in various applications. There are a few factors you need to consider before buying aluminium sheets.
• Heat treating
• Workability or formidability
• End-use application
• Corrosion resistance
But how will you understand the difference between two aluminium sheets? Usually, they look the same. This makes it difficult for anyone to differentiate based on their characteristics.
Different types of aluminium sheets
Aluminium is corrosion-resistant, making it almost maintenance-free. It has a better weight-to-weight ratio compared to other metals. It weighs nearly one-third of copper, brass, or iron. Aluminium plates have better heat conductivity, allowing them to spread heat quickly. It is an entirely non-toxic metal. This makes it a primary component for making cooking utensils. Apart from cookware, you will also find aluminium in food packaging, electrical applications, machineries, and transport. However, the grades or types of aluminium differ in every application. Here are the types of aluminium sheets that will help you buy the perfect variant for your purposes.
1. Alloy 1100
This is commercial-grade aluminium. It is soft and ductile and has unmatched formidably. These sheets often find their way into industries making hard-forming applications like utensils and car parts. You can weld this type of aluminium sheet using any welding method. However, you cannot heat-treat these sheets. You will see these aluminium sheets in the food processing and chemical sectors. They are excellent when it comes to resisting corrosion.
2. Alloy 2011
There are two reasons why this type of aluminium sheet stands out from the rest:
• Outstanding machining skills
• High mechanical strength
Many industries call this grade of aluminium as Free Machining Alloy. Alloy 2011 finds its application in automatic lathes projects. These projects have a high demand for aluminium with unmatched machining skills and mechanical strength. Alloy 2011 fits that demand perfectly. The high-speed machining skill of this type of aluminium sheet generates very fine and readily removable chips. It is an excellent choice for producing various detailed and complicated parts of various types of machinery.
3. Alloy 2014
This is a copper-based alloy known for its high strength and machining capabilities. It has incredible resistance and workability. That is why you will often see it in structural applications used in aerospace.
4. Alloy 2024
This is one of the most frequently used aluminium sheets in various industries. The sheets are widely popular for their high strength. Plus, their strength-to-weight ratio is excellent. They find their application in industries that require aluminium sheets with high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent fatigue resistance, and incredible strength. They are also supportive when it comes to heat treatment in annealed conditions. However, the corrosion-resistance of this type of aluminium is slightly low compared to others. That is why manufacturers use these sheets in clad form or anodized form.
5. Alloy 3003
This is the most popular aluminium alloy. Manufacturers make Alloy 3003 aluminium sheets using commercially pure aluminium and manganese. This makes the sheets 20% stronger than Alloy 1100. Its unmatched workability and corrosion resistance make it suitable for various industries. This grade of aluminium can be welded, brazed, or spun easily.
6. Alloy 5052
It has the highest strength among all the other types of aluminium sheets. This type of aluminium falls in the non-heat-treatable grades. These sheets are excellent when it comes to resisting atmospheric corrosion. Hence, they find their application in making submarine parts. They work flawlessly in salt water. Their workability is way ahead of types of aluminium sheets. You can also cut it into any intricate form you want.
7. Alloy 6061
When it comes to flexibility and heat-treatment facility, no one comes near Alloy 6061. It has almost every characteristic of pure aluminium, as mentioned above. This type of aluminium is mostly popular for its corrosion-resistance and mechanical properties. These sheets have unmatched workability, especially in annealed conditions. Alloy 6061 finds its applications in almost every type of industry you can think of. From machine parts to utensils, Alloy 6061 is everywhere.
8. Alloy 6063
Most people call it an architectural alloy. Its excellent finishing features and high tensile strength make it perfect for various architectural applications. Plus, the high corrosion resistance makes it ideal for both interior and exterior usage. This type of sheet is mostly used to make aluminium doors and windows.
9. Alloy 7075
This type of aluminium is suitable for making highly stressed parts because of its incredible strength. It also supports heat treatment in annealed conditions. You can also weld it in various places to make it fit on various machine parts.
With so many types of aluminium, all you need to do is determine the purpose for which you want to use the sheets. They are ideal for both commercial and residential usage.