What Are The Properties of Aluminium?

Aluminium is one of the most impressive and widely used resources on the planet. It can be found in huge engineering projects, in our households and in other everyday items. Aluminium has lots of interesting properties and characteristics which make it one of the most versatile metals.

Aluminium occurs in many forms and its properties differ in grades depending on the alloy present. Each alloy gives a unique characteristic.

Conductivity

Regarding its conductivity, it is a great resource. Only gold, copper and silver have better electrical conductivity. Its thermal conductivity is also very high with a melting point of just above 660 degrees Celsius.

Corrosion

Aluminium is also a non-corrosive material, making it an excellent choice for building structures and other engineering work. Additionally, if the aluminium Is anodised, the aluminium has even higher corrosion protection.

Low density

Aluminium’s density is around one-third of that of steel. Due to its low density, it is commonly used in applications that require strong but lightweight materials. Applications such as vehicle and aircraft manufacturing, where lightweight aluminium can help to conserve fuel.

Smooth

When exposed to air, aluminium forms a protective coating that bonds to the metal, helping with corrosion resistance. Aluminium’s smooth surface can be improved further with anodising processes, improving, and protecting the product. For this reason, aluminium is a great option for finishing structures and equipment.

Machinability

Generally, aluminium products have good machinability (depending on the strength and alloying elements), is very easy to work with and can be worked into complex shapes if necessary. Additionally, aluminium can be joined, soldered, brazed, and welded.

Flexibility

Aluminium, though incredibly sturdy, is also flexible and can be easily worked into new shapes. The most common methods of reworking are extrusion and rolling.

Lower dimensional tolerance

Aluminium has a lower-dimensional tolerance which saves time in producing parts and assembling them, making it favourable in construction.

Chemical properties

Occurrence – Aluminium occurs as a compound and can be found in bauxite ore.

Oxidation – Aluminium combines with oxygen to form aluminium oxide when exposed to moist air.

Pyrophorus- When aluminium is in a powdered form it will catch fire if exposed to flame.

Ability to form alloys – Alloyed elements include iron, copper, manganese, silicon, magnesium, and zinc.

Reactivity with water – Aluminium reacts quickly with hot water.

Reactivity with alkalis – Reactive with sodium hydroxide.

Reactivity with acid – Aluminium reacts with hot acids.

Aluminium grades

1050 – The most common general-purpose grade of aluminium. It is easy to fabricate and has high corrosion resistance.

3101 – Slightly stronger than 1050 grade. Also, easy to fabricate with high corrosion resistance.

2014 – Very high strength but has poor corrosion resistance.

5083 – Comes in bar or plate form. It has a high strength grade and is suitable for marine applications and general use.

5251 – Very strong with high corrosion resistance and easy fabrication.

5754 – Formable and high corrosion resistance. Used for tread plate applications.

6063 – Most common grade for general fabrication. Not suitable for structural application.

aluminium pipes

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