Types of Aluminum Alloys and Difference

Aluminum is lightweight, durable, malleable and corrosion-resistant. This metal is widely used for components in the aerospace, transportation and construction industries.

Aluminum alloys are divided into 8 main series:

1000 series, represent pure alumium with aluminum proportion of 99%+.

2000 series, aluminum-copper alloys, eg. 2014.

3000 series, aluminum-manganese alloys, eg. 3003.

4000 series, aluminum-silicon alloys, eg. 4032.

5000 series, aluminum-magnesium alloys, eg. 5052.

6000 series, aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloys, eg. 6061.

7000 series, aluminum-zinc alloys, eg. 7001.

8000 series, are alloys with other elements.

1000 series

In all series, 1000 series has the most aluminum content, and the proportion is more than 99.00%. The last two digits of the aluminum alloy refer to the minimum proportion of aluminum. For example, the last two digits of the 1050 series is 50. According to the principle, its must contain more than 99.5% aluminum to be qualified products.

1000 series aluminum alloy has good formability and stablity for surface treatment, and their corrosion resistance is the best in aluminum alloy. In comparison, it has the lowest strength and highest purity in aluminum.

Mobile phones commonly use 1050, 1070, 1080, 1085, 1100 which are easy for molding; 1080 and 1085 mirror aluminum is often used to make bright and fog surface effects.

1000 series aluminum alloy is relatively soft and are mainly used for decoration or interior.

2000 series

2000 series are alloyed with copper(3~5%) which has higher strength but low corrosion resistence.

It is the most common aerospace aluminum alloy. However, it is not a popular choice among other industries.

3000 series

The 3000 series aluminum sheet is alloyed with manganese. Most common grades are 3003, 3105, 3A21. The proportion of manganese is between 1.0-1.5 and it is anti-rust.

Commonly used as a sink, can, construction modules, construction tools, various lamp parts, pressure vessels and pipelines of the plate processing. Good formability, dissolution, and corrosion resistance.

4000 series

Generally, the silicon proportion is between 4.5-6.0%. The higher the content, the greater the strength. The 4000 series aluminum coil is used to produce the aluminum plate with 4A01 and 4000 series. It’s widely used in building materials, mechanical parts, forging materials, welding materials; featuring low melting points, good corrosion, heat resistance and wear resistance.

5000 series

The main elements are magnesium and the magnesium content is between 3-5%. Popular 5000 series aluminum alloys are 5052, 5005, 5083, 5A05. The main features are low density, high tensile strength, and good extension. The weight of aluminum-magnesium alloy is lower than other series, and it is also widely used in conventional industries.

The most common alloy used on mobile phones is 5052. It has good corrosion resistance, solubility and formability. However, its coloring effect is less ideal. It is suitable for sandblasting, not suitable for chemical sand, fog surfaces, etc.

6000 series

6000 series are alloyed with magnesium and silicon. They are easy to machine, are weldable, and can be precipitation hardened, but not to the high strengths that 2000 and 7000 can reach. 6061 alloy is one of the most commonly used general-purpose aluminium alloys.

7000 series

7000 series are alloyed with zinc, and can be precipitation hardened to the highest strengths of any aluminium alloy. Most 7000 series alloys include magnesium and copper as well.

8000 series

8000 series are alloyed with other elements which are not covered by other series. Aluminium–lithium alloys are an example.