Aluminum

What is Aluminum?aluminum

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust and accounts for approximately 8% of the weight of the Earth’s surface. However, aluminum is so chemically reactive that it does not exist naturally as metal. Instead, aluminum must be processed from an oxide called alumina. Alumina must be refined from deposits of bauxite ore. Once the bauxite is mined and refined into alumina, the oxide is placed in a carbon crucible filled with a cryolite bath and has an electric current passed through it. At this point aluminum metal is formed and is siphoned off from the remainder of the chemical solution. Once the aluminum has been formed it can now be mixed with alloys and fabricated into products for end-users.

The Characteristics of Aluminum

Aluminum possesses many physical and chemical characteristics that make the metal the most widely used non-ferrous metal. All of the below properties make aluminum a superior metal for a number of industries.

  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Malleable
  • Machineable
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Non-toxic
  • Highly Conductive for Heat and Electricity
  • Highly Reflective for Light and Heat
  • Non-magnetic
  • Visually Appealing
  • 100% Recyclable

Aluminum Alloys

Metal Technologies utilizes high pressure die cast and squeeze cast processes to form aluminum parts in these alloys.

Alloy

Ultimate (psi)

Yield (psi)

Elongation %

383

45,000

22,000

3.5

380

47,000

23,000

3.5

413

42,000

19,000

3.5

360 (Low Copper)

46,000

24,000

3.5

A304

39,800

20,600

4.5

ADC6 (515)

40,600

24,600

10.0

 

Aluminum Alloys Descriptions

380/383

Most common dies cast alloys. Used on a wide variety of parts from electronic enclosures to engine brackets to engine and transmission components.

413

Most commonly applied to electronic heatsink parts. It has a slightly better heat transfer value.

360 (Low Copper)

Used for corrosion resistant applications, i.e. marine applications, salt spray concern areas. Currently used on recreational vehicle and marine applications.

A304

Developed by Delphi for salt intrusion on electronic enclosures. Significantly lower copper than standard 360 (0.08 as compared to 0.60).

ADC6 (515)

Very low silicon alloy. Good for anodized applications. Very difficult to cast due to low silicon.