Aluminum is one of the most abundant metallic elements found in the earth’s crust, and it is also the most widely used non-ferrous metal. Aluminum can be used in ordinary objects, such as aluminum foil or aluminum cans, or in extreme specialty applications, such as parts for spacecraft and submarines.

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Characteristics of aluminum
Aluminum has good ductility and plasticity, which makes it widely used. Its malleability allows it to be formed into aluminum foil, while its malleability allows the aluminum to be drawn into rods and wires.

Aluminum is also highly resistant to corrosion, and when exposed to air, it will naturally form an oxide film that prevents metal corrosion. This oxidation can also be induced synthetically to provide greater protection from the elements. Aluminum’s natural protective layer makes it more corrosion-resistant than carbon steel, but it can’t compete with stainless steel’s chromium content. Additionally, aluminum is a good conductor of heat and electricity, superior to carbon and stainless steel in both respects.

It is faster and easier to machine than steel, and its strength-to-weight ratio makes it ideal for many applications that require a strong, hard material. Aluminum is also highly recyclable, saving up to 95% of the energy required to produce virgin aluminum.

Aluminum has some disadvantages compared to steel. It is not as hard as steel and is not suitable for parts that can withstand high impact forces or extremely high load-bearing capacities. Aluminum also has a much lower melting point (660°C compared to steel’s lower melting point of about 1400°C), so it cannot be used in high-temperature environments. It also has a high coefficient of thermal expansion, so if it gets too hot during machining, it will deform and have difficulty maintaining tight tolerances.

Aluminum alloy
The aluminum used for CNC machining is not pure aluminum, it always contains a small amount of alloying elements. Standard aluminum still contains 99% to 99.6% aluminum (the element) by weight, with the remaining percentages consisting of common materials such as silicon, manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc.

By making slight adjustments to the content of alloying elements, countless aluminum alloys can be created. These common aluminum alloys are divided into 9 series according to the main alloying elements, and each series has some common properties. For example, aluminum alloys in the 3000, 4000, and 5000 series cannot be heat treated, but are cold worked, which is so-called work hardening.

Main aluminum grades
1000 series
Among all series, the 1000 series contains the most aluminum, and the purity can reach more than 99.00%. Since it does not contain other metal elements, the production process is relatively simple and the price is relatively cheap. It is currently the most commonly used series in conventional industries. Currently, most of the coins circulating in the market are 1050 and 1060.

2000 series
The representative models of 2000 series aluminum alloys are 2024, 2A16 (LY16), and 2A02 (LY6). The 2000 series aluminum is characterized by high hardness. Among them, the copper content is the highest, about 3-5%. Manganese, magnesium, lead and bismuth are also added for machinability. 2000 series aluminum belongs to aviation aluminum and is currently not commonly used in conventional industries.

3000 series
The representative models of 3000 series aluminum alloys are mainly 3003 and 3A21. my country’s 3000 series aluminum plate production technology is relatively excellent. 3000 series aluminum rods are made of manganese as the main component, with a content between 1.0-1.5. They are a series with better anti-rust properties. 3004 aluminum also contains magnesium and is an aluminum alloy commonly used in aluminum beverage cans.

4000 series
The representative model of the 4000 series aluminum alloy is 4A01. The 4000 series aluminum plates belong to a series with a high silicon content, usually between 4.5-6.0%. They are construction materials, mechanical parts forging materials, and welding materials, and have a low melting point. , good corrosion resistance and other characteristics. 4043 aluminum is used as filler rod material for welding 6000 series aluminum alloys, while 4047 aluminum is used in construction for sheeting and cladding.

5000 series
The representative models of 5000 series aluminum alloys are 5052, 5005, 5083, and 5A05. The main element of 5000 series aluminum is magnesium, and the magnesium content is between 3-5%. It can also be called aluminum-magnesium alloy. In my country, the 5000 series aluminum plate is one of the more mature aluminum plate series. Its main features are low density, high tensile strength, high elongation and good fatigue strength, but it cannot be strengthened by heat treatment. The weight of aluminum-magnesium alloy is lower than that of other series under the same area, and it is also widely used in conventional industries.

6000 series
The representative model of the 6000 series aluminum alloy is 6061. The 6000 series mainly contains two elements: magnesium and silicon. This series is usually easy to process and can be precipitation hardened. For example, 6061 is a cold-processed aluminum forged product suitable for applications requiring high corrosion resistance and oxidation resistance.

7000 series
The representative model of the 7000 series aluminum alloy is 7075. The 7000 series belongs to the aviation series and mainly contains zinc, as well as copper, chromium and magnesium. It can become the strongest of all aluminum alloys through precipitation hardening. It is a super-hard aluminum alloy and has good Wear resistance and good weldability, but poor corrosion resistance.

8000 series
The 8000 series is a general term for aluminum alloys that do not belong to any other category. For example, 8176 aluminum contains 0.6% iron and 0.1% silicon by weight and is used to make electrical wires.

8000 series aluminum alloys are a general term for aluminum alloys that do not fall into the above categories. These alloys can contain many other elements, such as iron and lithium. For example, 8176 aluminum contains 0.6% iron and 0.1% silicon by weight and is commonly used to make electrical wires.

9000 series
9000 series aluminum alloys are the alternative alloys.

Choose different materials based on the usage characteristics of the parts.

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