Aluminium is one of the lightest available commercial metals with a density approximately one third that of steel or copper. Its high strength to weight ratio makes it particularly important to transportation industries allowing increased payloads and fuel savings. Catamaran ferries, petroleum tankers and aircraft are good examples of aluminium’s use in transport.
Excellent Corrosion Resistance
Aluminium has excellent resistance to corrosion due to the thin layer of aluminium oxide that forms on the surface of aluminium when it is exposed to air. In many applications, aluminium can be left in the mill finished condition. Should additional protection or decorative finishes be required, then aluminium can be either anodised or painted.
Although tensile strength of pure aluminium is not high, mechanical properties can be markedly increased by the addition of alloying elements and tempering. You can choose the alloy with the most suitable characteristics for your application. Typical alloying elements are manganese, silicon, copper and magnesium.
Strong at Low Temperatures
Where as steel becomes brittle at low temperatures, aluminium increases in tensile strength and retains excellent toughness.
Easy to Work
Aluminium can be easily fabricated into various forms such as foil, sheets, geometric shapes, rod, tube and wire. It also displays excellent machinability and plasticity ideal for bending, cutting, spinning, roll forming, hammering, forging and drawing.
Aluminium can be turned, milled or bored readily, using the correct toolage. In fact, most aluminium alloys can be machined speedily and easily. An important factor contributing to the low cost of finished aluminium parts.
Aluminium is a popular choice of material for complex-sectioned hollow extrusions. Almost any method of joining is applicable – riveting, welding, brazing or soldering. A wide variety of mechanical aluminum fasteners simplifies the assembly of many products. Adhesive bonding of aluminium parts is successfully employed in many applications including aircraft components, car bodies and some building applications.