Common Primary Parameters of Aluminum Alloy Materials

Common Primary Parameters of Aluminum Alloy Materials

I. Material Parameters

1. Basic Properties of Aluminum

Aluminum is silver-white in color and can form a protective oxide film in humid air to prevent metal corrosion. It has a relative density of 2.7g/cm3, a melting point of 660°C, a boiling point of 2327°C, and is lightweight. It also has good electrical and thermal conductivity, high reflectivity, and oxidation resistance.

2. Related Properties of Aluminum

① Density

Aluminum has a small density, only 2.7g/cm, although it is relatively soft, it can be made into various aluminum alloys, such as hard aluminum, super hard aluminum, rust-proof aluminum, cast aluminum, etc. These aluminum alloys are widely used in the manufacturing industries of airplanes, cars, trains, ships, etc.

② Thermal Conductivity

Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, its thermal conductivity is three times that of iron. In industry, aluminum can be used to manufacture various heat exchangers, heat dissipation materials, and cooking utensils, etc.

③ Ductility

It has good ductility (its ductility is second only to gold and silver), and can be made into aluminum foil thinner than 0.01mm at 100℃~150℃. These aluminum foils are widely used for packaging cigarettes, candies, etc., and can also be made into aluminum wire, aluminum bars, and can be rolled into various aluminum products.

④ Electrical Conductivity

It is second only to silver and copper. Although its conductivity is only 2/3 of copper, its density is only 1/3 of copper. Therefore, to transmit the same amount of electricity, the mass of the aluminum wire is only half that of the copper wire. The oxide film on the surface of aluminum not only has the ability to resist corrosion but also has a certain insulating property. Therefore, aluminum has a wide range of uses in the electrical manufacturing industry, wire and cable industry, and radio industry.

3. Chemical Composition

Aluminum alloy shells often use 6-series alloys, with the aluminum content generally above 80%, and the vast majority between 85%-90%.

Common Aluminum Alloy Chemical Composition Table
AL1/ Pure Aluminum SeriesThe 1-series pure aluminum has an aluminum content of more than 99%. The series with the lowest aluminum content, such as 1050, has an aluminum content of 99.5%. The production process is relatively simple, and the price is relatively cheap. It is the most commonly used series in conventional industries.
AL-Cu2/ Aluminum-Copper Alloy SeriesThe 2-series aluminum alloy represents 2024, 2A12 (i.e., LY12). The 2-series aluminum plate is characterized by high hardness, very high strength, and good cutting processability, but poor corrosion resistance. Among them, the copper element content is the highest, about 3-5%. The 2-series aluminum material belongs to aviation aluminum material, and the price is relatively high.
AL-Mn3/ Aluminum-Manganese Alloy SeriesThe 3-series aluminum alloy primarily represents 3003 and 3A21. The 3-series is mainly composed of manganese, with a content between 1.0-1.5. It is a series with good rust prevention capabilities, used for processing parts that require good formability, high corrosion resistance, and good weldability.
AL-Mg5/ Aluminum-Magnesium AlloyThe 5-series aluminum alloy represents 5052, 5083, and 5A06. The 5-series aluminum is one of the more commonly used alloy aluminum plate series, with magnesium as the main element, and a magnesium content between 3-5%. It can also be referred to as an aluminum-magnesium alloy. Its main features are low density, high tensile strength, high elongation, good fatigue strength, but it cannot be heat-treated for strengthening. Under the same area, the weight of the aluminum-magnesium alloy is lower than other series, and it is widely used in conventional industries.
AL-Mg-Si6/ Aluminum-Magnesium-Silicon AlloyThe 6-series aluminum alloy represents 6061, 6063, and 6082, mainly containing magnesium and silicon elements. The 6-series is a heat-treatable strengthening alloy, with good formability, weldability, and machinability, and also has medium strength. After annealing, it can still maintain good operability, suitable for applications with high corrosion resistance and oxidation requirements. It has good usability, is easy to coat, and has good processability.
AL-Zn7/ Aluminum-Zinc AlloyThe 7-series aluminum alloy represents 7075, mainly containing zinc elements. It also belongs to the aviation series, is an aluminum-magnesium-zinc-copper alloy, is a heat-treatable alloy, belongs to the super-hard aluminum alloy, and has good wear resistance. It also has good weldability, but poor corrosion resistance. Among this series, the 7075-T651 aluminum alloy is particularly superior, known as the best product in aluminum alloys, with high strength, far superior to any mild steel. This alloy also has good mechanical properties and anodic reactions.

In terms of industrial aluminum profiles, the most widely used now are 6063 and 6061 materials. These two aluminum alloy materials are the most used in industrial aluminum materials. 6063 is softer, has better cutting and processing performance, especially in surface treatment, it is better than 6061, so this material should be chosen for making aluminum shells.

01 6063 Aluminum Alloy Chemical Composition

  • Al: remainder
  • Si: 0.20~0.60
  • Cu: 0.10
  • Mg: 0.45~0.9
  • Zn:0.10
  • Mn:0.10
  • Ti:0.10
  • Cr:0.10
  • Fe:0.35

Single: 0.05 Total: 0.15

02 6063 Aluminum Alloy Hardness

Between 8-12HW, tensile strength ≥205mpa, yield stress ≥170mpa, elongation rate ≥7%.

03 6063 Aluminum Alloy Profile Characteristics

Precise dimensions, high strength, after oxidation coloring and spray surface treatment, the appearance is smooth, beautiful, elegant in color, comfortable to the touch, and has good corrosion resistance.

Profile Wall Thickness: Complies with GB5237.1~5237.6-2004, GB/T6892 standards

Performance Indicators: Complies with GB5237.1~5237.6-2004, GB/T6892 standards

II. Aluminum Alloy Shell Classification Parameters

01 Adapter Aluminum Shell

It has played a noticeable role in reducing consumer costs, saving social resources, and reducing electronic waste. However, some problems have arisen during the implementation of this standard, such as some adapter shells not supporting USB charging. Enforcing this standard could lead to voltage regulator damage and a decrease in connection rate during charging.

02 Power Supply Aluminum Shell

Generally, the shell is made of plastic rubber, which can provide insulation. The quality of the shell also relates to consumer safety. A high-quality shell can provide good insulation and waterproofing, while a poor-quality shell can not only affect the normal use of the machine but also endanger consumer safety. So, which power supply shell is safer? The answer is undoubtedly a shell made from high-quality, guaranteed materials.

03 Waterproof Power Supply Shell

Mainly, the aluminum shell is produced by injection molding of plastic materials. It has a high degree of waterproofing, is tough, not prone to water seepage, and can meet customer needs well.

III. Common Parameters for Surface Treatment Processes

01 Sandblasting

The process of cleaning and roughening the metal surface by the impact of high-speed sand flow. This method of aluminum part surface treatment can give the workpiece surface a certain degree of cleanliness and different roughness, improve the mechanical properties of the workpiece surface, thereby enhancing the workpiece’s fatigue resistance, increasing the adhesion between it and the coating, extending the durability of the coating, and facilitating the leveling and decoration of the paint.

02 Brushing

The manufacturing process of repeatedly scraping lines on the aluminum plate with sandpaper. Brushing can be divided into straight line brushing, random line brushing, spiral line brushing, and thread brushing. The metal brushing process can clearly show each fine trace, making the metal matte with a fine hair gloss, giving the product both a sense of fashion and technology.

03 Anodizing

This refers to the electrochemical oxidation of metals or alloys. Under specific process conditions and in the corresponding electrolyte, aluminum and its alloys form an oxide film on the aluminum product (anode) due to the effect of the applied current.

Anodizing not only solves the defects of aluminum surface hardness and wear resistance, but also extends the lifespan of aluminum and enhances its aesthetics. It has become an indispensable part of aluminum surface treatment and is currently the most widely used and successful process.

Anodizing is a common process used for aluminum alloy casings, where parameters related to high temperature resistance, ultraviolet light, and oxide film are important.

1) High Temperature Resistance

The anodizing film has excellent insulation and heat resistance. This is because the thermal conductivity of the anodized film is much lower than that of pure aluminum. The anodized film can withstand temperatures of around 1500℃, while pure aluminum can only withstand 660℃.

The difference between anodized and non-anodized aluminum alloy lies in the chemical dissolution of the outer oxide film in contact with the electrolyte. When the rate of oxide formation on the aluminum surface gradually balances with the rate of chemical dissolution, the oxide film can reach its maximum thickness under these electrolytic parameters.

In sulfuric acid electrolyte, the higher the oxidation temperature, the higher the thermal stability of the obtained film layer. When boric acid or boric acid and glycerin are added to the sulfuric acid electrolyte, the oxidation temperature can be increased to 40℃ (preferably not exceeding 39℃).

For this formula, the obtained oxide film layer will not crack at 130℃ when the temperature is 29℃, and the heat resistance can reach 150℃ or even higher (film layer test thickness is about 7 microns) when the temperature is 35℃. If a weak alkaline oxidation process is used, the heat resistance of its film layer is higher than that of the sulfuric acid anodized film.

2) Ultraviolet Light

In international standard classifications, anodizing ultraviolet light involves surface treatment and plating, colored metals. The following are the international standardization organization’s standards for anodizing ultraviolet light:

ISO 6581:2018
Anodizing of Aluminum and its Alloys – Determination of Light Resistance and Heat of Colored Anodized Coatings

ISO 6581:2010
Anodizing of Aluminum and its Alloys – Determination of Ultraviolet and Heat Fastness of Colored Anodized Coatings

ISO 6581:1980
Anodizing of Aluminum and its Alloys – Determination of Ultraviolet Fastness of Colored Anodized Coatings

Aluminum alloys have high strength, low density, strong electrical and thermal conductivity, excellent mechanical properties, and good machinability. After anodizing treatment, the surface of aluminum and its alloys can obtain a dense film layer that is much thicker than the natural oxide film, which improves the corrosion resistance of the metal surface. It gives the metal a natural luster, smooth texture, and beauty, while also producing a sturdy coating. Anodized aluminum surface treatment can provide any color and can prevent damage from harsh weather conditions and harmful ultraviolet rays.

3) Oxide Film

a. The anodic oxide film is a two-layer structure. The inner layer is a dense, thin, glass-like film of high-purity alumina (Al2O3), with a thickness of about 0.01~0.05mm and high hardness. The outer layer is a film of hydrated alumina (Al2O3·H2O).
b. The oxide film has many pores, which are conical capillary in shape, and the pore size increases from the inside out. Therefore, it has excellent adsorption capacity, is easy to dye in various colors, enhancing its decorative function; it has strong adhesion with paint, making it suitable as a base layer for painting. To improve corrosion resistance, pore sealing treatment should be performed.
c. The oxide film is an insulator. When the film thickness is 1μm, the breakdown voltage is 25V. The resistivity of pure aluminum oxide film is 109Ω/cm2.
d. The oxide film has excellent heat resistance, which can withstand temperatures up to 1500℃. Its thermal conductivity is lower than that of metal.

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Shane
Author

Shane

Founder of MachineMFG

As the founder of MachineMFG, I have dedicated over a decade of my career to the metalworking industry. My extensive experience has allowed me to become an expert in the fields of sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical engineering, and machine tools for metals. I am constantly thinking, reading, and writing about these subjects, constantly striving to stay at the forefront of my field. Let my knowledge and expertise be an asset to your business.

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