Aluminum is a non-ferrous light metal characterized by the following:

  • Low density (2,7 g/cm3), which is roughly three times lower than that of steel;
  • High specific strength, particularly for heat-treatable alloys (T);
  • Relatively low melting points (660°C / 1220°F);
  • High thermal and electrical conductivity;
  • Good formability due to its high ductility in the annealed condition;
  • Excellent corrosion resistance;
  • Environmentally friendly and highly recyclable

Pure aluminum, a very tarnish-resistant metal, is essentially used for its corrosion resistance and its thermal or electrical properties. This is due to the thin protective oxide layer (alumina) that forms on the metal surface. The addition of alloying elements (Cu, Mn, Si, Mg, Zn, Li, Sc.) creates a variety of alloy groups. These alloys exhibit important variations in terms of mechanical features, which in turn depend on the manufacturing process (cast alloys or wrought alloys), the type of alloying elements, the alloying degree and the hardening mechanism. In this matter, it should be noted that wrought aluminum alloys are subdivided into two groups depending on their typical hardening mechanism:

  • Work hardening (Cold Working): pure aluminum, Al-Mn, Al-Mg;
  • Heat treatment (precipitation hardening): Al-Cu, Al-Cu-Mg, Al-Mg-Si, Al-Zn-Mg- (Cu)

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