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Production industry structures and building products from aluminum and aluminum alloys

An advanced manufacturing process to produce nano structured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder -- in a single step -- was recently demonstrated by researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Using a novel Solid Phase Processing approach, the research team eliminated several steps that are required during conventional extrusion processing of aluminum alloy powders, while also achieving a significant increase in product ductility how far a material can stretch before it breaks. This is good news for sectors such as the automotive industry, where the high cost of manufacturing has historically limited the use of high-strength aluminum alloys made from powders. High-performance aluminum alloys made from powder have long been used in lightweight components for specialized aerospace applications, where cost is not a limiting factor. However, these alloys have typically been too expensive for the automotive industry. A typical extrusion process for aluminum alloy powders is energy-and process-intensive, requiring multiple steps to mass produce the material.

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A ductile, silvery white metal usually with dull lustre owing to a surface film of aluminum oxide , aluminum is light, weighing approximately one-third as much as an equal volume of copper or steel. It is corrosion-resistant, is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, reflects both light and radiant heat, is nonmagnetic, does not readily absorb neutrons, can be safely used with foods and medicines, and can be formed by all known metalworking processes.

Aluminum can be joined by welding, brazing, soldering, adhesive bonding, riveting, stitching, or stapling and by means of a number of mechanical assemblies such as nuts and bolts, screws, and nails. It can be given a wide variety of mechanical finishes by grinding, polishing, buffing, abrasive blasting, and burnishing.

A variety of chemical finishes can be used, such as alkaline or acid etches, bright dips these give an extremely shiny finish to metal , chemical milling, and immersion plating.

It is suited to an electrochemical process called anodizing. Or it can be electroplated with other metals or given organic coatings such as paint, lacquer, and plastic films. Aluminum can be finished by porcelain enameling or metallizing. High-purity aluminum Annealing involves heating and then cooling slowly to make the metal less brittle. By alloying and proper thermal and mechanical treatment, however, it can be made much harder and stronger, with tensile strengths as high as megapascals.

Unlike some other metals, the strength and ductility of aluminum increase at very low temperatures. Upon melting, the solid metal expands about 7 percent in volume, the solidification shrinkage being 6.

Hydrogen is the only gas known to be appreciably soluble in molten aluminum; its solubility increases with temperature but becomes nearly zero when the metal freezes. Aluminum may act as a base to form salts with acids or as a weak acid to form salts with strong alkalies. It is stable in air because of a thin, transparent oxide film that forms on exposure to air, protecting the aluminum from further oxidation and reaction.

Growth of this natural oxide film is self-limiting—that is, when a thin layer is formed, further growth is halted. Molten aluminum is protected in air by a thicker oxide coating, which also deters further oxidation. Finely divided atomized or flake aluminum mixed with air and ignited will explode violently. Aluminum reacts rapidly with boiling water to liberate hydrogen and form aluminum hydroxide. In its superpure condition Superpure aluminum has many applications: in chemical equipment, in reflectors, as a catalyst in making gasoline, in fine jewelry, and in electronic components.

Most aluminum used today, however, is alloyed with other elements to increase strength. The most common alloying elements are manganese Mn , magnesium Mg , copper Cu , zinc Zn , and silicon Si. Lithium [Li] is added to some of the newest alloys for the aerospace industry. Smaller amounts of chromium Cr , zirconium Zr , vanadium V , titanium Ti , boron B , tin Sn , bismuth Bi , and lead Pb may be added for particular purposes.

Iron is present as an impurity. Aluminum alloy products may be cast in a foundry into their final shape through sand-casting, permanent-mold-casting, or die-casting, or they may be cast into cylinders or rectangular blocks that are worked, or wrought, into products such as sheet, plate, forgings, or extrusions. The Aluminum Association of the United States has established systems for classifying foundry and wrought aluminum alloys. Foundry alloys are identified by four-digit numbers, with the first numeral indicating the major alloying element or group of elements see table; sometimes a letter precedes the four digits to identify a variant of the original composition.

Compositions of the major foundry alloys are listed in the table. In addition to the major elements, foundry alloys may contain a small amount of titanium to refine the size of the crystallites or grains that make up the casting, as well as small amounts of manganese, chromium, or nickel for increased strength.

The metallurgical structures and properties of the castings are also affected by the rate of cooling, which in turn is strongly affected by the casting method. The 3XX. X alloys are used in the highest volume. Both copper and magnesium increase strength in the as-cast temper, and strength is increased by subsequent precipitation treatments at mildly elevated temperatures to produce fine intermetallic particles such as Mg 2 Si or Al 2 Cu. Even higher strength and ductility are obtained by a high-temperature solution treatment followed by rapid cooling and precipitation treatment.

When the silicon Si content exceeds 12 percent, silicon crystals in the castings enhance wear resistance as well.

In the automotive industry , 3XX. X castings have replaced cast iron in transmission cases, intake manifolds, engine blocks, and cylinder heads because the reduced weight improves fuel economy. The 2XX. X alloys develop the highest strengths.

Good design and foundry techniques must be followed to produce acceptable products, and heat treatment must be applied to develop high strength and to ensure high resistance to stress- and corrosion-induced cracking. Because they have lower general corrosion resistance than other aluminum alloy castings, aluminum-copper castings are usually coated for critical applications. The 5XX. X alloy castings are specified when high resistance to corrosion in marine and other severe environments is demanded.

These alloys are also used where the finish is of paramount importance and in the food-processing industry. The 7XX. X alloys exhibit good finishing characteristics, are resistant to corrosion, and are capable of developing high strength by precipitation at room temperature. The 8XX. X alloys are used for sleeve bearings and bushings because the tin prevents seizing and galling. The 4XX. X alloys are used when moderate strength along with high ductility and impact resistance are required.

They are also used when stability after exposure to elevated temperatures is important. Wrought alloys are identified by a four-digit system. Again, the first numeral indicates the major alloying element or group of elements.

See table. Properties of wrought alloy products depend on temper as well as composition. For example, when the highest formability is desired, the products are softened by exposing them to an elevated temperature and cooling them slowly.

Aluminum- manganese alloys are the oldest yet most widely used because of their combination of strength, formability, and corrosion resistance. The bodies of aluminum beverage containers are made from alloy Alloy is used for flexible packaging such as frozen food trays, and, along with and , it is used for residential siding and industrial and farm roofing. Cooking utensils, gutters, and downspouts also are made from 3XXX alloys.

Aluminum-magnesium alloys provide higher strength than the 3XXX alloys and are also formable, corrosion-resistant, and weldable. Alloy is used for the lids of beverage cans. Alloys and and varieties of , , and are used in appliances, utensils, sheet-metal work, pressure vessels, television towers, welded structures, boats, and chemical-storage tanks.

Screens, nails, and other fasteners are usually made from 5XXX alloys. Aluminum-magnesium- silicon alloys develop strength through thermal treatments that precipitate fine Mg 2 Si particles. The most widely used 6XXX alloy products are extrusions and sheet, plate, forgings, and extrusions.

The extrusions are widely used for storm doors, window frames, furniture tubing, and miscellaneous architectural uses. Alloy products are employed in the transportation industry in trucks, boats, and railroad cars, as well as for furniture, pipelines, and heavy-duty structures requiring good corrosion resistance. Highly polished and precipitation-strengthened truck wheels save fuel because they weigh less than steel wheels.

Alloy wire has proved suitable for electrical conductor cable. One of the newest 6XXX alloys, , has applications in aircraft construction because of its attractive combination of density, strength, formability, and corrosion resistance. Another pair of 6XXX alloys, and , are used for hoods and deck lids of automobiles because they save fuel by reducing structural weight. Alloy forgings find wide application in the transportation industry, and sheet, plate, and extrusions are used extensively for the fuselages and lower portion of the wings of civilian and military transport aircraft.

The sheet used on the fuselages of most commercial aircraft is clad with a thin layer of essentially pure aluminum to provide improved corrosion resistance. New aluminum-copper alloys containing lithium are beginning to be specified for military and commercial aircraft because of their lower density.

The magnesium-free alloy is used for the fuel and oxidizer tanks of space vehicles because it is weldable and develops high strength at cryogenic as well as elevated temperatures. Alloys and are used in the automotive industry for hang-on components such as hoods, deck lids, and doors. Aluminum- zinc-magnesium alloys develop the highest strength. The copper-free alloy , being weldable and showing good corrosion resistance, is used in the ground transportation industry.

The highest strength 7XXX alloys contain copper and are not weldable; they find use mainly in the aircraft industry because of their high ratio of strength to density. The joints in aircraft construction are riveted, so that weldability is not a concern. Alloy has been the workhorse of high-strength aluminum alloys since the s.

New tempers were developed for this alloy in the s to provide improved resistance to stress and corrosion cracking and to exfoliation corrosion, and variants were developed for more attractive combinations of strength and fracture toughness. Alloy was developed in the s to provide high strength combined with high resistance to stress and corrosion cracking in bulkheads and other components machined from thick products for military aircraft.

A higher-strength variant, , was developed in the early s for use on the upper wing skin of commercial aircraft, and a new temper of this variant was introduced in the late s to provide high resistance to corrosion at the highest strength level. Aluminum-silicon alloys are used for welding wire and brazing material, because large amounts of silicon impart great fluidity to molten aluminum. Aluminum processing. Article Media. Info Print Print.

Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Load Previous Page. The metal and its alloys A ductile, silvery white metal usually with dull lustre owing to a surface film of aluminum oxide , aluminum is light, weighing approximately one-third as much as an equal volume of copper or steel. Load Next Page. More About.

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By Prof. Madhuri K. Rathi, Mr. Ajinkya K. Patil Amrutvahini College of Engineering, Sangamner. Abstract The aluminium element was discovered years ago.

Aluminum alloys for aerospace

Aluminum has a long and successful history in aerospace. More than a century later, it is the most-used metal in the air. Marta Danylenko, marketing manager at online materials database Matmatch, explains common aluminum alloys used in aerospace engineering and their applications, as well as some less well-known ones, and what the future holds for aerospace materials. The Wright brothers chose aluminum for the cylinder block and other engine parts on their first manned flight in Throughout the years, the aerospace industry has become more demanding in material requirements. The advent of jumbo jets and long-haul international flights meant that the shell and engine parts had to be extremely durable and resistant to fatigue, leading to the development and use of many different aluminum alloys. Second only to aluminum alloy in terms of its popularity in aerospace engineering, is a strong, tough metal suitable for arc and resistance welding.

Aluminum Extrusions

Most Common Uses of Aluminum. No other metal can compare to Aluminum when it comes to its variety of uses. Some uses of aluminum may not be immediately obvious; for example, did you know aluminum is used in the manufacturing of glass? Aluminum is used in transportation because of its unbeatable strength to weight ratio. Its lighter weight means that less force is required to move the vehicle, leading to greater fuel efficiency.

However, it is difficult to refine compared to other metals, such as iron.

Featuring some of the most advanced additive technologies available, machines from Arcam EBM and Concept Laser enable customers to grow products quickly and precisely. Find information on the different materials that can be used with GE Additive's additive manufacturing machines. AddWorks from GE Additive helps your organization successfully navigate its additive journey through engineering consulting services. AddWorks embeds our experts with your team, learning what your products do now and what you need them to become. Whether you are new to additive manufacturing or need help printing on a new technology - we can help you with your printed parts. Find everything you should know about additive manufacturing and the technologies used to build 3D objects using layers of material. GE can put your fears to rest by confidently walking alongside you as your partner, helping to develop the industrialization of your additive machines. The medical industry is one of the pioneers of additive manufacturing. Our technology has been used for over a decade in volume production to manufacture implants, while at the same time it is broadly used for small batch sizes such as for as patient specific medical implants.

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Strong, lightweight and infinitely recyclable, aluminum is a vital material that keeps the modern world moving. Virtually every person in the United States, and indeed most of the world, uses aluminum every single day. Innovative applications for aluminum are all around us.

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Along with the economic impact and contribution to the fiscus, the industry generates significant foreign exchange revenues and provides an estimated 11 employees in the sector with decent jobs. The multiplier effect takes the number to 28 , and dependencies to 55 Manufacturing of aluminium products and components play a vital role in the architectural, building and construction, automotive, transport, consumer durable, electrical, packaging, chemical and explosives and general engineering sectors. Growth in the South African use of aluminium in automotive and packaging applications has been impressive in recent years. Before discussing the industry, it is pertinent to briefly discuss aluminium and its alloys. There are eight active alloy groups for wrought alloys and five for casting alloys. The behaviour in service of these alloys depends on the composition, hardness and temper. There are both heat treatable and non-heat treatable alloys.

An estimated 85 percent of the aluminum used in buildings built today comes from AA series aluminum alloy conductors have more than 40 years of use, new scientific and production technologies continue to expand its market potential. Do you have questions about the Aluminum Association or the industry?

Most Common Uses of Aluminum

Aluminum also known as aluminum is the most abundant metal element in the earth's crust. About 41 million tons are smelted each year and employed in a wide arrange of applications. Aluminum is a lightweight, highly conductive, reflective and non-toxic metal that can be easily machined. Aluminum compounds were used by ancient Egyptians as dyes, cosmetics, and medicines, but it was not until years later that humans discovered how to smelt pure metallic aluminum. Not surprisingly, the development of methods to produce aluminum metal coincided with the advent of electricity in the 19th century, as aluminum smelting requires significant amounts of electricity. A major breakthrough in aluminum production came in when Charles Martin Hall discovered that aluminum could be produced using electrolytic reduction. Until that time, aluminum had been rarer and more expensive than gold.

Aluminum Alloys in the Aerospace Industry

Last updated: April 16, S uppose you had to design the perfect material—what would it be like? You'd probably want it to be plentiful and relatively inexpensive, strong and lightweight, easy to combine with other materials, resistant to heat and corrosion, and a good conductor of electricity. In short, you'd probably come up with a material like aluminum spelled aluminium in some countries—and that's also the official IUPAC spelling. We all see and use aluminum every day without even thinking about it. Disposable drinks cans are made from it and so is cooking foil. You can find this ghostly gray-white metal in some pretty amazing places, from jet engines in airplanes to the hulls of hi-tech warships. What makes aluminum such a brilliantly useful material?

New manufacturing process for aluminum alloys

A ductile, silvery white metal usually with dull lustre owing to a surface film of aluminum oxide , aluminum is light, weighing approximately one-third as much as an equal volume of copper or steel. It is corrosion-resistant, is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, reflects both light and radiant heat, is nonmagnetic, does not readily absorb neutrons, can be safely used with foods and medicines, and can be formed by all known metalworking processes. Aluminum can be joined by welding, brazing, soldering, adhesive bonding, riveting, stitching, or stapling and by means of a number of mechanical assemblies such as nuts and bolts, screws, and nails.

Aluminium in the Building and Construction Industries

Aluminum is used in external facades, roofs and walls, in windows and doors, in staircases, railings, shelves, and other several applications. Thanks to its features, there are many benefits that aluminum offers to the construction industry:. Pure aluminum is a low-strength metal and consequently not suitable for building applications but thanks to the addition of alloying elements such as copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc etc.

Aluminum and Aluminum Castings

Aluminum extrusions are aluminum shapes and products that have been created through the extrusion process. The extrusion process is one of the best ways to uncover the true potential of a piece of aluminum sheet.

Aluminium alloy

Sep 18, The Expresswire -- The report scrutinizes the market by an exhaustive analysis on Global Aluminum Alloys Market dynamics, market size, current trends, issues, challenges, Forecasts, competition analysis, and companies involved. This report also studies the global Aluminum Alloys market status, competition landscape, market share, growth rate, future trends, market drivers, opportunities and challenges, sales channels and distributors. In this report, has been considered as the base year and to as the forecast period to estimate the market size for Aluminum Alloys. The Global Aluminum Alloys market research provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure.

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