Metals and their Alloys

Aluminium

Being the most abundant metal on the planet and the most commonly used of the non-ferrous metals, we probably take this remarkable element for granted. Never underestimate its power however for it has remarkable properties. It is around one third the weight of steel yet boasts a high strength/weight ratio. It revolutionised the aviation industry and continues to dominate many areas of industry. A few reasons why Aluminium is so popular:

  • Almost fully recyclable without degradation
  • Huge weight/strength/ ratio
  • Highly malleable - easily formed
  • Excellent conduction of heat and electricity
  • Strong, natural resistance to any corrosion due to its reaction with oxygen. It forms a thin barrier which even repairs itself!
  • Highly reflective of visible light and radiated heat
  • Non-toxic (but we wouldn't advise an aluminium sandwich)

Aluminium is alloyed with other metals to make it useful. The purest alloys are the 1xxx grades. Below is a guide to the most common grades we deal with and supply.

Aluminium Alloy 6082 T6

By far the most popular aluminium alloy on the market today. It is alloyed with magnesium and silicon to give it the following properties:

  • Strong and often used in structural applications
  • High corrision resistance
  • Can be welded
  • Perfect for machining

Aluminium Alloy 1050A H14

    One of the most pure of the aluminium alloys, the majority of our flat sheet products are of this popular grade.

  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Can be welded
  • Can be anodised and therefore great in decorative applications
  • Highly ductile, having the ability to be deformed without losing strength

Aluminium Alloy 5754

    A high strength alloy making it ideal for use in our aluminium treadplate products.

  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Easily welded
  • Can be cold worked

Brass

An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is very popular in decorative applications. Widely used by model makers and artists, it is found in an extensive and diverse range of applications. A few reasons why Brass is so popular:

  • High corrosion resistance
  • High tensile strength
  • low friction making it ideal for use in locks, gears and bearings
  • Highly malleable making it easy to form while retaining high strength
  • Easily machined
  • Good heat and electrical conductivity
  • Spark resistant

The copper and zinc content varies to create Brass grades with differing properties as below.

Brass Alloy CZ121M

One of the most popular brass alloys on the market today for the following reasons:

  • Highly machinable - this grade is the standard against which other copper alloys are measured
  • Suitable for soldering
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • High stength