Understanding the aluminum plate Designation System

where to buy aluminum plate

With the growth of aluminum within the welding fabrication industry, and its acceptance as an excellent alternative to steel for many applications, there are increasing requirements for those involved with developing aluminum projects to become more familiar with this group of materials.  To fully understand aluminum, it is advisable to start by becoming acquainted with the aluminum identification / designation system, the many aluminum alloys available and their characteristics. Understanding the aluminum plate Designation System
The Aluminum Alloy Temper and Designation System

In North America, The Aluminum Association Inc. is responsible for the allocation and registration of aluminum alloys.  Currently there are over 400 wrought aluminum and wrought aluminum alloys and over 200 aluminum alloys in the form of castings and ingots registered with the Aluminum Association.  The alloy chemical composition limits for all of these registered alloys are contained in the Aluminum Association’s Teal Book entitled “International Alloy Designations and Chemical Composition Limits for Wrought Aluminum and Wrought Aluminum Alloys” and in their Pink Book entitled “Designations and Chemical Composition Limits for Aluminum Alloys in the Form of Castings and Ingot.  These publications can be extremely useful to the welding engineer when developing welding procedures, and when the consideration of chemistry and its association with crack sensitivity is of importance.

Aluminum alloys can be categorized into a number of groups based on the particular material’s characteristics such as its ability to respond to thermal and mechanical treatment and the primary alloying element added to the aluminum alloy.  When we consider the numbering / identification system used for aluminum alloys, the above characteristics are identified.  The wrought and cast aluminums have different systems of identification; the wrought having a 4-digit system, and the castings having a 3-digit and 1-decimal place system.

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