Aluminum alloys are often a preferred material for aerospace designs and required by engineering due to its corrosion-resistance properties and high strength capabilities. Compared to steel it is a lightweight option, and an ideal material for a wide range of aircraft components and aerospace applications.
Aerospace Aluminum Grades
The aluminum grade needed for your aerospace application will largely depend on the function of your application. Corrosion-resistance and machinability are some of the factors to consider when choosing the correct aluminum alloy.
Aluminum Grade Properties
Ideal for framework due to its machinability and strength. Does not provide corrosion-resistance when compared to other aluminum grades. It is not well-suited for applications with high environmental stressors or corrosive environments.
Widely used among aircraft and aerospace components. Provides stress resistance, high-tensile strength, and can be heat treated. Aluminum sheet and plate are ideal for applications such as aircraft wings, structures, or repair purposes.
Provides corrosion-resistance and weldability. It is one of the more commonly used aluminum alloys for aviation and aircraft. Alloy 3003 is not heat-treatable.
Another non-heat treatable aluminum alloy, alloy 5052 offers a high fatigue strength when compared to other aluminum grades. It offers good corrosion-resistance and formability properties. It is commonly used for aircraft fuel tanks.
Workable with excellent corrosion-resistance, alloy 6061 can be welded and brazed. It is commonly used for wings or fuselage.
Ideal for anodizing applications or architectural structures. Alloy 6063 offers high-tensile properties with high corrosion-resistance. Often used for aesthetic purposes and finishes.
Ideal for wing skins and military aircraft, alloy 7050 has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and can be heat-treated.
Commonly used for aircraft applications, alloy 7068 is one of the strongest aluminum alloys available for aerospace applications. Its corrosion-resistance and high-strength make it a popular aluminum alloy grade for applications that are subjected to high environmental stressors.
Aluminum alloy 7075 offers high fatigue-resistance and average corrosion-resistance. It has high levels of zinc making it comparable in strength to steel. It is ideal for high-stressed components like gears or fuselages. One of the most common aluminum alloys used for aerospace components.
Benefits of Aluminum for Aircraft and Aerospace Applications
With its lightweight properties and high strength-to-weight ratio, aluminum has been the preferred choice of metal materials for aerospace applications. Additional benefits that aluminum offers for aircraft applications include:
Durability in high stressed environments, temperature and pressure extremes
Formability allows for easy fabrication for smaller aircraft parts
Aluminum alloys offer high electrical conductivity
Due to the lightweight properties of aluminum, it offers a cost-effective alternative to other material types. Lighter aircraft can equate to less fuel consumption and an overall cost-saving advantage
Common Aluminum Products Used for Aircraft Components
When quality aluminum products are a must, depend on Industrial Metal Supply for your 6061 aluminum aerospace needs. We have an extensive inventory of aluminum products in sheet, plate, bar and tube - and if domestic product is required we can supply the material. In addition to our vast inventory, we offer competitive pricing with same-day will call or next day delivery capabilities. Stop by one of our six locations or call us today.