Choosing the Right Alloy

Selecting the best alloy for your project isn't always simple, but using our alloy guide we can find the perfect match together.

Choosing the right materials is central to any project, and this is no-less true of aluminum. One of aluminiums biggest advantages, and a reason it may seem daunting at first, is it's versitility. Aluminium can be paired with numerous elements, resulting in a huge variety of end-use applications.

Our aim is to make this process simpler. By using our wealth of in-house industry knowledge and experience, we can find the exact alloy to compliment your project, and even-better, to exceed your expectations.  

Extrusion Alloys

2000 Series

Created using roughly 95% aluminium (Al), 4.5% copper (Cu) and 0.5% other materials, 2000 series alloys are typically used in a similar fashion to steel, but come with added weight, corrosive and shaping benefits. 

Benefits

  • Although more corrosive than other aluminium alloys, they can still outlast steel significantly
  • High malleability means the profiles can be shaped and sized in ways steel simply cannot
  • Up to 2.5 times lighter than their steel equivalent

Draw Backs

  • Often requires cladding as they are more susceptible to corrosion compared to other alloys
  • Their light weight comes at the cost of strength, sometimes requiring thicker profiles
  • Generally more expensive than steel

 

6000 Series

These alloys are by far the most versatile and commonly used in the industry for extrusion. This is due to the wide range of options available, making picking specific characteristics much easier.

Benefits

  • Highly heat treatable, adding the possibility to strengthen profiles significantly and making them suitable for multiple construction and structural applications
  • Anodising can produce far more aesthetically pleasing finishes than other metals, making them ideal for interior design and architectural purposes 
  • Finished and anodised profiles are virtually invulnerable to corrosion, even in extremely harsh environments, such as under-water  
  • It's easy to weld with

Draw Backs

  • Some alloys high strength can come at the cost of their anodising possibilities, and therefor impact the finish quality
  • The higher strength alloys also become much more difficult to extrude, making it near impossible to product some more complex profiles

 

7000 Series

As the strongest series alloy available, 7000 series aluminium is mostly used for construction, but is also present in the automotive and aerospace industries as well.

Benefits

  • Very good strength relative to other alloys, and will maintain it's level for strength for longer
  • More resistant to heat, maintaining the afore-mentioned strength where other alloys may not
  • Ideal for anodising, although mainly for protective properties

Draw Backs

  • Not as visually pleasing as 6000 series alloys as their strength limits anodising capabilities
  • Due to their strength, 7000 series alloys are difficult to extrude and limit profile complexity
  • They have a lower corrosive resistance than 6000 series alloys, although this can be improved by adding other materials
Different Aluminium Profiles-682656-edited.jpg

Non-Extrusion Alloys

1000 Series 

Usually at-least 99% aluminium, 1000 series alloys are the purest available. These are non-heat treatable, and therefor much weaker than any of the extrudable alloys.

Benefits

  • Good heat and electrical conductivity
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Easily mouldable

Draw Backs

  • Typically very weak, although moderate improvements can be made via cold working
  • Non-heat treatable

3000 Series 

Moderately stronger that 1000 series alloys, 3000 series is commonly used to produce household items such as kettles and pans. This strength is achieved by adding some manganese to the alloy.

Benefits

  • Equal heat and electrical conductivity to 1000 series
  • Equally high corrosion resistance
  • Only marginally less mouldable, although with slightly more strength

Draw Backs

  • Still weak compared to other aluminium alloys
  • Non-heat treatable

 

4000 Series 

By adding silicon to the alloy, 4000 series aluminium obtains a beneficial electro-magnetic resistance, making it ideal for producing hard-drive trays, for example.

Benefits

  • Good electro-magnetic resistance
  • Ideal thermal and electrical conductivity
  • High corrosion resistance

Draw Backs

  • Difficult to machine, mould and shape due to the brittleness of the silicon
Aluminium Slates-901200-edited.jpg

Seen enough? Get in touch!

Whatever your query may be, our caring and friendly service team are more than happy to help. You can either send us a quick message or a detailed enquiry with drawings or sketches. We will get in touch with you as soon as we can, to discuss your requirements further.

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Reach us by phone or email

During our opening hours reach us on UK (+44) 020 3011 2010 or email us any time at hello@bwcgroup.co.uk

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
  • Friday 9am - 4.15pm

 

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