An Overview Of Options With Aluminum Alloy Plate
While many OEM and prototype developers have a clear picture of the aluminum alloy plate that is best suited for their specific needs, there are often alternatives to consider.
By working with an aluminum manufacturer and supplier that specializes in aluminum plate you have the advantage of looking at different factors and options. Comparing the different types of alloys can result in a better combination of properties, stability, weldability or machinability that can add cost savings to your production or boost the durability of the part or component.
Critical factors to consider with aluminum alloy plate when comparing it to other alloys will vary based on the working environment, the specifics fabrication and machining processes required and issues with strength and corrosion resistance.
There will be two different considerations with regards to corrosion resistance for any alloy. One will be inland atmosphere, which will include typical chemicals found in the air and in workplace environments. The second will be a rating for marine atmospheres. This will include corrosion resistance to salt spray and salt water.
In some situations, there may need to be a consideration for an alloy that is resistant to direct and continual exposure to specific types of chemicals. This is often the case for parts or components that are used in manufacturing and processing plants as well as in chemical production or refineries.
While most aluminum alloys can be welded using resistance welding methods, this is not always the case. Some alloys are more suited to WIG or TIG welding. Both terms refer to Tungesten Inert Gas with the “W” in WIG standing for Wolfram, which is tungsten in German.
Weldability is often a critical factor with aluminum alloy plate used in any type of marine, automobile or aerospace type of application. It may also be essential in construction and fabrication uses as well.
Aluminum has an aesthetic appeal that makes it a great choice when further surface finishing isn’t required. Polishing allows the natural brightness and reflectivity of aluminum to really stand out.
In applications where there is a need for additional surface protection look for an aluminum alloy that has a very good to excellent rating for hard anodizing. This will provide a cost-effective way to increase the resistance of the alloy surface to any type of corrosion or damage due to exposure to chemicals, moisture or the atmosphere.