Classification and Typical Uses of Aluminium Alloys 

diecasting chrome aluminum

Aluminium alloys are one of the industry’s most widely used non-ferrous structural materials. They are used in a large number of applications in the aviation, aerospace, automotive, machinery manufacturing, shipping and chemical industries. The rapid development of the industrial economy has led to an increasing demand for aluminium alloys, which are by far the most used alloy. So how much do you know about the classification and use of aluminium alloys?


Classification of aluminium alloys

Series I

The 1000 series aluminium alloys represent 1050, 1060 and 1100 series. Among all series, the 1000 series is the one with the highest aluminium content. The purity can reach over 99.00%. Since it does not contain other technical elements, the production process is relatively homogeneous and inexpensive, making it the most commonly used series in today’s conventional industry. Most of the aluminium sheets currently in circulation are of the 1050 and 1060 series. 1000 series aluminium sheets are based on the last two Arabic numerals to determine the minimum aluminium content of the series; for example, the last two Arabic numerals of the 1050 series are 50, and according to the international grade naming principle, the aluminium content must reach 99.5% or more to be qualified. China’s aluminium alloy technical standard (GB/T3880-2006) also clearly stipulates that the aluminium content of 1050 reaches 99.5%. In the same way, the aluminium content of 1060 series aluminium sheets must reach 99.6% or more.

Series II

The 2000 series aluminium alloy represents 2024, 2A16 (LY16), and 2A02 (LY6). 2000 series aluminium sheets are characterized by high hardness, with the highest content of copper in the original genus, around 3-5%. 2000 series aluminium rods belong to aerospace and are currently not commonly used in the conventional industry.


3000 series aluminium alloy represents 3003, 3A21 mainly. China’s 3000 series aluminium sheet production process is excellent. 3000 series aluminium rods are made of manganese elements as the main component. The content is between 1.0 and 1.5 and is a series with a good rust protection function.


The 4000 series aluminium rods are represented by 4A01. The 4000 series aluminium sheets belong to a series with the higher silicon content. The usual silicon content is between 4.5 and 6.0%. They are used for construction, mechanical parts, forging and welding; they have a low melting point and good corrosion resistance and are characterized by their heat and wear resistance.


The 5000 series aluminium alloys represent the 5052, 5005, 5083 and 5A05 series. 5000 series aluminium rods belong to the more commonly used alloy aluminium sheet series, the main element is magnesium, and the magnesium content is between 3 and 5%. It can also be called an aluminium-magnesium alloy. The main characteristics are low density, high tensile strength and high elongation. The weight of the aluminium-magnesium alloy is lower than that of other series in the same area. The conventional industry is also more widely used. In our country, the 5000 series aluminium sheet belongs to one of the more mature aluminium sheet series.


The 6000 series aluminium alloy represents 6061 and contains mainly magnesium and silicon, so it concentrates the advantages of the 4000 and 5000 series. 6061 is a cold-treated aluminium forging product suitable for applications with high corrosion resistance and oxidation requirements. It is easy to use, easy to coat and has good workability.


Series 7000 aluminium alloy stands for 7075 and Contains mainly zinc elements. It is an aluminium-magnesium-zinc-copper alloy, heat treatable and a super hard aluminium alloy with good wear resistance. Currently, we rely on imports, and our production process still needs improvement.


The 8000 series aluminium alloy is more commonly used as 8011 and belongs to other series, mostly used as aluminium foil and less commonly used in producing aluminium rods.


The 9000 series aluminium alloys are spare.


Typical uses of aluminium alloys

1050: extruded coils for the food, chemical and brewing industries, various hoses, and pyrotechnic powder.

1060: where high corrosion resistance and formability are required but not high strength, chemical equipment is typical.

1100: for the processing of parts and components requiring good formability and high corrosion resistance but not high strength, e.g. chemical products, devices and storage containers for the food industry, sheet machined parts, deep drawn or spun sunken vessels, welded parts, heat exchangers, printing plates, nameplates, reflective appliances.

1145: aluminium foils for packaging and insulation, heat exchangers.

1199: electrolytic capacitor foils, optical reflective deposition films.

1350: wires, conductive strands, busbars, transformer strips.

2011: screws and machined products require good machinability.

2014: applications requiring high strength and hardness (including high temperatures). Aircraft heavy, forgings, thick plates and extruded materials, wheels and structural elements, multi-stage rocket first-stage fuel tanks and spacecraft parts, truck frames and suspension system parts.

2017: the first 2XXX-series alloy to gain industrial application, currently in a narrow range of applications, mainly rivets, general mechanical parts, structural and transport vehicle components, propellers and accessories.

2024: aircraft structures, rivets, missile components, truck wheels, propeller elements and various other structural parts.

2036: sheet metal parts for automobile bodies.

2048: structural parts for aerospace vehicles and structural parts for armaments.

2124: structural parts for aerospace vehicles.

2218: aircraft engine and diesel engine pistons, aircraft engine cylinder heads, jet engine impellers and compressor rings.

2219: Space rocket welding oxidizer tanks, supersonic aircraft skins and structural parts with a working temperature of -270 to 300°C. Good weldability, high fracture toughness, and high-stress corrosion cracking resistance in T8.

2319: welding rods and filler welds for welding La 2219 alloy.

2618: Die forgings and free forgings. Piston and aero-engine parts.

2A01: Structural rivets with a working temperature of less than or equal to 100°C.

2A02: Axial compressor blades for turbojet engines with an operating temperature of 200 to 300°C.

2A06: structural rivets for aircraft structures with an operating temperature of 150 to 250°C and aircraft structures with an operating temperature of 125 to 250°C.

2A10: Higher strength than that of alloy 2A01 for the manufacture of rivets for aircraft structures with an operating temperature of less than or equal to 100°C.

2A11: Medium-strength structural parts for aircraft, propeller blades, transportation tools and construction. Medium-strength bolts and rivets for aircraft.

2A12: Structural members of aircraft skins, spacers, wing ribs, wing beams, rivets, etc., construction and means of transport.

2A14: Free forgings and drop-forged parts of complex shape.

2A16: Parts of aerospace vehicles with a working temperature of 250 to 300°C, welded containers and gas-tight cockpits working at room temperature and high temperature.

2A17: parts for aircraft with a working temperature of 225 to 250°C.

2A50: medium strength parts of complex shape.

2A60: aircraft engine compressor wheels, air guide wheels, fans, impellers, etc.

2A70: Aircraft skins, aircraft engine pistons, wind deflectors, wheel discs, etc.

2A80: aircraft engine compressor blades, impellers, pistons, rising rings and other parts with high operating temperatures.

2A90: pistons for aircraft engines.

3003: for processing parts components that require good forming properties, high corrosion resistance, good weldability, or require both these properties and work with higher strength than 1XXX series alloys, such as kitchenware, food and chemical product handling and storage devices, tanks and cans for transporting liquid products, various pressure vessels and pipes processed in thin sheets.

3004: all-aluminium can body, parts are requiring higher strength than 3003 alloys, chemical product production and storage devices, sheet machined parts, construction machined parts, construction tools, and parts for various lamps.

3105: room partitions, stalls, mobile home panels, gutters and downpipes, sheet-forming machined parts, bottle caps, corks, etc.

3A21: aircraft fuel tanks, oil ducts, riveted wire, etc.; construction materials and industrial equipment such as foodstuffs, etc.

5005: similar to 3003 alloys, with medium strength and good corrosion resistance. Used as conductors, cookware, instrument panels, shells and architectural decorative parts. The anodized film is brighter than that on alloy 3003 and harmonizes with the shade of alloy 6063.

5050: thin sheets are used as lining plates for chillers and refrigerators, automotive gas and oil pipes and agricultural irrigation pipes; thick sheets, tubes, bars, profiles and wire can also be processed.

5052: This alloy has good forming and processing properties, corrosion resistance, handleability, fatigue strength and medium static strength; used in the manufacture of aircraft fuel tanks and fuel pipes, as well as vehicles, ship’s sheet metal parts, instruments, street lamp bracket and rivets, hardware products, etc…

5056: magnesium alloy with cable sheathing rivets, zips, nails, etc.; wire clad in aluminium is widely used for processing agricultural insect trap covers and other applications where high corrosion resistance is required.

5083: for applications requiring high corrosion resistance, good weldability and medium strength, such as welded parts for naval, automotive and aircraft plates; pressure vessels requiring strict fire protection; refrigeration units, television towers, drilling equipment, transport equipment, missile components, armour, etc.

5086: for applications requiring high corrosion resistance, good weldability and medium strength, such as ships, cars, aircraft, cryogenic equipment, TV towers, drilling installations, transport equipment, missile components and decks, etc.

5154: Welded structures, storage tanks, pressure vessels, ship structures and offshore installations, and transport tanks.

5182: thin plates for the processing of can covers, automotive body panels, steering plates, reinforcement parts, brackets and other components.

5252: used for manufacturing decorative parts with high strength, such as decorative parts for automobiles, etc. Having a bright and transparent oxide film after anodizing.

5254: Containers for hydrogen peroxide and other chemical products.

5356: Welding electrodes and wires of aluminium-magnesium alloys with a magnesium content greater than 3%.

5454: Welded structures, pressure vessels, and pipelines for marine installations.

5456: armour plate, high-strength welded structures, storage tanks, pressure vessels, ship materials.

5457: Decorative parts for automobiles and other equipment, polished and anodized.

5652: Storage containers for hydrogen peroxide and other chemical products.

5657: decorative parts for automobiles and other equipment, polished and anodized, provided in any case that the material has a fine grain structure.

5A02: Aircraft fuel tanks and ducts, welding wire, rivets, and structural parts for ships.

5A03: medium-strength welded structures, cold stamped parts, welded containers, welding wire, usable as a replacement for alloy 5A02.

5A05: welded structural parts, aircraft skin skeletons.

5A06: welded structural elements, cold-die forged parts, welded and drawn vessel stressed parts, aircraft skin and bone parts.

5A12: welded structural parts, bullet-proof decks.

6005: extruded profiles and tubes for structural parts requiring a stronger height than 6063 alloys, such as ladders, television antennas, etc…

6009: sheets for car bodywork.

6010: thin sheets, car bodywork.

6061: various industrial structural properties require a certain strength, weldability and high corrosion resistance, such as tubes, bars, shapes and plates for manufacturing trucks, towers, ships, trams, jigs, mechanical parts, precision machining, etc…

6063: construction profiles, irrigation pipes and extruded materials for vehicles, pedestals, furniture, fences, etc…

6066: extruded materials for forgings and welded structures.

6070: extruded materials and tubes for heavy-duty welded structures and the automotive industry.

6101: high-strength bars, electrical conductors, heat dissipation equipment for buses, etc.

6151: for die-forged crankshaft parts, machine parts and the production of rolled rings for applications requiring good malleability, high strength and corrosion resistance.

6201: High-strength conductive rods and wires.

6205: thick plates, treads and extrusions for high impact resistance.

6262: threaded, highly stressed parts requiring corrosion resistance superior to alloys 2011 and 2017.

6351: extruded structural parts for vehicles, pipelines for the transport of water, oil, etc.

6463: architectural and various appliance profiles and decorative automotive parts with bright surfaces after anodizing.

6A02: parts for aircraft engines, forgings and drop-forged parts of complex shapes.

7005: extruded materials for the manufacture of welded structures that require both high strength and high fracture toughness, such as trusses, rods and containers for transport vehicles; large heat exchangers, and parts that cannot be solidified after welding; also for the manufacture of sports equipment such as tennis rackets and softball bats.

7039: Refrigeration containers, cryogenic apparatus and storage tanks, fire-fighting pressure equipment, military equipment, armour plates, and missile devices.

7049: Used for forging the same static strength as 7079-T6 alloy and requires high resistance to stress corrosion cracking of parts such as aircraft and missile parts – landing gear hydraulic cylinders and extrusions. The fatigue properties of the parts are roughly equal to those of alloy 7075-T6, while the toughness is slightly higher.

7050: aircraft structural parts with medium-thick plates, extrusions, free and die forgings. The manufacture of such parts for the alloy requirements is high resistance to spalling corrosion, stress corrosion cracking capacity, fracture toughness and fatigue resistance.

7072: aluminium foil and extra-thin strips for air conditioners; cladding for 2219, 3003, 3004, 5050, 5052, 5154, 6061, 7075, 7475, and 7178 alloy plates and tubes.

7075: for manufacturing aircraft structures and future highly stressed structural parts requiring high strength and corrosion resistance, mould making.

7175: for forging aircraft with high structural strength. t736 materials have good overall performance, i.e. high strength, resistance to spalling corrosion and stress corrosion cracking properties, fracture toughness, and fatigue strength.

7178: parts for the manufacture of aerospace vehicles requiring high compressive yield strength.

7475: aluminium-clad and unclad plates for fuselages, wing skeletons, trusses, etc. Other components require both high strength and high fracture toughness.

7A04: Aircraft skins, screws, and stressed components such as beam trusses, spacers, wing ribs, and landing gear.

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