Manufacturers may add a number of different alloying elements to aluminum, including copper, magnesium, iron, and zinc. The primary property of aluminum alloy is its strength, although various other properties, such as thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance, can be enhanced through the use of certain alloying elements. Common applications for this material include storage tanks, home appliances, and utensils. It is also found in a range of applications within the architecture and construction industries.
Common grades of aluminum alloy include:
Copper, Brass, and Bronze Alloys
Due to their color, bronze, brass, and copper are all known as red metals. Although brass and bronze are both alloys, copper itself is a pure metal that can be combined with other materials. Bronze combines copper and tin, while brass combines copper and zinc.
Copper is highly durable, conductive, and resistant to bacteria, corrosion, and impacts. Brass and bronze are similar to copper, but also have very high melting points and slight brittleness. These materials are the optimal choice for a wide range of applications, including pipes, electrical systems, and musical instruments.
Grades of copper include:
- Alloy 101. This is a popular choice for applications requiring ductility and conductivity, as it contains no oxygen.
- Alloy 110. This grade of copper offers malleability, ductility, and incredibly high conductivity.
- Alloy 122. Although it offers many of the same properties as Alloy 110, Alloy 122 also provides high levels of weldability and formability.
- Alloy 145. Also known as tellurium copper, Alloy 145 is very machinable and highly conductive.
There is a wide range of brass grades available, including:
- Alloy 260. Known for its cold working properties, this alloy is often found in hardware and automobiles.
- Alloy 272. This alloy contains 33% zinc and is most often utilized in architectural and industrial applications.
- Alloy 330. With its low lead content, Alloy 330 is highly machinable and provides good cold working properties.
- Alloy 353. Sometimes known as clock brass, this alloy offers high levels of machinability and is ideal for precision parts.
Common grades of bronze include:
- Alloy 932. This option contains high levels of lead and is often found in non-pressure components and washers.
- Alloy 954. This versatile aluminum bronze alloy is utilized across a wide range of industrial equipment.