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Posted by Judie Langford on Nov 27, 2014 in Business

The Versatility and Strength of Aluminum Square Bar

Aluminum was once more expensive than gold as it was very difficult to extract and refine. It was just over 100 years ago processes were discovered to make aluminum extraction and refining easier, making aluminum cheaper and therefore more widely used.

Aluminum is now the second most commonly used and commercially available metal after steel. Its huge popularity is due mainly to its light weight and good strength-to-weight ratio.

Pure aluminum on its own has very little strength, but it does have excellent electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance and relativity. When alloyed with other metals for strength, these properties make aluminum alloys highly sought after for a wide variety of applications.

Aluminum Square Bar
Aluminum alloys are machined into many different standard shapes, one of which is aluminum square bar.

It is available in a range of different alloys, each one offering different benefits in terms of strength, machinability, weldability and corrosion resistance. The International Alloy Designation System is the naming system whereby each alloy is allocated a four-digit number. The first digit of this number indicates what the primary alloying element is – 6-series numbers, for example, are alloyed with magnesium and silicon, and 7-series with zinc.

The most common square bar alloys are:

* Alloy 7075 – an extremely high-strength alloy commonly used in aerospace applications. It is as strong as most steels, but retains the light-weight benefit of aluminum.

* Alloy 2034-T351 – has a high strength-to weight ratio, making it ideal for aircraft and the motor industry. It is non-magnetic, and heat treatable.

* Alloy 6061 – very versatile with a wide range of applications. It is commonly used where corrosion resistance is needed, and typical products include braces, supports, frame works, shafts and trim. It is easy to machine, weld and cut.

* Alloy 6063 – mainly considered an architectural grade of aluminum because of its smooth, attractive finish. It is also strong, light-weight and has good anti-corrosion properties. It is easy to weld, extrude and form, making it perfect for custom-designed decorative components, as well as window frames, door frames and roofs.

Ask Us About Aluminum
Howard Precision Metals is one of the largest aluminum distributors in the Midwest. Visit howardprecision.com to find out more.