Aluminum in the Metalworking Industry
Aluminum is the third most richest element in the world today, and even exists within the earth’s crust – as it contributes to more than 8% of the earth’s core mass. With so many different types of metals ranging from hard to soft, choosing the right one for an application can be confusing if you are new to the metalworking industry. What makes aluminum so important in this industry? Aluminum has corrosion-resisting properties, as well as heat and electrical conduction.
What is Aluminum?
Aluminum is a low density metal that has a silver color. It is considered an unalloyed type that is ductile, exhibits strength, and is very resistant to corrosion under most circumstances. Aluminum can be dramatically stronger by the addition of the right alloying elements (Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Silicon) and succeeding heat/work treatments. It is commonly used in wrought and cast forms.
The most common types we see in the industry are:
Advantages of Aluminum
There are many advantages, so what are the main selling points to Aluminum?
Aluminum is commonly used in computers and cooling systems for its heat sink properties. The thermal conductivity is superior in comparison to stainless steel, and its lower melting point can be used with a wide range of thermal temperatures.
Aluminum has high oxidation, making it highly resistant to corrosion due to the passivation layer.
Aluminum is usually preferred for many applications due to its lightweight properties. Carbon steel is quite heavy and more dense in comparison to aluminum. Despite its lighter properties, it is incredibly strong and durable versus mild steel.
This metal is sought out in many industries such as automotive, construction, and aerospace. You can also see them used in making household appliances and utensils. The biggest consumer of all is in fact automotive due to it being lightweight and elastic properties. This is also true for the aerospace industry, as it can form almost 75% of an airlines weight.
THE ADVANTAGES OF Performance Coating
Frustrated by poor performance, metal fabricators wanted something that could be used on soft metal. Performance Coating is an engineered additive that is baked onto various abrasive discs such as resin fiber discs, quick-change discs, and even cut off wheels. Not only does it work well with aluminum, it also enhances the cut and reduces loading – making the product have a much longer life.