Metal Fabrications: Three Crucial Considerations for Aluminium Grade Selection

Aluminium is an excellent material for commercial metal fabrications. This option is favourable because it is resistant to corrosion. This stability can be attributed to the layer of oxide which forms naturally on the metal surface. Aluminium is also relatively strong. So, it can be used in diverse applications. Also, this material is quite attractive and highly machinable. However, you should remember that there are different aluminium grades on the market. Therefore, you should be cautious when choosing raw material for your project. Here are some critical factors for ideal aluminium alloy selection:

Grade Strength

When choosing an aluminium grade for your fabrication project, you should think about the strength of the manufacturing materials. If you are planning on ordering functional products such as equipment parts, you should select a highly resilient material. On the other hand, you do not need to spend money on robust alloys if you are fabricating decorative custom items. Pure aluminium is a low strength material, so it is unsuitable for high pressure and temperature applications. For better strength, you should purchase higher strength aluminium grades such as free-machining alloy or materials with copper as an alloying element.


The formability of metal is an essential factor to evaluate before a fabrication project. If a material is not highly workable, it will be more difficult to shape into the desired design. On the other hand, you should remember that formable alloys are softer and have low strength. Therefore, you must find an appropriate balance between these aspects. Pure aluminium is highly malleable and can be formed into complex products with ease. If you require an extremely workable grade with high strength, you should choose materials with manganese as the alloying element. Most types of aluminium have relatively good formability, except special application alloys which are used for highly stressed fabrications such as aeroplane parts.

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is a vital property for materials which will be exposed to adverse conditions. Therefore, if your desired custom products will be used in saline or industrial applications, you should think about this characteristic during grade selection. Pure aluminium has exceptional resistance to corrosive environments due to the formation of aluminium oxide. You can also choose marine grade aluminium for your harsh surrounding applications. This material has multiple alloying elements which increase strength without making the metal vulnerable to saline conditions. You should remember to avoid grades with high iron content because this predisposes aluminium to rust and corrosion. 

For more information and assistance, contact an aluminium fabrications service near you.