When it comes to aluminum bar there are many different options available. This range of options can include different manufacturing processes as well as different alloys. Each is uniquely developed for specific applications and with different characteristic and strengths it is one of the more versatile alloys in the aerospace industry.
Depending on the specific end usage and alloys used, aluminum bar can be produced by several different methods. The most common options are rolling and extrusion, which creates a long, continuous uniformly shaped strip of aluminum alloy. Then, the long strips are cut into specific lengths known as bar stock.
In addition aluminum bar can also be produced through coiling and drawing directly from molten aluminum. Regardless of the specific process the finished product can then be machined and shaped, typically into round, circular-shaped bar, flat bar or square shapes. There is also the option to produce more rectangular shapes and even hexagonal bar, with hex bar not common in most applications.
The Major Types of Aluminum Alloy
Its light weight, natural corrosion resistant layer and its resistance to heat and flame make it a perfect option for applications in engines, aircraft and spacecraft. There are actually two different classifications of aluminum alloy, the wrought alloys and the cast alloys.
Wrought alloys are used in aluminum bar and all have a four digit designation. The designations range in series from 1000 to 8000 with the lower the number the higher the percentage of aluminum.
For the aerospace and aviation industries the 6000 series, including 6061, are the most commonly used. It is highly resistant to corrosion either by salt water or the atmosphere making it ideal for external aircraft use. It can be welded and heat treated making it a very versatile alloy.
The 7075 aluminum bar has both zinc and copper in the alloy and is considered to aircraft grade. It is weldable and also has good corrosion resistance and resists anodizing while retaining its strength.
The 2014 bar stock is not considered weldable but it is very strong. With a higher percentage of copper in the alloy it can actually be hardened to strengths comparable to steel but much lighter in weight. In older literature the 2000 series of aluminum bar was sometimes marketed as duralumin.
This alloy really is the staple in the aerospace industry. With the different series and different options in the alloys themselves aluminum bar continues to be an essential component in any type of aerospace fabrication.
At Aerotechcalloys.com, we fully stock all types of aluminum bar for use in the aerospace industry. We offer precision in-house cutting for special orders as well as additional heat treating, process and testing of all materials we sell. To learn more see us at Aerotechalloys.com.