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What does alloy mean and what does it have to do with aluminum?

"Alloy f. Action and effect of alloying metal.

Homogeneous combination or mixture of two or more metals or metalloids with metals, to obtain materials with conditions and qualities that are not found in the components. Classic alloys are bronze, brass and nickel silver. "

Aluminum alloys are divided into two large groups, which are, forging and casting. This division corresponds to the type of forming process that aluminum alloys can be subjected to.

Within the group of forged aluminum alloys there is another division into two other subgroups, the heat-treatable alloys and the non-heat-treatable alloys. Non-heat treatable alloys can only increase their strength if they are cold worked.

Within the forged aluminum alloys without heat treatment, the main groups or series are the following, according to the AISI-SAE standard:

• 1xxx alloys: These are 99.9% technically pure aluminum alloys, the main impurities being iron and silicon as alloying elements. They are mainly used for kitchen utensils, sheet and strap.

• 3xxx alloys: The main alloying element in this group is manganese (Mn), which is intended to reinforce aluminum. They present good workability, and this type of alloys is used in kitchen utensils and containers.

• 5xxx alloys: In this group of alloys, magnesium (Mg) is the main alloying element. Used in cookware, truck construction, and marine applications.

Within the forged aluminum alloys that are heat treatable, the main series are the following:

• 2xxx alloys: The main alloy in this group of alloys is copper (Cu). This alloy is used especially for the manufacture of aircraft structures.

• 6xxx alloys: The main alloying elements in this group are magnesium and silicon. It is used for profiles and structures in general.

• 7xxx alloys: The main alloys in this group of alloys are zinc, magnesium and copper. It is used to make aircraft structures.

In this last division, there are the aluminum alloys with the highest mechanical resistance: those of the 2000 and 7000 series. On the other hand, the 6000 and 7000 series aluminum alloys are the most used due to their wide range of applications.

Each alloy has a different chemical composition and mechanical behavior, as well as specific applications.

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