Aluminum (Al) alloys are known for their lightweight and high strength. Aluminum alloys provides moderate corrosion resistance, but is ductile with good formability and high conductivity. Their low cost make them the alloy of choice for a wide variety of applications.

Aluminum alloys have high electrical conductivity, and so are typically used as electrical conductors. Aluminum reflects radiant energy throughout the entire spectrum. It is non-sparking and nonmagnetic.


Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is more sensitive and better suited for light element detection, such as aluminum (Al), magnesium (Mg), and beryllium (Be). However, reliable LIBS’ analysis of materials with these elements has been very limited and typically confined to a laboratory environment – until now. The handheld KT-100S metal analyzer represents recent technological advancements in laser and spectrometer miniaturization that has rapidly expanded the use of this technique into industrial operations. KT-100S offers an advanced method for easily identifying the most popular Al grades – 1100, 6061 and 6063.

Typical Alloying Elements: Cu, Cr, Zn, Mg, Mn, Ni, Si, Zr, Ti, V, Ga


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The Rigaku KT-100S is the tool of choice among aluminum recyclers.  Find out why.

6061 Al vs. 6063 Al


7075 Al vs. 7050 Al


3003 Al vs. 3005 Al


Al Wrought

Characteristics: soft, excellent corrosion resistance, electrical and thermal conductivity

Use: food/brewing industry (foils and containers), conductor wires, roofs

Chemistry: Al 99% min, Fe up to 0.5%, Si up to 0.5%, Zn,Cu,Mg,Mn,Ti,V,Ga all generally <0.1%

Examples: 1000 series such as 1050, 1080,1100, 1200, 1350

Al-Cu Wrought

Characteristics: Medium to high strength, free cutting, good forging characteristics

Use: Aircraft and rockets, automobiles, armaments, orthopedics

Chemistry: Al rem, Cu 0.5-8%, Cr <0.5%, Mg 0.2-2%, Mn 0-1%, Ni 0-1.5%, Li 0-2.5%, Fe 0-1%, Si 0-1.2%

Examples: 2000 series such as 2011, 2014, 2017,2024, 2031,2099

Al-Mn Wrought

Characteristics: easily shaped, good finishing, resistance against pitting

Use: building sheet, vehicle paneling and trim, packaging

Chemistry: Al rem, Mn 0.3-1.5%,

Examples: 3000 series such as 3003, 3004, 3105, 3203

Al-Mg Wrought

Characteristics: medium strength, good formability, good corrosion resistance

Use: aircraft and vehicle parts, architectural uses, food and packaging

Chemistry: Al rem, Mg 0.5-5%, Mn 0-1.1%, all others typically 0.5% or less

Examples: 5000 series such as 5005, 5086, 5083, 5182, 5454

Al-Mg-Si Wrought

Characteristics: good bending properties, medium strength, excellent extrudability, good response to bright anodizing

Use: furniture tubing, window frames, irrigation tubing, beer barrels

Chemistry: Al rem, Mg 0.35-1.3%, Si 0.3-1.3%, Mn 0-0.8%, all others typically 0.5% or less

Examples: 6000 series such as 6061, 6063, 6082, 6351, 6082

Al Cast

Characteristics: excellent corrosion resistance, very good electrical conductivity

Use: sand and permanent mould castings, electrical conductor accessories

Chemistry: Al 99.5% min, others <0.1 each

Examples: 100, 15070

Al-Cu Cast

Characteristics: high mechanical properties at elevated temperatures (380 C)

Use: pistons, air-cooled cylinder heads, gear housings

Chemistry: Al rem, Cu 3.5-10.8, Ni 0-2.3, Mg 0-1.8, Si 0-4%, Fe 0-1.5, all others typically 0.6% or less

Examples: L-2150, L2140, L-2130, L-2110

Al-Si Cast

Characteristics: excellent castability, good mechanical properties

Use: stress sand and permanent mould castings, cylinder heads, valves bodies, water jackets, hose couplings

Chemistry: Al rem, Si 4-13%, Mg 0-0.8%, Cu 0-5%, Mn 0-0.7%, Fe 0-1.3%, all others typically 0.6% or less

Examples: 125, 135, 6290, L-2550

Al-Mg Cast

Characteristics: good to excellent corrosion resistance, good to excellent finishing properties

Use: Sand and permanent mould castings, marine applications, doors and windows, food handling equipment

Chemistry: Al rem, Mg 2.1-10.6%, Si 0-1.3%, Fe 0-1%, all others typically 0.6% or less

Examples: L-2341, L-2331, L-2332, 350

Al-Zn Cast

Characteristics: good mechanical and machinable characteristics

Use: sand and permanent mold castings

Chemistry: Al rem, Zn 4.8-7%, Mg 0.5-0.8%, Cu 0.15-0.65, Fe 0-0.8%, all others typically 0.5% or less

Examples: 432, L-2710

Al-Sn Cast

Characteristics: High wear resistance

Use: permanent mold castings, bearings

Chemistry: Al rem, Sn 6-7%, Ni 0.8-1.4%, Ti 0.1-0.2, Si 0-0.6

Examples: L-2910



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