When performing repairs and upgrades in your commercial machinery, you must consider the availability of replacement parts. If your equipment is relatively modern, you will be able to find OEM and aftermarket components in the market. However, if you have fairly older equipment or would like to improve performance, you will need to consider custom metal fabrication. If you choose this manufacturing option, it is critical to identify the right material for your components. One of the favourable choices to consider is aluminium, and you can also select its alloys, which have diverse advantageous properties. Here is a brief description of the primary types of aluminium materials which are suitable for machinery components fabrication.
As implied, pure aluminium is a material with minimal impurities and no alloying elements. This type of metal is suitable for commercial equipment parts because of its ability to resist corrosion, particularly when compared to carbon steel. Therefore, you can choose this option if the machinery environment is moist or permeated with saline or relatively corrosive chemicals. The metal is lightweight, and this can be a valuable property in some applications. Consider choosing pure aluminium for fabrication of sheet metal parts like machinery body panels and fan blades.
The main disadvantage of aluminium in equipment construction, in contrast to the popular steel, is the low strength. Basically, if pure aluminium is used in machinery tooling, it will experience distortion when exposed to high pressure or impact. If this is your concern, you should choose aluminium-copper alloys. The metals in this category have high strength, which is achieved by combining the two elements in a special heat treatment process. The tensile strength achieved with this type is high, so you can elect the alloy for manufacturing actual machine tools, custom equipment fasteners and fittings, cylinder pistons and other similar components.
This type of aluminium material is manufactured with magnesium and silicon as the primary alloying constituents. The metal is an appropriate choice for most general purpose equipment fabrication project because it strikes a balance between strength, machinability and corrosion resistance. In simple terms, this alloy is strong but not as much as aluminium-copper. However, it does not resist easy welding and surface treatments like the copper alloy. In addition, this material will not corrode in adverse commercial conditions, and the surface can be anodised to increase the natural protective layer.
If you are interested in material strength above all other properties, choose aluminium-zinc alloys. However, this metal is vulnerable to stress corrosion, particularly after welding.Share