The welding of aluminium and its alloys

Product forms

Aluminium is available in both wrought and cast forms. The wrought forms comprise hot and cold rolled sheet, plate, rod, wire and foil. The ductility and workability of aluminium mean that extrusion is a simple method of producing complex shapes, particularly for long, structural members such as I and H beams, angles, channels, T-sections, pipes and tubes. Forging, both hot and cold, is used extensively as a fast, economical method of producing simple shapes. Precision forging is particularly suitable for aluminium alloys, giving advantages of good surface finish, close tolerances, optimum grain flow and the elimination of machining.

The four most commonly used methods of casting are sand casting, lost wax casting, permanent steel mould casting and die-casting. The require­ment for high fluidity in a casting alloy means that many are based on aluminium-silicon alloys although heat-treatable (age-hardening) alloys are often used for sand, lost wax and permanent mould castings. Lost wax and die-casting give products with smooth surfaces to close tolerances and are processes used extensively for aerospace products. A number of alloys, their product forms and applications are listed in Table 1.1.

The welding of aluminium and its alloys

Alloy designations: wrought products

Table A.4 BS EN BS EN Old BS/DTD Temperature (°C) numerical chemical number designation designation Liquidus Solidus IVIdUng range Al 99.99 1 660 660 0 AW-1080A Al 99.8 1A AW-1070A …

Principal alloy designations: cast products

Table A.3 BS EN numerical designation BS EN chemical designation Old BS number ANSI designation Temperature (°C) Liquidus Solidus Melting range Al 99.5 LM0 640 658 18 AC-46100 Al Si10Cu2Fe …

Physical, mechanical and chemical properties at 20°C

Table A.2 Property Aluminium Iron Nickel Copper Titanium Crystal structure FCC BCC FCC FCC HCP Density (gm/cm3) 2.7 7.85 8.9 8.93 4.5 Melting point (°C) 660 1536 1455 1083 1670 …

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