The welding of aluminium and its alloys

Storage and handling

Good handling practices are required if aluminium components are to be supplied to the customer in an unmarked condition. Aluminium is a rela­tively soft material and is easily scored or dented by clumsy handling or the use of inappropriate lifting equipment. Over-centre edge clamps, commonly used on steels, can score plate edges and steel chains can produce scratches and dents. A solution to marking by clamps is to face the jaws with a soft material - wood or polythene blocks are excellent as packing materials. Lifting should be carried out with nylon ropes or webbing straps. Remem­ber that these softer materials are far more easily damaged than steel and more regular maintenance of any lifting equipment will be necessary. Hard particles can also become embedded in the packing or lifting strops, result­ing in marking of the components.

Storage is important if the surface condition of the aluminium is not to suffer. Ideally, items should be stored indoors in a dry, clean and well - ventilated storage area. Storing plates flat may give rise to water staining from condensation collecting on the surface. This can be particularly dam­aging if the plates are stacked directly one on top of another, when a thick layer of hydrated oxide can rapidly form at the interface. Plates should always be separated in storage and ideally stacked on edge to provide good air circulation. This reduces the risk of accumulating water and dirt on the flat surfaces and prevents other items being stored on top. It also assists in reducing the risk of scratches from dragging plates off the stack.

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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