Steel tubing is popular for a huge number of uses, from pipelines to exhausts. However, some people will choose aluminium instead. It can offer some really good properties, such as high resistance to corrosion and heat, low weight, and high strength. But, if you want to use it for tubes, you need to think about the impact it will have on tube manipulation. If you don’t, you may have some issues.
The best metals to choose if you will be doing complex manipulation are from the 1xxx series. These are pure grades, meaning they will be 99% aluminium or above. The lack of alloying elements means they have excellent workability. So, if your project involves a lot of bends or very tricky manipulations, one of these will probably be the best option for you.
In addition to pure aluminium there are many different series of alloys. The first is 2xxx with copper as the main alloying element. Grades in this series have less workability than pure aluminium so things like tube manipulation will be trickier.
The next series is 3xxx. Here manganese is the main alloying element. The alloys have higher strength than pure aluminium and retain a good amount of workability. Grade 3003 is a good option for tubing.
Series 4xxx aluminium has silicon as the main alloying element. What this does is give the metals a much lower melting point and higher wear resistance.
Next up is 5xxx, a series where the main element in the alloys is magnesium. These metals have good strength and weldability. The corrosion resistance is excellent, so they are the best option for marine uses. In terms of tubing, 5052 is very good.
The 6xxx series is a very interesting one. Here the alloys contain high amounts of silicon and magnesium. As a result the metals have a high formability, weldability, and machinability. Series 6061 is great for tubing.
Finally is 7xxx series. The alloying elements here are zinc and magnesium. Sadly, these metals only have mediocre formability.
Offering tube manipulation
Multiform Tubes Engineering Ltd appreciates that alloys of metals can present challenges with forming and adapting tubes. For example in some cases it is best not to use an alloy because it does not have good formability. It is vital to think about each material to ensure you know what is and isn’t possible.
When it comes to tube manipulation we can offer great results for many alloys of many metals. Our team are skilful and knowledgeable. So, whatever use you have in mind or complexity, you can rely on us. Get in touch today to learn more.