Like any alloy, aluminium alloys are created by taking the base material and adding other elements to alter its physical and chemical properties. This allows a variety of improvements over the pure, base metal, including strength, workability, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and density.
While there are many grades and types of aluminium and its alloys, here are some important ones that are relatively common in a variety of industries:
- Al-Li – aluminium, lithium or mercury; primarily used in aircraft manufacture.
- Alnico – aluminium, nickel, copper; used to make permanent magnets.
- Duralumin – aluminium, copper; commonly found in heavy-duty forgings, wheels, plates, extrusions, and aircraft.
- Hindalium – aluminium, magnesium, manganese, silicon; often used in anodised cookware.
- Magnalium – aluminium, magnesium; most often used in aircraft parts, metal mesh and metal mirrors.
- Magnox – aluminium, magnesium oxide; used as a cladding material in nuclear reactors.
- Silumin – aluminium, silicon: commonly used to create precision castings for automotive and scientific equipment.
- Titanal – aluminium, zinc, magnesium, copper, zirconium; often used when producing skis and other sporting equipment.
- Zamak – aluminium, zinc, magnesium, copper; used to produce electronic parts, jewellery, automotive components and other precision die-cast items.