1100 - This low-strength alloy has excellent corrosion-resistance, has satisfactory anodizing and conversion coating finishing characteristics, and is unmatched by any other commercial aluminum alloy in workability. It lends itself readily to welding, brazing and soldering, but tends toward gumminess when machined. Typical end uses are spun holloware, fin stock, chemical storage, and processing equipment, kitchen utensil items, and general sheet metal work.
3003 - About 20% higher in strength than 1100 but retaining an excellent workability rating. May show some slight discoloration when anodized, but reacts well to mechanical and organic finishings. Is easily welded and brazed, but soldering is limited to the torch method. Like 1100, tends to be gummy when machined, but will perform somewhat satisfactorily in the higher tempers with the proper set-up and maximum speeds. Typical end uses include food and chemical handling equipment, appliance components, truck/trailer roofing, heat exchangers, pipe jacketing and lawn furniture components.
5005 - Comparable to 3003 in strength and close to it in formability, but this alloy has superior finishing characteristics making it much better for anodizing. Excellent corrosion-resistance and weldability, but would rate somewhat below 1100 and 3003 for brazing and soldering, and it is not the alloy one would choose for machinability. Typical end uses are decorative trim, utensils, mobile home siding and reflectors.
5052 - For many years, until the advent of 5083 and 5086, this alloy was the highest strength non-heat-treatable alloy commercially available. Although easily welded, it is not recommended for brazing and soldering applications. Excellent corrosion-resistance, particularly in marine applications, and adapts to most mechanical and finishing processes although the heavier anodic films may take on a yellowish cast. Fair machining with proper set-up. Typical end uses include fuel tanks, truck-trailer side panels, small boat hulls, truck cabs, bumpers, storage tanks and pressure vessels.
5083 - With excellent corrosion-resistance and weldability, together with high strength, this alloy was designed for welded structures requiring maximum joint strength and efficiency. Can be anodized for increased corrosion-resistance, but does not lend itself to decorative applications. Not meant to be a machining alloy, but can be machined fairly well with proper preparations. because of its relatively high magnesium content, the workability rating would be only fair. Typical end uses are large marine craft, containers, railroad cars, structurals and elevator cars.
5086 - Has excellent corrosion-resistance and weldability. Can be anodized for increased corrosion-resistance, but does not lend itself to decorative applications. Not meant to be a machining alloy, but can be machined fairly well with proper applications. Because of its relatively high magnesium content, the workability rating would be only fair. Typical end uses are marine craft, containers, railroad cars, structurals and elevator cars.
5383 - 5383 alloy offers a 15% higher welded strength than standard 5083 and may be used wherever a stronger welded aluminum structure is desired, from hulls to superstructures. Marine structures benefit from the excellent corrosion-resistance offered by 5383. Smaller boats (< 168 ft) benefit from improved scantlings, which translate into structural weight savings on patrol craft, increased strength on work boats and added interior space in luxury yachts. Larger vessels (> 168ft ) profit from the increased strength and improved fatigue behavior of 5383 alloy. Cruise ship superstructures can be lightened further while improving stability and not compromising strength or corrosion-resistance.
5456 - Highest in strength of the commercially available non-heat-treatable alloys with excellent corrosion-resistance. Only fair workability and machinability, but excellent weldability. Not recommended for brazing or soldering. Typical end uses are high-strength welded structures, marine components, pressure vessels and storage tanks.
6061 - Very good corrosion-resistance and finishability plus excellent weldability and a strength level approximating that of mild steel, this is a popular general-purpose alloy. Machinability is good and, in the annealed state, its workability carries a high rating, staying at the "good" level if heat-treated without aging. Typical end uses are aircraft landing mats, large and small marine vessels, structural architectural parts, storage tanks and highway signs.
6063 - A heat-treatable alloy developed exclusively for the extrusion industry and the most important alloy in the magnesium silicide group. Its as-extruded finish is quite good making it satisfactory for many applications without any additional work. Lends itself to comparatively intricate sections making it the leading architectural extrusion alloy. Also finds use in some decorative applications, furniture tubing and ladder parts.