Aluminum is a silver-colored, low-density, non-ferrous metal used in a various of commercial applications. Aluminum is known for its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and versatility. It is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust, making up approximately 8% of its solid surface.
Metal Supermarkets is proud to be a leading small-quantity aluminum supplier, offering many different shapes and grades of aluminum, cut to size, including 1100, 2011, 2024, 3003, 4017, 5052, 6061, 6063 and 7075.
Select one of the available shapes below to get started, or contact your closest store for assistance with metal sourcing.
Almost everyone in the world has or will use a product containing aluminum. With its ideal physical properties, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Aluminum has:
Aluminum can be dramatically strengthened by adding appropriate alloying elements (Cu, Mg, Mn, Si, etc.) and subsequent heat/work treatments. Unalloyed Aluminum is ductile, exhibits moderate strength, and is very corrosion-resistant under most circumstances. It is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth’s crust and the most widely used nonferrous metal. Aluminum is also an infinitely recyclable material, improving life-cycle management and reducing environmental impact.
Aluminum is a versatile metal that comes in various forms and alloys, all readily accessible through aluminum supply channels. Here are the unique characteristics and applications of each type:
Pure Aluminum (Al 99.5%) – Renowned for its exceptional corrosion resistance, nearly pure aluminum is a mainstay in the electrical industry, where it’s used for wiring, conductors, and components requiring a non-corrosive material.
Aluminum Alloys – Aluminum supply encompasses an array of alloys tailored to specific needs.
Cast Aluminum – Perfectly suited for casting processes, this type of aluminum is a favorite among aluminum suppliers for producing automotive parts, cookware, and decorative items. Its versatility makes it a go-to option for manufacturers seeking reliable aluminum supply solutions.
Wrought Aluminum – Divided into various series, wrought aluminum satisfies specific requirements. The 1000 series, rich in pure aluminum, is indispensable in applications demanding corrosion resistance. In contrast, the 3000 series is prized for its resilience in corrosive environments, making it a favorite in construction and architectural projects.
Heat-Treatable and Non-Heat-Treatable Alloys – Aluminum suppliers offer alloys that react differently to heat treatment, impacting their strength properties. This versatility caters to a broad spectrum of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and construction.
Extruded Aluminum – Shaped through extrusion processes, this type of aluminum is an architectural marvel, finding applications in construction, automotive, and architecture. Its flexibility and strength make it a preferred choice for aluminum suppliers and manufacturers alike.
Anodized Aluminum – Renowned for its enhanced corrosion resistance and decorative finish, anodized aluminum is sought by architects and designers who appreciate its functionality and aesthetics.
Aluminum is commonly used in both wrought and cast forms. Wrought aluminum refers to aluminum that has been mechanically worked or shaped through processes such as rolling, extrusion, forging, or drawing. These processes involve applying pressure, heat, or both to reshape the aluminum into desired forms. Wrought aluminum exhibits improved mechanical properties and better uniformity compared to cast aluminum. It generally possesses higher strength, better ductility, and improved resistance to fatigue and impact.
Cast aluminum, on the other hand, refers to aluminum that has been melted and poured into a mold to solidify and take the shape of the mold. Casting allows for the production of complex and intricate shapes that are difficult to achieve through other methods. Cast aluminum may have a coarser grain structure and slightly lower mechanical properties than wrought aluminum. However, it offers advantages such as good fluidity during the casting process, excellent dimensional accuracy, and the ability to create intricate designs.
Aluminum possesses the unique characteristic of being able to be both wrought and cast within the same product, thanks to its versatile properties and manufacturing processes. This dual nature allows for the creation of intricate and complex designs while maintaining strength and durability. In such cases, specific product sections may be cast to achieve the desired shape or form, while other sections that require enhanced mechanical properties may be wrought. Whether it’s automotive parts, architectural components, or consumer goods, aluminum’s ability to seamlessly integrate wrought and cast forms opens endless possibilities for innovative and efficient product designs.
The low density of aluminum results in its extensive use in the aerospace industry and other transportation fields. Its resistance to corrosion leads to its use in food and chemical handling (cookware, pressure vessels, aluminum rolls for food wrapping, etc.) and architectural uses.
The most common aluminum products include:
Power Lines – Aluminum provides a better conductivity-to-weight ratio than copper – another material commonly used in electrical applications.
Automobiles – With an increasing emphasis on performance, fuel economy and reducing emissions, aluminum is considered the material of choice among manufacturers due to its strength and environmental advantages.
Ships – Light and robust materials are necessary for water vessels, especially ones that fill their hull with cargo. Most sporting boats are also built from aluminum for an added speed advantage.
Consumer Electronics – In an industry that values sophisticated looks and reliability, aluminum hits both marks by being both beautiful and practical. Smartphones, tablets, PC monitors and other electronics all use it in production.
Window Frames – Using aluminum for window frames is a durable, cost-effective, lightweight option for homes and offices.
The availability of aluminum can fluctuate based on various factors, including market demand, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical influences. While aluminum is a widely used metal and is typically produced in large quantities, there have been instances where specific forms or grades of aluminum faced temporary shortages.
Factors that can impact aluminum supply include:
Market Demand – High demand for aluminum in industries like aerospace, automotive, and construction can strain the supply chain.
Supply Chain Disruptions – Interruptions in the production, transportation, or distribution of aluminum can lead to shortages.
Geopolitical Issues – Trade disputes or sanctions on aluminum-producing countries can affect the global supply.
Environmental Regulations – Changes in environmental regulations can impact the production processes and availability of aluminum.
Energy Costs – Aluminum production is energy-intensive, and fluctuations in energy prices can influence supply.
Raw Material Availability – The availability of raw materials like bauxite, which is used to produce aluminum, can affect supply.
Finding reliable aluminum suppliers is essential if you require aluminum for construction, transportation, packaging, or any other industry. Metal Supermarkets stands as a trusted source for top-grade aluminum products. With our extensive selection, expert knowledge, and convenient online ordering, we give you access to the highest quality aluminum for your specific needs. Visit your local Metal Supermarkets store today or shop online and experience our exceptional customer service and wide range of aluminum solutions.
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