If you are looking to undertake a new project and you want to use some aluminum supplies that you already have, it is important that you have a clear idea as to what grade it is. Aluminum comes in a wide range of grades and each has its own unique qualities. Some aluminum are better for durability, others are easier to work with and they also vary greatly in terms of strength. To use the aluminum which you already have, here are the steps you can take to identify which alloy it is, if you are unable to remember.
Risks of Using The Wrong Alloy
The risks which you have if you use the wrong alloy for the project range from creating something which is not strong enough to support what you have built, to lacking life span. The last thing you want to do is to finish a project and for it to be substandard which is why it is important to test your aluminum.
Take It To a Store
The easiest way to identify the aluminum is to go straight to a specialist and have it graded. When it comes to aluminum wholesales Melbourne has many stockists where you could take a sample of what you have, and they will grade it there for you.
Bending The Pipe
If you have a piece of pipe then you can do a pretty good test to see what alloy it is likely to be. Most aluminum Melbourne wholesalers will often just bend the pipe, to see if there is any movement there. If the aluminum cannot be bent then it is probably 60-61 or 6063-T6. These are both very similar and will provide the same level of strength and durability. If the pipe does bend however, you most likely have 60-63 T-42 or T52. Again, these are very similar and offer almost identical characteristics.
Age of Aluminum
If the aluminum supplies which you have are older than 5 years, it is best to buy new again. This is because over time, aluminum hardens, which makes it tougher to work with and far less durable in the long term.
Checking For Business
Should you run a business and you have a large amount of aluminum then you could look to shave a very small portion of the metal away, and have flame photometry or atomic absorption spectroscopy techniques performed. Bear in mind however that both of these tests can be expensive which is exactly why it is only necessary for large stores of the metal. This is not an option for home users because of the cost involved, it simply isn’t worth the investment at all. Costs for these techniques can be $5,000 and above.
In terms of the experts in aluminum Melbourne has many locations where you can go and have a chat with people who work with this metal day in and day out. Ask them if they can help if you are struggling to identify the alloy on your own.