Aluminum alloys usually use alloying elements such as copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and magnesium. They were invented by the German Alfred Wilm in the early 20th century, which greatly helped the development of aircraft. After World War I, the composition of aluminum alloy was classified as a state secret in Germany. Compared with ordinary carbon steel, it has lighter and corrosion-resistant properties, but the corrosion resistance is not as good as pure aluminum. Aluminium alloy is widely used in engineering structures. According to the processing method, aluminium alloy can be divided into two categories: deformed aluminum alloy and cast aluminum alloy.
Aluminum alloy has low density but relatively high strength, approaching or exceeding that of high-quality steel. It has good plasticity and can be processed into various profiles. It has excellent electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and corrosion resistance. It is widely used in industry and is second only to steel. Some aluminum alloys can be heat treated to obtain good mechanical properties, physical properties, and corrosion resistance.
(1) Aluminium alloys for aviation and aerospace applications
Aluminum alloy is the main material for subsonic aircraft. There are 400,000 to 1.5 million aluminum alloy rivets per aircraft. Although the proportion of aluminum parts in advanced military aircraft is lower, it still accounts for 40% to 60% of its total mass.
(2) Application of aluminum alloy in automobile
3/4 of aluminum alloy material for automobiles is cast aluminum alloy, mainly engine parts, drive train parts, and chassis walking system parts.
(3) Aluminum alloys for marine applications
Aluminum alloys used on ships can be divided into deformed aluminum alloys and cast aluminum alloys. The applications of deformed aluminum alloys in shipbuilding in various countries include superstructures of large surface ships, all-aluminum marine research ships of thousands of tons, hovercraft, ferries, transportation boats, and other high-speed passenger ships, and military speedboats. Cast aluminum alloys are mainly used for parts such as pumps and pistons.