[Infographic] A Guide to Automotive Aluminum Sheet

07.19.2021

There are infinite possibilities for automotive aluminum sheet. With thousands of car parts and a landscape shifting toward more efficient and sustainable automotive technologies, knowing where exactly popular aluminum alloys are used can get complicated. That’s where our infographic guide to automotive aluminum sheet comes in.

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Kloeckner Metals is a full-line aluminum supplier and service center. Download our aluminum spec sheet to see what Kloeckner Metals routinely stocks.

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For instance, which aluminum alloys are best for heat insulators? And which aluminum alloys are most popular for load bearing framework? Our Infographic Guide to Automotive Aluminum Sheet simplifies the common differences between alloy classes and identifies where in cars you’re most likely to find them. From commercially 1xxx series pure aluminum to the high strength 7xxx series, let’s dive into automotive aluminum sheet.

Automotive Aluminum

The first alloy class to examine is the 1xxx series, known as pure aluminum because it contains 99% aluminum. 1100 aluminum sheet is softer in nature, showcasing impressive malleability and corrosion resistance. You’re likely to see it used in electrical conductors due to its high electrical conductivity.

Next, is the 3xxx series aluminum alloys. 3003 aluminum sheet and 3004 aluminum sheet are the most likely to be spotted in automotive manufacturing and are mainly purposed for non structural components like HVAC components and splash guards.

The 5xxx aluminum alloy series shows up where passenger safety is a key priority. Though 5052 aluminum sheet is lower in strength when compared to the 6xxx and 7xxx series, it demonstrates some of the highest strengths among the non heat treatable aluminum classes. It’s commonly used for interior and exterior bracketry. More complex automotive shapes components can be achieved with 5083 aluminum sheet, and the most popular for structural applications is 5182 aluminum sheet.

The 6xxx aluminum alloy series is the workhorse alloy class for automotive. It offers an unmatched combination of corrosion resistance, surface quality, formability, and strength. While 6016 demonstrates lower yield strengths than other in this class it still delivers good dent resistance and is often preferred when hemming performance and formability take priority over yield strength. This contrasts greatly from 6082 aluminum sheet, which excels as load bearing framework due to high strength, impact and corrosion resistance, and 6181 aluminum sheet which is often used for exterior body paneling.

The most powerful high strength alloy class is the 7xxx aluminum series. 7075 makes for excellent intrusion beams, roof pillars, and other critical structural components.

As Drive Aluminum, an arm of the Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG), highlights, the possibilities for automotive aluminum are endless. Kloeckner Metals is proud to serve the needs of the automotive industry when it comes to aluminum and AHSS/UHSS.

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Kloeckner Metals is a full-line aluminum supplier and service center serving the automotive industry. Kloeckner Metals combines a national footprint with the latest fabrication and processing technologies and most innovative customer service solutions.

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Sara Montijo
Sara Montijo is a writer for Kloeckner Metals. She graduated with honors from NYU and has previously facilitated multimedia programming and worked alongside renowned chefs. Her friends call her a time warp.
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