View Full Version : Aluminum - What do all the numbers mean?

Doug Shepard
08-05-2006, 9:15 PM
I've been online shopping for some 3/16" or 1/4" aluminum but cant seem to find a good rundown on what the type numbers mean. So far I've run across these: 6061, 7075, 8020, 2024, 5052. Anybody here have a clue what these mean? Some of these also seem to have a second set of numbers that I suspect is a finish number of some sort (?). I'm planning on cutting with a TS, drilling holes with a DP and putting some slots in with a router, so if any of these are too hard for that I'd like to know which to stay away from.


Ken Garlock
08-05-2006, 9:23 PM
Doug, take a look at this site (http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=310)for information regarding aluminum types and uses.

W Craig Wilson
08-05-2006, 9:26 PM
Try this site:

Doug Shepard
08-05-2006, 10:05 PM
Looks like great minds think alike.

Bruce Page
08-05-2006, 10:33 PM
Doug, in layman terms….

6061 - The most common AL to the machine shop world. Machines well and is fairly stable. Takes a nice anodize plating.

7075 - typically called aircraft AL. High strength aluminum. A little harder to machine than 6061. Special care needs to be taken to produce thin walled components due to material movement. Does not take a weld very well. It also does not take anodize well.

Don’t know much about 8082…

2024 – Another high strength aluminum, often used in place of 7075 due to its superior welding characteristics. Also does not anodize well.

5052 – Moderately high strength aluminum used in sheet metal applications where bending and strength are required.

Doug Shepard
08-06-2006, 7:42 AM
Thanks Bruce. Think I'll focus on the 6061. That sounds like it might be the easiest one for me to work with, especially as I'll be using WW tools instead of metal working ones.

Bruce Page
08-06-2006, 11:00 AM
Doug, 6061 is my first choice for most things. Try to get a T-6 temper which is pretty common. A temper much lower than that and the material gets gummy.