Engineering360 has asked its users about the latest design trends and features related to Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys. They have also shared their product applications and tips on how to buy and use these products.
See the entire survey

What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
21 answers
Sorry, there are a lot of potential products, as in the previous questions. Corrosion resistance is important and often forgotten, strength is normal, special surface properties (heading towards 'nano', maybe). Perhaps the main target for aluminum is to approach the strength of stainless steel (lower end) or as a substitute for titanium in aerospace alloys.
~Chris Wheatley, Engineering Consultant, Wales, United Kingdom
Reducing corrosion, improved fatigue life and better test proving data here for the different alloys, higher allowable tensile stresses, reducing grain size consistently through the whole section of an extruded sections, more research into aluminium alloy jointing methods, more research and data regarding light weight alumimium honeycomb sandwich material.
~Eric K, Engineering Consultant, Bath, UK
To guarantee: Tensile strength, hardness, toughness, fatigue strength, strength to relaxation phenomena due to temperature exposure, galvanic corrosion, integranular corrosion.
~Matteo V., Engineer, Veduggio con Colzano, Italy
Control of sensitization to sea water corrosion in sea water for high Mg alloys
~Engineering, Other, Murrysville, PA
As an electrical conductor to replace copper. It is cheaper and lighter.
~Other, Germiston, South Africa
Welded yield strength to be closer to the unwelded yield strength.
~Nic W, Design Engineer, Auckland, New Zealand
More use in automotive as well as in piping to replace copper
~Marketing/Sales, Bethel Park, PA
That all the gears in model helicopters be made of aluminum
~Michael Harris, Engineer, Blairingone, Scotland
Ability to cold form with smaller minimum bend radii.
~Jim B, Design Engineer, Huntsville, AL
Replace steel with aluminum in more applications
~Engineering, Consulting, PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa
Coloured aluminium at the molten state.
~Rod E, Marketing/Sales, London UK, England
Automotive industry, computing industry
~Hanno P, General Management, Sindi, Estonia
A better "High temperature" resistance
~Gui. F., Metallurgist, Paris, France
Cost effective Thermal Break profile
~Vinay S, Engineering Consultant, Mumbai, India
Rotary screw compressors rotors.
~Albert N. H., Owner, Jacksonville, Duval
High Temperature application
~Dr. B.L. Jaiswal, Research & Development, Hyderabad, India
Facades and other structures
~Richard O, Engineering Consultant, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR China
Strength vs bendability
~Engineering, Design, Dallastown, PA
Super conductor
~Ashwin Mallya, Engineer, Mangalore, India
No, so far.
~David Hsu, Project Manager, Pingtung, Taiwan
~Quality Control, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of aluminum and aluminum alloys?
13 answers
The main advice is that they have to get technical. If they want mainstream for their business, they go to the usual companies and get the standard alloys - all of this is well developed. If they want to do something special, they need to find a special route to market and this will demand a lot of energy. Nothing like this is easy. They almost need to go back to first principles. An example in a standard 7xxx series alloy is that people have recommended that fabricators buy a certain temper and this gives well-defined properties. This has been written in tablets of stone and can limit alloy selection. It is necessary to keep asking, "Why" in order to get to the fundamental, real selection criteria.
~Chris Wheatley, Engineering Consultant, Wales, United Kingdom
Be careful not to mix different materials with aluminium alloys because of corrosion. Stainless steel & titanium may be the best mixers. Remember that aluminium alloys have a fatigue life (and cannot be used like a steel alloy), so if looking at a structure subject to say a million or more stress reversals, then keep the stress level low (or use an S/N diagram solution) and above all avoid any stress concentrations.
~Eric K, Engineering Consultant, Bath, UK
Test the material, don't take what the book says at face value. Also methods of manufacture have a dramatic impact on the material's physical properties. Wrought aluminium and cast aluminium are very different materials even with the same chemical make up.
~Rod E, Marketing/Sales, London UK, England
To bend alloy, use house hold soap rub on at the point you want to bend, heat with blow lamp until the soap turns black then bend the bar /plate /rod/ etc.
~Michael Harris, Engineer, Blairingone, Scotland
Understanding the properties and how to achieve them.This includes the Heat Treatment regimes possible,and the manner in which to achieve it.
~P K, Quality Control, Edinburgh Park, Australia
Verify that alloy tempers to be created after cold forming can be achieved with the raw material alloy/temper selected.
~Jim B, Design Engineer, Huntsville, AL
Always insist on test certificates from Third party Inspection agencies, Standards followed etc.
~SATISH SHETTY, Purchaser, Mumbai, India
6xxx alloy for increasing intergranular corrosion resistance + tensile strength of good level
~Matteo V., Engineer, Veduggio con Colzano, Italy
Be carefull in die making. and lot of others are there but can share later on
~Vinay S, Engineering Consultant, Mumbai, India
Do not not use steel components with it,do not abrase
~Ashwin Mallya, Engineer, Mangalore, India
Not to use commercial grade where high strength is needed
~Dr. B.L. Jaiswal, Research & Development, Hyderabad, India
Always check out the mechanical materials
~Quality Control, Nijmegen, Netherlands

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