What’s the Best Alloy for Aluminum Plate?

What’s the Best Alloy for Aluminum Plate?

Aluminum plate is used in a wide range of applications today. In fact, the type of alloy you require will depend on your use for it. For example, when you purchase an aluminum beverage can, it was most likely created from 3004 or 6061 plate aluminum. Plate is made in a lot of different alloys and four of the most common are 6061, 2024, 3004 and 7075. Let’s take a closer look at these alloys and check out their properties and uses.


6061 is a very good choice for many aluminum plate applications today. It is considered to be general purpose aluminum and its main alloys are silicon and magnesium. If you have several applications or uses for your products, you may be able to use a 6061 alloy and this will help to keep your costs down, because you can order the same materials for each product you manufacture.


The main metal used with the 2024 alloy is copper. This gives the metal more strength than standard aluminum and also a great deal of resistance to fatigue. This is why you will see many aircraft fuselage and wing structures made from 2024 aluminum. Takeoff and landings can place a great deal of stress on an aircraft and in addition, begin exposed to the elements all the time places the materials at risk for corrosion. 2024 aluminum plate is more than capable of standing up to the rigors of flight.


3004 aluminum is in the 3000 aluminum series and contains a number of alloys including magnesium, manganese, iron and copper. There is no problem if you wish to cold work this metal but it cannot be heat treated. 3004 is very strong but not very ductile. In other words it will crack or tear under the right circumstances. Due to its nature, 3004 aluminum plate is often made thin and is perfect for creating aluminum cans.


To make 7075 aluminum, zinc is the primary alloy. This aluminum alloy is very strong and has excellent fatigue and stress resistance. In fact, some 7075 tempers are comparable to steel for strength. However, unlike steel (which can easily rust or corrode) 7075 aluminum plate is highly resistant to corrosion.

Due to its high strength, you will see 7075 aluminum used in the automotive, marine and aircraft industries. High quality bicycles are also made with 7075 alloy and there are many other uses. However, in some cases, alloys like 2024 are substituted because 7075 is more expensive than many other aluminum alloys on the market today.

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