Understanding Aluminium Alloys


When applying a DecoUltra anodised finish, the grade of aluminium used will affect your final product. Different grades of aluminium are alloyed with different metals, which lend different qualities to the aluminium and affect how well it anodises and the colour of the finish.

Not all grades of aluminium are ideal for anodising. Some alloys result in less effective anodising, as the other metals included in the alloy may not anodise and will compromise the aluminium oxide coating. Alloys such as the 2000 series, which contains copper, are not recommended for architectural anodising as high levels of copper can burn and compromise the appearance of the finish.

The best grades of aluminium for anodising are:

  • 5000 series: Suitable for architectural applications. Aluminium extrusions are typically made from 5000 series alloys. DECO products such as DecoClad and DecoBatten are made from 5000 series alloys.
  • 6000 series: This is considered one of the best grades of aluminium for anodising, particularly alloys 6061, 6063 and 6082. DECO products such as DecoPanel are made from 6000 series alloys.

Both 5000 and 6000 series alloys produce consistently high quality anodised finishes.

Alloys such as the 3000 series are suitable for anodising for use in food contact applications, such as baking trays, while the 7000 series is a popular choice for aerospace applications. To find out more about DecoUltra anodised finishes for the defence, food processing and engineering industries, click here.

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