10 Advantages of Aluminum

9 Nov 2022

Why You Should Use Aluminum for Your Next Project

At Batesville Products, we cast A356 aluminum products. Why? Because there are 10 key advantages to A356 and aluminum in general!

aluminum metal

1. Aluminum is Versatile

The biggest advantage of aluminum is its versatility. For example, A356 is used across countless industries. Industries include but are not limited to…

2. Aluminum is Lightweight

Today, many companies are looking to make their products as lightweight as possible.

Aluminum is a light-weight metal when compared to iron, steel, or zinc. Using a lightweight material makes transportation of finished products cheaper and easier.

3. Aluminum is Flexible

Casting flexibility helps decrease defects and scrap rate. After removing hot aluminum castings from the mold, we place them on inspection fixtures that check flatness, twist, bend, or profile. Since aluminum is flexible, we can manipulate slightly out of tolerance castings to meet key specs, without sacrificing quality. This helps lower lead times and labor costs for customers.

4. Aluminum is Strong

While A356 is flexible, that doesn’t mean its weak. Aluminum is the choice for many military products, like this tactical supply housing, because it is lightweight, easy to carry, AND durable.

case study military supplies

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In fact, aluminum becomes even stronger with age. To accelerate the natural aging process, some products are heat treated. T5 or T6 heat treat is used to increase strength. After heat treat, the products become so tough, that they lose flexibility properties.

5. Aluminum is Corrosion Resistant

Aluminum metal has a natural resistance to corrosion. Unlike iron or steel, aluminum products cannot and will not rust.

Still, if your product is in a harsh environment, corrosion resistance can be enhanced by applying protective coatings. Try painting, powder coating, or anodizing your product.

6. Aluminum is a Good Conductor

While silver, gold, and copper are the best conductors of electricity, aluminum is a close second. Aluminum is a strong conductor of electricity and more cost effective than more common conductive metals.

Since it is highly conductive and cost efficient, aluminum is commonly used in large scale electrical applications.

aluminum casting

7. Aluminum is Adaptable

Perhaps aluminum is such a versatile material because it is so adaptable. Different industries have different expectations and requirements yet manufacture products out of the same material.

At Batesville Products, we ensure castings meet industry standards by controlling porosity. The porosity of the material and casting can be controlled by manipulating the pouring method, gas level of the melt, temperature, mold conditions, etc.

Therefore, aluminum castings can be made to be pressure tight, leak free, and more!

8. Aluminum Blocks EMR Waves

EMR Waves, or electromagnetic radiation, are common communication signals such as radio waves. Aluminum metal naturally blocks these waves, having the power to keep classified communications private and safe.

Therefore, aluminum is common in cybersecurity products such as specialized computers or phones.

9. Aluminum is Recyclable

There’s no denying the importance of corporate responsibility. Many companies looking to become more sustainable have started to explore aluminum.

That’s because aluminum is 100% recyclable. There is no limit to how many times the material can be recycled. In fact, 75% of aluminum ever produced is still in use today!

Recycling aluminum saves energy and money than extracting raw materials. Therefore, using secondary aluminum in your next project is better for your wallet AND the environment!

10. Aluminum Looks Professional

Aluminum products can achieve many unique professional looks. It can be polished to a smooth shine or stainless-steel shot blasted for a full-coverage texture.

But your aluminum product doesn’t have to stay gray. Aluminum can stand out with painting, powder coating, or anodizing. These aesthetic finishes are common throughout the industry.

colorful handle bars

Disadvantages of Aluminum

Yes, there are some applications where aluminum doesn’t make sense. For example, we cast a zinc dental chair base. Why not aluminum? Because this customer doesn’t need a lightweight material. They need a heavy, sturdy base.

It is also rare to see mirror finished or chrome plated aluminum products. These finishes are difficult to achieve on aluminum parts. If you want a mirror plated product, it’s more effective to use zinc!

Zinc is a great alternative and compliment to aluminum products. At BPI, 95% of our castings are made of A356 aluminum. However, we also cast ZA12 or ZA5 zinc for products with special requirements.

It never hurts to check

Request a quote and a Batesville team member will be in touch to discuss your metalcasting goals and how our metalcasting experts can help make your next project a success.