The properties of alloy 5052 aluminum include good workability, making it very useful in forming operations. It has very good corrosion resistance, especially to salt water, and can be easily welded. Its high fatigue strength makes it an excellent selection for structures that need to withstand excessive vibrations. Alloy 5052 aluminum is commonly used in sheet, plate and tube form. However, this alloy is rated only fair for machinability, so it is not the best choice for extensive machining operations without oil lubricants.
When needed, this alloy can be hardened using cold working. Heat treatment cannot be used to make it hardenable. Compared to alloy 5052 aluminum, this grade of aluminum has better resistance in marine environments. It also has excellent corrosion resistance when used in slightly alkaline conditions. A protective surface film is over the alloy 5052 aluminum, which gives the metal its corrosion resistance. When damage happens, the rapid reaction between aluminum and oxygen repairs it. When the film can’t be repaired, corrosion can quickly occur to the base metal. To help prevent this from happening, the metal can be anodized, which will make the protective surface film thicker.
Heat treatment can be used on this metal, which should be performed at 653 degrees F; the cooling rate and time at this temperature isn’t important. It’s rare for stress relief to be needed, but can be done at 428 degrees F. Stress relief should be used when the loss of strength is a concern. This metal is also readily machinable and weldable.
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