Most Popular Aluminium Alloys in Marine Applications

08 March 2022

The marine industry features products that cater to both leisure and commercial applications. Some of these products are small leisure boats, workboats, fishing vessels, patrol boats, and luxury vessels.

What is common about these marine products is they are exposed to surrounding elements like heat and moisture. Without using the right materials, these marine vessels and boats can easily get damaged, especially on parts that are directly exposed to sunlight or water. Fortunately, most manufacturers of marine vessels and boats utilise aluminium as one of their primary materials.

Aluminium is known to be one of the most used materials in various industries due to its notable great strength, lightweight, and resistance to elements. It is also easy and cheap to fabricate.

Taking Advantage of Aluminium’s Properties

The general benefits of aluminium make the material useful in marine applications, particularly in crafting different components of marine vessels and boats.

Aluminium’s lightweight feature, for instance, can be useful in crafting components that do not add significant weight to the boat. And with lighter parts, the fuel consumed by the boat will be minimised as opposed to a boat that uses heavy parts.

Aside from the savings in energy due to lightweight quality, the marine industry also takes advantage of aluminium in terms of its high yield strength. The high yield strength of aluminium allows the manufacturers of marine vessels and boats to generate parts that can take a lot of pounding before they deform. Pairing their strength with corrosion resistance, marine vessels that utilise aluminium components can easily last for a long time even with minimal maintenance.

Top Aluminium Alloys in Marine Applications

There are two series of aluminium alloys that can be extremely useful for marine applications. These series are the 5000 series and the 6000 series.

  • 5000 series: Aluminium alloys that are part of the5000 series are manufactured as rolled materials, boasting a combination of aluminium and magnesium elements. These alloys are extremely popular in the marine industry as they possess yield strengths of 100 to 200 MPa, excellent weld ductility, and high corrosion resistance. Three specific grades of 5000 series aluminium alloys that are being used in boat hulls are 5052, 5083, and 5086.
  • 6000 series: 6000 series aluminium alloys, on the other hand, are maximised in generating the extruded sections of marine vessels. They are comprised of aluminium, magnesium, and silicone, making these alloys achieve excellent yield strength of up to 275 MPa, great formability, and a high-quality surface finish. Some grades of 6000 series aluminium alloys that are used in manufacturing marine components are 6005A, 6060, 6061, and 6082.

Manufacturers of marine vessel components and parts truly maximise aluminium alloys thanks to their previously mentioned properties. If you want to attain quality aluminium parts for your boat or marine vessel, you can contact us at Canfred Engineering. For 50 years, we have been making aluminium fuel and water tanks for the marine industry. We currently make them for many of the Australian boat builders.

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