Aluminum is a very versatile material used in various industries. The property that makes aluminum so desirable in most projects is the fact that it is lightweight, soft, and corrosion resistant. Aluminum is very similar to stainless steel in that the corrosion resistance varies based on the material type so different grades will have to be evaluated based on various needs (chemical exposure, temperatures, etc.)
Aluminum fasteners are an alloy, fabricated from a mixture of manganese, iron, silicon, zinc, and copper to increase the strength of the products while also raising the melting point. That being said an aluminum alloy in no way compares to the heat and chemical resistance of other fasteners and should be selected for a project only after excessive analysis. Of course, there are many reasons that make aluminum an optimum choice for a project where applicable:
- Resistance – Aluminum does form a protective oxide that does offer resistance to standard environmental exposure. The same reason that aluminum is a viable material in house siding and gutters is the reason it will adhere as a fastener in outside conditions.
- Weight to strength ratio – Of all metals aluminum offers the best strength to weight ratio which makes it a perfect material for fasteners. The weight of aluminum fasteners is about 1/3 of standard metals and the strength is comparable to a low-carbon steel.
- Conductivity – When joints must still be conductive aluminum is an enticing option due to its 38-43% conductivity rating.
- Nonmagnetic – Aluminum alloy fasteners are nonmagnetic and are also nonsparking.
- Reduced galvanic corrosion – Using aluminum fasteners in an assembly reduces the risk of galvanic corrosion.
Aluminum fasteners are manufactured domestically and readily available which helps make them a cost-effective approach to a project.
For more information about the sizes and types of aluminum fasteners Glaser offers, please contact us today.