Purchasing the right cladding panels isn’t the easiest task in the world. From deciding on the material to use to the level of thickness to its economic factor and even the design and functionality.
Even after deciding on aluminium cladding UK residents are used to, there’s still the huge task of finding the right grade of aluminum to adopt.
Thankfully, there are tons of research on aluminum grades, so it’s easier to understand the important features of aluminum sheets. These include the number of grades available as well as their purposes. In case you didn’t already know, aluminum cladding can be utilized for more than just building and construction purposes.
It can also be used for building chemical tanks, aircraft parts, food equipment, production of tanks and vessels, and a lot more. As a result, more emphasis is placed on finding the right grade of panels. To do so, it’s important to understand the different grades and their uses.
Overview of the Different Aluminium Grades
For starters, every series of aluminium grade begins with a number between one to seven. The importance of this number is that it indicates the type of alloying element present in that grade of aluminum.
It’s worth noting that each alloy has its benefits and specific uses, so the workability, strength, flexibility, and resistance of cladding panels all depend on the specific grade. So, here’s a look at all seven grades:
- 1000 series: It’s considered the purest grade due to its use of 99% pure aluminum. It offers the highest form of corrosion resistance, making it suitable for producing chemical tanks and conductive bus bars.
- 2000 series: Used in the aircraft and aerospace industry, it contains an alloy of copper and provides increased strength.
- 3000 series: Used for chemical and food equipment and buildings. This series contains manganese.
- 4000 series: Have a lower melting point due to the presence of silicon
- 5000 series: It’s alloyed with magnesium and offers resistance to corrosion. It is used in the fabrication of tanks, vessels, and bridges. Hence the name – Marine Grade Aluminium.
- 6000 series: Appreciated for its response to heat treatment due to the presence of magnesium and silicon.
- 7000 series: Regarded as the highest-strength grade of aluminium and it’s employed in aerospace and sporting equipment production.
Understanding the Best Grades for Cladding
In a nutshell, the 3000 series grade of aluminium is the best pick for construction and cladding purposes. It’s the most common alongside the 5000 series, but it boasts better workability than its counterparts. These benefits are based on its better engineering, compatibility, and tensile strength.
Builders and engineers all prefer to work with 3000 series aluminium, and the following features explain why:
- Aluminium panels in the 3000 series have a more rigid structure, which improves their performance and quality.
- The thermal expansion rate of panels in this series is minimal, which means it’ll have more resistance to heat and reduce oil canning.
- It offers resistance to corrosion as well. For example, 3003 aluminium has high corrosion resistance, and it’s often considered the architecture grade as a result.
- Machine-compatible, meaning the efficiency and neatness of cutting will be better
- It’s also very weldable and has excellent braze ability, especially the 3003 grade.
Based on the telling details above, it’s evident that the 3000 series is the best grade of aluminum for cladding that UK residents have been looking for. It offers the ideal tensile strength and corrosion resistance required, making it suitable for wall panels.