Is 7075 Aluminum the Right Choice?

If your business uses aluminum materials you are probably looking for the most cost effective alloy. However, at the same time, you need something to fill your specific needs and cost may be a secondary consideration. Here are some important things about 7075 aluminum which could make it the best choice for your company.

What is 7075 Aluminum?

Although 7075 contains copper, magnesium, and several other metals, its primary alloy is zinc. This is what gives 7075 its exceptional strength. The history of 7075 goes all the back to the early days of the Second World War. The Japanese navy was working on a fighter plane for their carriers. They wanted something as light and powerful as possible. The designers did everything they could to eliminate as much weight from the plane but they had a problem. It was still too heavy.

The plane engineers needed a very strong metal, but it had to be light in weight and also strong enough to handle the fatigue and stress of landing, taking off, and flying. They turned to a top secret aluminum alloy developed by a Japanese steelmaker in secret, just a few years before. The metal is today known as 7075 aluminum and it brought forth the legendary Mitsubishi Zero. This plane offered superior maneuverability and performance over allied aircraft during the first part of the war.

Working with 7075

7075 aluminum is not one of the easiest metals to work with. In fact, 7075 cannot compare to 6061 or 2024 alloys for workability. However, it does outperform 2024 when it comes to resisting corrosion, although it is not as anti corrosive as 6061 alloy.

As for welding, 7075 is not the best alloy to use. In fact, you might be better off going with a high temper grade alloy like 6061 T6 if you need to weld components. However, 7075 can be heat treated and machined with no problems, but it may not be the best choice for high tolerance applications.

The Strength of 7075 Aluminum

Strength is considered to be 7075’s greatest asset. In fact, if you need an aluminum alloy with the most possible strength 7075 is the best choice. You will find 7075 in places of high stress. For example, it is commonly used in missiles, aerospace applications, valves, gears, molds for the plastics industry and in commercial aircraft components. However, 7075 aluminum is one of the more expensive of the aluminum alloys on the market today. Yet, in cases where you must have the strongest metal, cost is not the most important factor.

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