Astro Engineering is a metal manufacturer specializing in aluminum fabrication. Every day we fabricate aluminum for customers in different industries around the country. We have esteemed knowledge in providing complex and precise aluminum fabrications for architectural projects and industrial equipment.
OUR SCOPE OF WORK
Our work in aluminum applications include railings, perforated metal panels for parking ramps, perforated metal screens for architectural use, perforated aluminum fences, screens, camper frames, tanks, industrial frames, railway equipment, suspended access platforms, miscellaneous metals, and other OEM parts.
PROPERTIES OF ALUMINUM
Aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal. It is used for many applications for a number of reasons: it’s lightweight, strong, resilient, reflective, easily machined, highly conductive, anti-corrosive, non-magnetic, non-toxic, non-sparking, non-combustible and characteristically cheaper than stainless steel. Plain and simple, aluminum outperforms other materials because of its strength to weight ratio. Therefore, this reduces shipping and handling costs.
FINISHES ON ALUMINUM
Unfortunately, aluminum may corrode if left unfinished. Oxidization occurs from the environment, giving it that powdery grayish-white coating. To keep your aluminum product looking fresh, a finish should be applied. Options include: Mechanical Finishes; Chemical Finishes; Anodic Coatings; and Organic Coatings.
Although aluminum is not naturally as strong as stainless steel, it’s about one third of the weight. Welding takes a special skill because of the properties with aluminum. However, according our machinists, aluminum machines easily because of the soft material. Our crew says it cuts like butter!
GRADES OF ALUMINUM
Here at Astro, we primarily work with these grades: 3003, 5052, and 6061.
Grade 3003 is the most popular and economic choice because it is low cost, it’s strong, resists corrosion, and has excellent weldability. This grade can be welded, deep drawn, spun, or brazed and is great for general sheet metal work. Grade 3003 has a smooth, semi-shiny finish and is popular for many applications, including:
- Fuel Tanks; Commercial Food & Chemical Handling Equipment; Trailer Siding; Roofing & Siding; Pressure Vessels; Awning Slats; Garage Doors; Refrigerator Panels; Heat Exchangers; Gasoline Tanks; Storage Tanks; Mail Boxes; Cabinets; Tanks; Fan Blades; Ductwork
Grade 5052 is one of the most durable aluminums and is particularly good at resisting degradation and corrosion. Plus, alloy 5052 is rather cost effective. This high fatigue strength alloy is much stronger than 3003 and can be easily formed into complex shapes. However, the corners may crack if bent past a 90˚ degree angle. Alloy 5052 has a good resistance to marine atmosphere and saltwater corrosion. Therefore, this makes it a good choice for chemical, oceanic applications and high-strength sheet metal work.Common applications include:
- Architecture & Miscellaneous Metals; Food Processing Equipment; Electronic Framework; Tanks; Pressure Vessels; Marine Parts and Hardware; Boat Hulls; Aircraft; RV’s and Truck Trailers; Medical Equipment; Heat Exchangers; Fuel Lines; Flooring Panels; Street Lights; Appliances; Rivets; Wire
Grade 6061 aluminum is the most frequently used structural alloy. It stands up to stress, is heat treatable, easy to weld and machine, but limited on formability. Unfortunately, 6061 isn’t as malleable as others and can crack during forming. This grade is able to be welded by all methods and can be furnace brazed. Grade 6061 alloy is stronger but more costly than 5052 alloy. Manufactured articles include:
- Structural Framing; Base plates; Aircraft structures; Motorcycles; Boats; Bicycles; Automotive parts; Scuba Tanks; Firearms; Electrical Fittings; Docks and Gangways; Aluminum Cans; Food Bins
|Strength||Medium||Medium to High||High|
|Formability / Workability||Excellent Formability / Workability||Good Formability / Workability||Good Formability / Workability|
|Typical Application||Food & Chemical Equipment||Marine Applications||Structural Applications|
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ALUMINUM
- Aluminum was initially considered more precious than silver and gold.
- The Washington Monument was ornamented with aluminum in 1884.
- The Empire State Building was the first building where the interior and exterior was constructed using aluminum.
- Coors Brewing Co. ditched the tin can and was the first company to sell beer in aluminum. Coors also introduced the phenomenon of recycling aluminum cans.
- Aluminum is 100 percent recyclable without loss of its properties.
- Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust (about 8.23%), even before Iron (at 5.23%).
- Aluminum has a high oxidation and corrosion resistance mainly due to its passivation layer.