As a fabricator, manufacturer, contractor or even an engineer or designer developing a prototype, using the right materials is critical. When it comes to aluminum, there are several different alloys to consider, and not all are ideal for each use. This is particularly true of alloys such as 7075 aluminum which has some potential considerations under specific uses.
To understand 7075 aluminum, and what it uses for, starts with taking a closer look at the specific composition. This is a cold-wrought alloy which is considered to be the strongest of the aluminum alloys, which is important in construction and specific types of applications.
There are different elements in 7075 aluminum with zinc, magnesium and copper having the highest percentage after aluminum. Zinc can be present in a maximum amount of 6.1%, magnesium at 2.5% and copper at 1.6%.
To provide the other properties of the alloy, there is less than .5% of a range of different components including titanium, iron, silicon and manganese among others.
This provides for extremely good fatigue strength but a lower corrosion resistance than many of the other alloys.
It is possible to find 7075 aluminum in a range of different tempers including 7075-0 which is not heat treated at all. While this is a very strong alloy, it is also highly corrosive and used only for specific applications where corrosion is not a short or long term concern.
7075-T7 is created by a process known as overaging or aging the alloy past the level of peak harness. Longer aging times at higher temperatures are used to create this temper of the 7075 aluminum alloy. It is considered a top choice when stress corrosion cracking is a consideration within the use parameters.
While different tempers of 7075 aluminum have specific applications, this is an alloy that is often used in aircraft development. In fact, the first use of this alloy was by the Japanese in 1940 in their infamous Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, and aircraft production is still a big part of the demand for this alloy.
Other uses of various forms of 7075 aluminum include in all types of bicycle frames and hand glider parts, as well as in components for vehicles and even in remote controlled planes and models. Anytime high strength and low weight is important, this is a good option to consider.