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How can I tell different aluminum alloys apart?

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  • Nov 12, 2014
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Aluminum Evolution Happening Faster Than Automotive Experts Predicted

In this video, Tom Boney, Chairman of the Aluminum Transportation Group, comments on the accelerated transition from steel to aluminum in the automotive industry. Within the next ten years, seven out of 10 new pickups produced in North America will be manufactured with an aluminum body. MORE 

K-Z Inc. Builds New Aluminum Welding Facility

The Elkhart Truth reports that RV manufacturer K-Z Inc. is receiving income tax credits and training grants from the state of Indiana to build a new lamination and aluminum frame welding facility in Shipshewana. The company will increase capacity to do more aluminum welding in-house versus outsourcing. K-Z estimates an addition of 125 new jobs by 2017. MORE 

U.S. Navy Accepts Delivery of Aluminum USNS Fall River JHSV 4

Eric Haun, writing on behalf of, reports that the U.S. Navy accepted their fourth aluminum Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) from Austal USA. The JHSV Program will total 10 ships over $1.6 billion. In addition to the JHSV Program, Austal is currently under contract with the U.S. Navy to build 10 127-meter Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for over $3.5 billion. Five LCSs are at various stages of construction. MORE 

TIP OF THE MONTH: How To Tell Different Aluminum Alloys Apart

There is no easy way to tell aluminum alloys apart, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Extrusions are usually made from 6000 series alloys and can be welded with either 4043 or 5356 fillers.
  • Castings are most commonly made from Aluminum/Silicon/Magnesium alloys and should be welded using 4043 filler. However, be aware that other casting alloy families do exist, which may or may not be weldable.
  • Sheet, plate, and bar products could be almost any alloy family, so it is more difficult to give filler alloy recommendation.

NRC Announces Program to Improve Transportation

According to, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has announced Fleet Forward 2020 - a seven-year technology development program aimed to improve vehicle fleet performance by improving fuel efficiency, reducing repair and maintenance costs, and minimizing environmental footprint using solutions like advanced aluminum welding technology to produce lighter materials. MORE 

PRODUCT NEWS: SuperGlaze 5356 TM

SuperGlaze® 5356 TM™ is an engineered aluminum alloy GMAW wire designed specifically for applications in the trailer manufacturing industry. The engineered alloy system provides optimal puddle clarity and arc action, as well as excellent wetting for both semi-automatic and high productivity automatic applications. MORE 

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