A357 Aluminum: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

This guide explores everything you need to know about A357 aluminum alloy.

So, before choosing this aluminum alloy for your die casting processes, read this guide.

What Is A357 Aluminum?

A357 aluminum is a cast aluminum alloy used for casting. It is one of the strongest aluminum alloys in the market.

It gets its strength from the heating it undergoes.

Heat treatment significantly improves its strength.

This makes A357 aluminum suitable for applications that require high strength plus high corrosion resistance.

What Are The Mechanical Properties Of A357 Aluminum?

A357 aluminum is a strong and non-corrosive aluminum alloy mostly preferred in casting high-pressure applications.

This is due to the mechanical properties that make it suitable for such applications.

Some of the mechanical properties of A357 aluminum alloy include;

  • 500 j/g Latent heat of fusion
  • Thermal expansion of um/m-K
  • Mechanical maximum temperature of 170 degrees Celsius
  • Melting completions of liquidus aluminum at 610 degrees Celsius
  • 900 j/kg-K specific heat capacity
  • Melting onset of solidus aluminum at 560 degrees Celsius.
  • Conductivity that is thermal of 160 W/m-K

The Ability Of A357 Aluminium To Withstand High Temperatures Makes It More Preferrable

Ability  Of A357 Aluminum To Withstand High Temperatures Makes It More Preferable

Where Is A357 Aluminum Used?

A357 aluminum is mostly applied in equipment that needs strong structures.

These are structures that can withstand a lot of pressure and need to be strengthened.

This is because A357 aluminum is reinforced and has a significant level of strength.

Of course, this is besides, the significant level of corrosion resistance.

As a result, you can use it in automotive, agricultural, medical, aerospace, and construction industries, amongst others.

A357 Aluminium Is Used In Making Aircraft parts

A357 Aluminium Is Used In Making Aircraft Parts

What Are The Elements Of A357 Aluminum?

Being a strong alloy, A357 aluminum is made of different elements, these elements include:

  • 2% copper – it plays an integral role when improving the mechanical properties of aluminum alloy. That is, copper increases hardness, fatigue and tensile strength.
  • 5 to 7.5% silicon – Silicon has low shrinkage and better fluidity. As a result, it will improve the ability to cast A357 aluminum alloy.
    Additionally, it will also improve the strength of A357 aluminum alloy parts.
  • 1% zinc – With zinc in the A357 aluminum alloy, it will not be susceptible to corrosion cracking.
    During heat treatment, a combination of magnesium and zinc strengthens the alloy.
  • 04 to 0.07% beryllium – it will increase A357 aluminum alloy fluidity and strength. Even if you work on aluminum against the grain, there will be no grain coarsening.
    This is important because it is one of the elements that make A357 aluminum has low oxidation at high temperatures.
  • 4 to 0.7% magnesium – Adding this element will harden and strengthen A357 aluminum alloy.
  • 1% manganese – Manganese offer a range of benefits such as improving corrosion resistance, and strength. Additionally, it improves resistance to low cycle fatigue, alongside ductility.
  • 04 to 0.2% titanium – Titanium is known for its synergistic grain refining effect. When you add titanium to aluminum alloy, it form Al3Ti, which improves formation of better aluminum grains.
  • 2% iron – Normally, iron will form Al-Fe intermetallics. Consequently, it will improve the strength of A357 aluminum alloy.
    However, you should also note that large quantity of iron my decrease ductility of aluminum alloy.

What Is The Alternative Heat Treatment For A357 Aluminum?

The alternative heat treatment for A357 aluminum include:

  • Precipitation hardening process.
  • Solution heat treatment is done at 540 degrees Celsius for 8 hours
  • Solution treatment (quenching) plus stabilization tempering.
  • Water quench treatment and aging treatment are done at a temperature of 175 degrees for 6 hours.
  • Solution treatment (quenching) plus incomplete artificial aging
  • Artificial aging at 150-225°C between 3 hours and 6 hours.
  • Annealing treatment process.

What Is A357 Aluminum Chemically Composed Of?

The chemical composition of A357 aluminum includes:

  • Aluminum (Al) 90.8 to 93
  • Beryllium (Be) 0.040 to 0.070
  • Copper (Cu) 0 to 0.2
  • Iron (Fe) 0 to 0.2
  • Magnesium (Mg) 0.4 to 0.7
  • Manganese (Mn) 0 to 0.1
  • Residuals 0 to 0.15
  • Silicon (Si) 6.5 to 7.5
  • Titanium (Ti) 0.040 to 0.2
  • Zinc (Zn) 0 to 0.1

What Are The Determining Factors Of The Impact Strength Of A357 Aluminum?

The impact strength of A357 aluminum means how the A357 aluminum behaves on impact.

Generally, A357 is used because of its strength and the same time lightness.

With application in very delicate machinery, equipment, and fuselage, it is important to understand the various impacts on its strength.

Some factors that may determine the impact strength of A357 aluminum include:

  • Type of heat treatment the A357 aluminum undergoes.
  • Destructive testing involves hardness, tensile, and impact testing.
  • Cast aluminum alloys damage tolerance ability.
  • Fracture toughness of the material.
  • Quality checks involving fracture toughness tests, harness and tension tests, among other tests.

What Are The Uses Of A357 Aluminum?

A357 aluminum can be used in various applications spanning different industries. This is because it is a very reliable and flexible aluminum alloy.

Some of the uses of A357 aluminum include:

  • Used in automotive parts fabrications such as airplane fuselage.
  • Food dairy machinery
  • Flywheel castings
  • Papermill machinery such as the slitting rewinder machines fabrications.
  • Medical equipment manufacturing.
  • Watering parts and equipment such as sprinklers.
  • In the manufacturing of mining tools and equipment such as drills.
  • Petrochemical industry.
  • Electrical installations.
  • Energy.
  • Aerospace engineering such as fabrication of rocket walls.
  • Submarine fabrications.

Part Of BMW Made From A357 Aluminium

Part Of A BMW Made From A357 Aluminum

What Are The Features Of A357 Aluminum?

A357 aluminum is mostly preferred compared to the other aluminum alloys such as the A356 aluminum.

This is because of its various positive features.

These features include:

  • It has lightweight.
  • Corrosion resistance.
  • Can be used in applications where very small but strong components are needed.
  • Flexible and can be used in a wide range of applications.
  • Welding capabilities.
  • Has superior casting and machining capabilities and characteristics.
  • Can be used as a substitute for other aluminum alloys such as the aluminum alloy 6061.
  • It has great castability for intricate and complex castings.
  • Aging treatment leads to favorable rating of A357 aluminum.

Can A357 Aluminum Be Recycled?

Yes, A357 aluminum can be recycled. Aluminum as a metal has a high recycling value compared to other metals.

Recycling is highly recommendable especially because it advances environmental green initiatives.

How Much Does A357 Aluminum Parts Cost?

A357 Aluminum parts varies in price depending on various factors. Some of these factors include:

  • The quality of the A357 aluminum.
  • Chemical composition and properties of the A357 aluminum.
  • The general features of the A357 aluminum such as toughness.
  • The minimum order quantity of the A357 aluminum.
  • Size and quantity aluminum part.
  • Complexity of the A357 aluminum part

You must liaise with the manufacturer and get the right prices before ordering your A357 aluminum part.

What Are The Benefits Of A357 Aluminum?

Some of the advantages of A357 aluminum include:

  • It is lightweight
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Electrical and thermal conductivity
  • Reflective and ductility
  • Odorless and impermeable
  • Recyclability

How Strong Is A357 Aluminum?

A357 aluminum is a very strong aluminum alloy. This is due to the heat treatment process that it undergoes.

Of course, the strength is also attributed to the different alloying elements.

It is actually for the excellent strength that makes A357 aluminum alloy a perfect choice for most structural applications.

Aerospace A357 Castings Undergoing A Process

Aerospace A357 Aluminum Castings Undergoing A Process

How Can You Maintain A357 Aluminum Alloy Parts?

It is recommended to keep A357 aluminum parts in pristine condition. This is important to avoid damage to the surface of aluminum components.

Some of the ways that you can maintain A357 aluminum parts include;

  • Not dragging the A357 aluminum parts over rough surfaces
  • Using soft slings when lifting heavy A357 aluminum parts.
  • Avoid allowing A357 aluminum parts to scrape against hard or sharp surfaces.
  • Dry A357 aluminum components thoroughly before storage to prevent stains from occurring and also stop any water stains from developing.
  • After installing and fabrication of A357 aluminum parts, you should ensure that you clean the aluminum surface after installation.
  • Carry out regular cleaning of the A357 aluminum components to remove any build-up dirt.

What Are The Physical Properties Of A357 Aluminum?

Some of the physical properties of A357 aluminum include:

  • Low density making it have excellent reflection capabilities.
  • It is odorless and tasteless.
  • A357 aluminum has a silvery-white color.
  • It has high levels of silicon and ductile making it soft.
  • The A357 aluminum crystal has a face-centered cubic structure.
  • Has a low density.
  • It is highly reflective.

What Tests Are Used To Ascertain Quality Of A357 Aluminum?

Some of the tests that you can carry out to ascertain the quality of A357 aluminum include:

  • The reduced pressure tests.
  • K-mold or vacuum test.
  • A357 Aluminum weight testing.
  • A357 aluminum testing by dead weight and live load proportion of the test bar testing.
  • A357 aluminum temper testing
  • A357 aluminum rigidity.
  • A357 aluminum resilience testing
  • A357 aluminum impact testing.
  • A357 aluminum hardness.
  • A357 aluminum comparative bar elasticity under stress.
  • A357 aluminum brittleness.

What Quality Requirements Should A357 Aluminum Parts Adhere To?

There are various quality standards that A357 aluminum should adhere to. Some of these standards include:

  • D&B Credibility Corp 826918117
  • Conflict mineral-free (3Tg) certification.
  • Lean manufacturing certification
  • SBA (U.S Small Business Administration) licensing
  • CE certification
  • Guaranteed Conflict-Free (CF) certification.
  • DOD approval

Please note that the certification will depend on the specific A357 aluminum component.

Another thing to note is that different countries required different quality standards. You must research your countries requirements before purchasing the A357 aluminum.

What Are The Size Options Of A357 Aluminum?

A357 aluminum is available in different size options and shapes. This all depends on your preferences and the end-use of the A357 aluminum.

For instance, the A357 aluminum can be cut into different shapes such as pipes, channel, threaded rod, sheet perforated among many other shapes.

The sizes options also range depending on your preferences. Some of the size options you can choose from include 0.25”, 0.3125”, 0.5”, 0.75’, or 1”. These are sizes in diameter.

What Is The Requirement For Die Casting A357 Aluminum Alloy?

Die casting A357 aluminum requires a combination of material properties.

It is worth noting that they are different aluminum alloys all requiring different combinations of material properties.

The different material properties give different strengths levels to the aluminum alloy.

For A357 aluminum, it utilizes six major elements. These elements include:

  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Silicon
  • Zinc
  • Manganese

After die casting, the magnesium can get its glow from decorative niches.

The decorative finishes can be achieved through epoxy finishing, plating, polishing, painting, and powder coat finishing.

Protection against environmental corrosion for A357 aluminum die castings is achieved through:

  • Chromating
  • Painting
  • Anodizing
  • Iridite coating

Hazard anodizing is also a process that can be applied to improve wear resistance on the A357 aluminum.

What Kind Of Structural Shapes Can You Die Cast From A357 Aluminum?

Some of the shapes of A357 aluminum available in the market include:

  • Angle-Unequal
  • Bar – they may include rectangular, round, square, T-shape, etc.
  • Channel – these may include C-channel, U-channel, J-channel, H-channel, T-channel and F-channel, amongst others
  • Beams
  • Pipes
  • Rods
  • Tube – some of the most common shapes are rectangular, round, square, hexagonal, etc.

Which Finishing Operations Can You Apply On Die Cast A357 Aluminum Components?

Although most aluminum alloys may not need surface finishing, it is an option that is open for consideration.

Some of the surface finishing operations that you can apply on die-cast A357 aluminum components includes:

  • Anodizing: it is a non-conductive protective coating that seals the part.
  • Black Oxide: used on a wide range of products.
  • Bright Nickel: has similar properties to aluminum A357. Very malleable and easy to bent.
  • Chem Film: Used on aluminum die castings. Preferred due to its electrical conductivity.
  • Chromate: it is one of the most effective and also cheaper finishing options.
  • Chrome Plated: it is not cheap compared to other finishing options available in the market.
  • Cobalt tin: compared to other finishing options, cobalt tin finishing process is easier to apply.
  • E-Coat: it is a racked process that costs more especially when it comes to un-racking.
  • Teflon: It has superb corrosion resistance. Utilizes a racking process.
  • Silver: one of the affordable methods of finishing that is available in the market.
  • Powder Coat: it is one of the toughest coatings when it comes to A357 aluminum finishes. This is because curing takes at slightly higher temperatures compared to the other finishing processes.
  • Polyurethane paint: it is popular because of its durability. Mostly used for exterior finishing because it is a bit thicker.
  • Nickel-Free Coating: mostly used on common household items such as wearables and electronics.
  • Impregnation: usually used on items that require protection from humidity. Has great porosity sealing great from equipment that are to be used in water.
  • Gold plating: preferred because it does not easily oxidize. Joins with the A357 aluminum perfectly making it ideal for connectivity and solderability.
  • Electroless nickel: it is a unique finishing option compared to the others. This is because for this process, the aluminum A357 is dipped inside a bath.

Surface Finishing Enhances Appearance and Improves Durability Of Aluminium

Surface Finishing Enhances The Appearance And Improves Durability Of Aluminum

Why Is A357 Aluminum Rarely Used For Casting?

The reason why A357 aluminum is rarely used for casting is that it has nearly twice the amount of magnesium compared to the other aluminum alloys.

High levels of magnesium tend to make casting difficult.

Is A357 Aluminum Resistant To Corrosion?

Yes, A357 aluminum is resistant to corrosion.

This means it can be used in areas that have high humidity. It increases the value of the A357 compared to other metals.

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Using A357 Aluminum?

Some of the disadvantages of using A357 aluminum include:

  • Aluminum A357 is not easy to repair especially after impact.
  • It does not formulate well with paint thus paint will keep peeling off A357 aluminum bodies.
  • A357 aluminum is expensive compared to other metals of the same nature.
  • A357 aluminum requires a costly and lengthy welding process because it welded differently from steel.
  • It can be easily dented or scratched compared to other metals such as steel.

What Are The Safety Factors To Consider When Using A357 Aluminum?

Some of the safety factors to consider when using A357 aluminum include:

  • Aluminum sow casting and charging a handling
  • Aluminum fines and powder handling method
  • A357 aluminum alloy combustibility
  • Fire safety of A357 aluminum.
  • Molten A357 aluminum handling methods.
  • Recycling methods.

Other Resources:

Aluminum Die Casting Process

Die Casting Mould

For all your questions on A357 aluminum alloy, contact us now.

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