With about one-third the weight of steel and similar strengths as steel, aluminum has become a cost effective option for many industries including automotive.  For the past 40 years aluminum usage has increased each year. With new demands for fuel efficiency aluminum usage is expected to increase at an even faster rate. Aluminum has also been used for many years in the heat transfer industry. It is one of the most economical options and its conductivity is second only to silver, gold, and copper. Some of the Grades and Specs that American Steel and Aluminum carries are listed below. Please call and talk to our experienced staff on what type of aluminum may work best for your project.

We are now stocking domestic aluminum from .063 and up

3000 Series
With the Major Alloying element being manganese 3000 series most commonly seen as 3003 is a general purpose alloy with good formability and workability. It has moderate strength and corrosion resistance and is mostly used in sheet metal work, automotive gaskets, bright tread tool boxes, truck fenders and cookware. 3000 series is non-heat treatable

5000 Series
With the Major alloying element being Magnesium it is know for its higher strength compared to 3000 and good corrosion resistance. Most commonly seen as 5052 which is used for automotive, electronic enclosures, storage boxes. truck cabs, and bus panels. 5000 series is non-heat treatable.

6000 Series
with its major alloying elements being Magnesium and silicon it is know for its strength and corrosion resistance. This alloy is seen used as aluminum extrusions and can be heat treated.

Understanding the Code of Aluminum

You may have been curious in asking what all the numbers for aluminum mean. At first it can look confusing but once you know the lingo you can spot out and understand all types of aluminum. Here is a basic understanding of number and letter designations.

The first number denotes the major alloying element

Non Heat Treatable

1XXX-99.9% Pure Aluminum




Heat Treatable


6XXX-Magnesium & Silicon

7XXX-Magnesium & Zinc

Temper Designations

F- As fabricated. The metal is produced to order dimension without any attempt to control result through strain hardening or other thermal treatments. There are no mechanical property limits and strength levels may vary from lot to lot.

O-Annealed. Appies to wrought products that have undergone thermal treatment to reduce their mechanical property levels. This is referred to as dead soft.

W-Solution heat treat. an Unstable temper applying to certain 7XXX series.

H- strain Hardened. Applies to products that have had an increase in strength by reduction through strain hardening or cold working.

T-thermally treated to produce temper other than F,O, or H.

H1=Strain Hardened only

H2= strain hardened partially annealed

H3=strain hardened and stabilized

HX1= 1/8 Hard

HX2= 1/4 Hard

HX4=1/2 Hard

HX6=Full Hard

HX9= Extra Hard limited to certain alloys