FAQs

Alloys, tempers, and available types of processing

Do you offer T temper?

United does not supply T tempers. However, United can supply heat treatable alloys 2024, 6061, and 7075 in “O” (annealed) or “F” (as-fabricated) temper. This will allow easier forming of the part in a softer condition, and the part can be hardened later.
As an alternative, United offers some 5000-series alloys, such as 5052, 5056 and 5182, that can be as strong or stronger than some of the T tempers. 5052-H38 approaches the strength level of 6061-T6. 5056 and 5182 are actually stronger than 6061-T6 when in the H34 or harder tempers.
United’s Customer Service and Technical Departments can help. Please inquire.

Do you have O (annealed) temper?

Yes, “O” temper is a United specialty. For more information on available tempers see the “Aluminum Temper Designations” section of the Technical Manual.

Do you sell anodized or painted material?

Yes, United has a network of coating and anodizing partners to meet your needs. Certain processes require minimums. Please inquire.

Can you sell in cut sheets or strips?

Yes, minimum productions may apply. Please inquire.

Do you offer oscillate or traverse wound coil?

Please inquire about your specific needs.

Order size, pricing & credit terms

What is the minimum quantity?

There is no minimum order quantity. Depending on the item and processing, there may be a minimum production required, however we can offer a quotation based only on the quantity you need.

Can you send me a credit application?

For new accounts and credit consideration, please download the credit application (PDF), complete, and fax to 203-239-4441 or email sales@unitedaluminum.com, attention Credit Department.

Do you take credit cards?

United can not accept credit cards.

What makes the price of aluminum change?

Aluminum is traded like all metals and subject to market price fluctuations based on supply, demand, and many other factors.

Temper selection and heat treating

How do I know what alloy and temper of aluminum to use?

United’s Customer Service and Technical Departments can help answer that question. Typically it depends on what you are making, how it will be formed and what performance is expected. We can help with Technical assistance, samples and prototype quantities. For basic selection guidelines see the “Selection Guide for Aluminum Alloys and Tempers” in the Technical Manual.

What do the different tempers mean?

The different temper designations refer to the variations of physical properties achievable within a single alloy. See “Typical physical properties” in the Technical Manual for details.

Are any aluminum alloys as strong as steel?

No, although some of the high strength 7XXX series alloys can approach the strengths of some structural steels while retaining the advantages of weight savings and formability of aluminum.

Does aluminum have a shelf life? Does it age harden while in storage?

Aluminum does not have a specified “shelf life” and will not age harden. Age hardening requires special heat treatment and applies only to a few alloys.

How do I heat treat aluminum?

The heat treatment known as “annealing” is used to soften an aluminum alloy. To make it fully soft temperatures in excess of 600˚ F must be used under conditions of controlled atmosphere and time constraints. UA Metallurgical staff can advise more fully on a case by case basis. Some aluminum alloys obtain their highest physical properties via a two stage heat treatment process called “Solution heat treatment and aging”. In this process the material is first heated to en extremely high temperature (close to the melting point) under very carefully controlled conditions and then rapidly quenched to room temperature. This is followed by a low temperature process called aging by which the full properties of the material are developed. Again, please contact UA Metallurgical staff for case by case advice in this area.

Density, corrosion & water stain

What is the density of aluminum?

Aluminum alloys have slightly varying densities between .096 lb/cu in. and .100 lb/cu in. For specific alloy densities, see the “Typical Physical Properties” table in the Technical Manual section.

Does aluminum corrode?

Yes, but unlike steel which rusts to red oxide, the corrosion product (Aluminum oxide) is not only a very hard impermeable substance but also one which adheres very tightly to the Aluminum surface. This provides a “self healing” protective coating which, after the initial exposure to air / moisture will protect the surface from further attack. Of course, in the presence of more aggressive agents such as Alkalies, excessive moisture or other metals which promote galvanic corrosion such as Copper, the surface is prone to various forms of corrosion such as ‘Pitting ‘ or ‘White staining’ which occur to various degrees depending on the alloy selected, the conditions, and a number of other factors. Consult with one of UA’s Metallurgical team for specific case details.

Copper is a better conductor than aluminum. Right?

Wrong. Aluminum has 200% the conductivity of copper when compared by weight. See the “Benefits of Aluminum” section of the Technical Manual for details

My aluminum is water stained. Can I remove it?

No , not easily. The water stain is a tightly adherent layer of Aluminum oxide/ hydroxide which can only be removed by abrasion or a very aggressive chemical attack which will probably do the surface more harm than the water stain.

International shipments and packaging

Do you handle the paperwork for aluminum being delivered outside U.S?

Yes. United has a dedicated team of international customer service people to handle all of the requirements.

What type of packaging options do you offer?

United can offer many custom packaging options, from standard square, rectangular, and round to full protective boxing, as well as eye-to-the side packing for wide width coils. We can custom design the package you want and meet your weight, height and handling needs.

Do you deliver to Canada?

Yes, United Aluminum ships around the world.