What is 1100 Aluminum?
1100 aluminum is also called commercial grade aluminum and is an almost pure aluminum alloy. Generally, 1100 is over 99% aluminum with less than one percent of copper, iron, manganese, silicon, titanium, vanadium, and zinc mixed in for a little extra strength.
These additions make 1100 the strongest aluminum in the 1000 series of alloys. In fact, it is the only alloy in the 1000 series that is commonly used in rivets. But it is also still lightly alloyed enough to keep the major benefits of pure aluminum. 1100 is very light, has excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, workability, and corrosion resistance. Specifically, it has 53% of the conductivity of pure copper.
However, 1100 aluminum is quite soft and therefore not used in applications that require high strength or hardness. Most frequently it is produced in sheets, foil strips, wire, and rod. Though sheet is most common. Typically 1100 aluminum is offered in three alloys.
- O Temper, which is soft annealed and has an extremely low yield strength
- H14, which is stronger, and what Online Metals carries
- H18, which is stronger than H14 but a little more brittle
One of the most common questions about 1100 is how it compares to 6061 aluminum. 6061 is the most commonly used aluminum alloy on Earth. It exhibits high strength, low weight, easy machining, good corrosion resistance, and good thermal properties. By comparison, 1100 is more conductive, much more corrosion resistant, also very light and easy to machine, but nowhere near as strong. Here’s a comparison of aluminum 1100 vs 6061 tensile strength and yield strength for reference.
|Alloy / Temper||Tensile Strength||Yield Strength|
|6061-T6||45,000 psi||40,000 psi|
|1100-H14||18,000 psi||17,000 psi|
|1100-H18||24,000 psi||22,000 psi|
Instead of strength, 1100 is typically used for chemical equipment, food handling equipment, utensils, rivets, decorative trim, decorative parts, dials and name plates, lighting equipment, heat exchangers, and sheet metal work.
Also, 1100 aluminum is very sensitive to heat variance. At temperatures ranging from 392 – 482 °F (200 – 250 °C) 1100’s already lower strength decreases even further. However, at sub-zero temperatures, its strength actually increases. Because of this 1100 is an ideal low-temperature alloy.
How do you harden aluminum 1100?
Cold working is the optimal way of dealing with the alloy. High heat should be avoided. For these reasons, fabricators typically stamp, roll, draw, and spin 1100 as those keep temperatures down.
While it is easy to hot work 1100, the further reduction in strength means it is generally avoided.
Consequently, 1100 aluminum can be hardened by cold working, but not by hot working nor heat treatment.
1100 is suitable for welding using AL 1100 consumable electrodes and filler wire.
We carry 1100 Aluminum in Sheet. Check out our very competitive pricing and variety of thicknesses!
Can you weld aluminum?
We hope that this article has helped you understand the uses of 1100 Aluminum. If you need more hard technical data, you can check out the aluminum 1100 product guide here. We also have an article that covers the best way to weld aluminum!