You will find aluminum alloys in virtually every industry – aerospace, automotive, agriculture, medical, marine, defense, etc. This is not a coincidence. Aluminum is not only an abundant and recyclable material but also lightweight. When combined with other elements, the material becomes even better in different aspects.

A look at the characteristics of each of these metals reveals that there are both pros and cons. One alloy may be applicable in one area while the other one is ideal elsewhere. That story is common when you analyze all the other alloys.

But for this post, we will compare and contrast the features, applications, and capabilities of aluminum 5052 vs. 5083. Our goal is to bring to light the strengths and weaknesses of each metal so you can be sure which one to use for a specific project.

Overview of Aluminum 5083

Aluminum 5083 also belongs to the 5000 series aluminum alloys. This alloy is extensively used across different industries due to its attractive characteristics. Even in harsh environments, for instance, constructions at low temperatures, the alloy is an excellent performer.

It is a preferable alloy of the two in construction and aerospace structures due to its superior ductility. It doesn’t break easily in the face of compressive forces. The material is also remarkably strong and, therefore, suitable for different applications.

 

Overview of Aluminum 5052

Aluminum alloy 5052 is a 5000 series alloy that is popular for many characteristics, including welding capability and corrosion resistance. The alloy has a very small proportion of alloying elements at only 4%. Brittleness and hardness are directly related to the amount of alloying elements in a metal. When the percentage of alloying elements is low, the metal tends to be workable and easy to machine.

That is the case with aluminum alloy 5052. The material is renowned for its workability. Even in the marine environment, this alloy has the properties to perform reliably.

 

Aluminum 5052 vs. 5083

In this section, we will identify the differences and similarities of aluminum 5052 vs. 5083. The best way to do this analysis is to highlight the chemical and mechanical properties of the two aluminum alloys.

Chemical properties of Aluminum 5052 vs. 5083

Here is a table showing the chemical properties of the two aluminum alloys:

ALUMINIUM ALLOY Si Fe Cu Mn Mg Cr Zn Ti Zr Others Al
5083 0.40 0.40 0.10 0.40-1.0 4.0-4.9 0.05-0.25 0.25 0.15 —— totally 0.15 remainder
5052 0.25 0.40 0.10 0.10 2.2-2.8 0.15-0.35 0.10 0.15 —— totally 0.15 remainder

✣All compositions are in percent.

As you can deduce from the table above for chemical composition, there is a notable difference in the amount of one of the main alloying elements: Magnesium. Aluminum 5083 has less magnesium content as compared to aluminum 5052. Higher magnesium content translates to higher strength. Therefore, that makes one alloy stronger than the other one. In the 5052 vs. 5083 strength aspect, it follows then that aluminum 5083 is stronger than aluminum 5052.

When it comes to manganese content, there is also a notable difference. The higher percentage of manganese in aluminum 5083 makes this alloy more weldable than aluminum 5052.

Mechanical properties

On mechanical properties, we ask ourselves how a particular metal would perform under load and force conditions. The most common mechanical properties of a metal include hardness, strength, impact resistance, and ductility.

Check out the table below for some mechanical properties of aluminum 5052 and aluminum 5083:

Alloy & Temper Tensile Strength(MPa) Yield Strength(Mpa) Hardness(HBW)
5052-H112 170 70 47
5083-H112 270 125 70

✣The tested value is Min.

Aluminum 5052 vs. 5083: Welding

Aluminum 5083 welds well with resistance and electric welding methods. Please avoid arc welding on this alloy. The recommended welding methods are Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and gas metal arc welding (GMAW).

The welding characteristics of aluminum 5052 are good as well. Due to its lower strength, this alloy may be less likely to develop stress cracking.

The corrosion resistance of Aluminum 5052 vs. 5083

Aluminum alloy 5083 has good corrosion resistance, thus making sense for marine-grade aluminum projects. As a 5000 series alloy, aluminum alloy 5052 also exhibits good corrosion resistance. Therefore, it can also be used in marine environments with good results.

Machinability of the Alloys

Because of its high strength, aluminum 5083 is not easy to machine. However, you can still machine it with the right machining equipment and technique. Aluminum 5052 is fairly easy to machine. However, the best machining results are when the material is in its strain-hardened form. Its machined parts are present in marine, aerospace, and other industries.

Formability

Formability is a critical property of aluminum alloys. Some alloys are more formable than others, and this may also influence the kind of application a particular alloy fits in. Typically, the stronger alloys are more difficult to bend. That’s because there is usually a compromise between material elongation and strength. When the strength increases, the percentage elongation decreases. Apart from aluminum alloy 3003, no other aluminum alloy is better at bending than aluminum 5052. It could even offer more bendability than alloy 3003 when it is annealed.

Aluminum alloy 5083 is also good in bending, but not to the level of 5052 aluminum. That’s one of the reasons why combined with other characteristics, for instance, corrosion-resistance, this alloy is popular in fabrications for the marine industry.

5052 vs. 5083 aluminum extrusion application (use)

 

Aluminum alloy 5052 has numerous applications across different industries. Some of these applications are:

Doors Parts – A metal that bends easily is always going to get involved in projects that have a lot of bending. Since aluminum 5052 is easy to bend, users like to use it in the manufacture of doors and related custom parts.

Interior Products – Still due to its bendability, this alloy comes in handy in the formation of non-structural components. A good example is shelves, which demand varying levels of bending and creativity. Talking of creativity, this alloy type is also a favorite of users in the creative decorations space.

Construction – Building components such as gutters made of aluminum 5052 are extremely popular. The industry finds the material usable for its ability to withstand elements and be designed in different shapes and profiles.

Marine – In the marine industry, this alloy is mostly popular in the manufacture of boat hulls, which demand both strength and corrosion resistance.

The reason why the alloy is popular for these applications and others include high corrosion-resistance and strength-to-weight ratio. Aluminum 5052 is a good choice in outdoor applications where low weight and high strength are a priority. Since it is lightweight, this alloy is easy to fabricate too.

 

Similarly, aluminum 5083 is widely used in the industries. Here are some popular applications of this alloy:

Marine – The alloy is one of the most preferred materials for the manufacture of marine fittings and components. It has the characteristics needed for high-quality ship/boat extrusions. Its high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and corrosion resistance are what the manufacturers of these components and fittings find most attractive about aluminum 5083.

Automotive – This industry is increasingly using precision parts. Some of these parts are for the engine parts and cylinder heads. Aluminum 5083 is a popular material in the manufacture of these parts.

Construction – To tap into the capability to weld and the high strength-to-weight ratio, construction projects are also extensively using extrusions of aluminum 5083.

Low-temperature applications – One major advantage of aluminum is its capability to weld easily. Even after welding it, this alloy will retain most of its original properties, even its strength. Aluminum 5083 also has the unique capability of being functional and reliable under cryogenic temperatures. Hence, this material is popular in the manufacture of equipment that operates under such temperatures.

In summary, aluminum 5083 is suitable for applications where durability and strength are key material considerations. As for aluminum 5052, the focus is typically on the material’s durability and welding capability. Aluminum 5083 is prominent in the construction sector while aluminum 5052 reigns in the automotive and marine industries.

Which aluminum alloy should you choose?

If your business needs to use aluminum 5052 or 5083, researching the properties of each of these alloys is worthwhile. We have done the homework for you with this guide on aluminum 5052 vs. aluminum 5083.

This comparison guide for the aluminum alloys is a good start if you are unsure which of the two alloys to use. We have enumerated the characteristics, as well as the pros and cons of both.

You may wonder, why Buy 5052 and 5083 Aluminum extrusions from FONNOV ALUMINUM? Fonnov Aluminum has generated interest from the aluminum alloy market in China and globally. Our temper H112 O for alloy 5052 and 5083 extrusion products and related value-added services are designed for the prevailing market needs.

With our quality yet cost-effective solutions, you don’t need to look elsewhere for aluminum alloy extrusions for your next project.

Do you still have more questions about these alloys? We would be pleased to discuss more. You can also get regular aluminum insights by visiting our blog section.

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