Is Aluminum Flexible?

If there were a worldwide club for aluminum fans, Futura Industries would be the headquarters. We work with aluminum day in and day out, and we know how excellent it is for a variety of projects and applications. This blog is about the flexibility of aluminum and how that flexibility plays into the other benefits of aluminum such as strength and heat conductivity.

First, the flexibility of aluminum makes it resilient to shock of impact, including things like wind, pushing or pulling. For this reason, aluminum is common in aerospace, outdoor structures, and auto manufacturing. Compared to steel, aluminum is about one third as dense and one third as stiff, but we can make a myriad of products using aluminum and can vary the strength easily based on alloys and thickness.

In engineering, the difference between strength and flexibility is referred to as yield point or yield strength. A material flexes elastically when, after the pressure stops, the material returns to its original shape. This is the first thing that happens when stress is applied. A material has deformed plastically if it cannot return to its original shape, and this happens when stress on the material surpasses the yield point.

Another way to measure strength of a material is ultimate tensile strength (TS), which means the amount of pulling or stretching stress something can withstand without breaking. Below is a chart of how far various materials can bend before breaking:

relative-strength-vs-flexibility-of-various-materials

As you can see, the relative strength of aluminum alloys is very high compared to many other metals, and even high-tech fabrics like Kevlar. For this reason, aluminum has a low risk of buckling when used in buildings. It is also lightweight, naturally resists corrosion and conducts heat well, making it great for things like heat sinks.

To learn more about the benefits of aluminum and how it could benefit your project, contact Futura Industries. We can help with every step from design to engineering and anodizing to packaging. We don’t offer aluminum fan club memberships, unfortunately, but for all other purposes we are your one-stop aluminum extrusion headquarters.