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Ultimate Guide of Aluminum Alloys Heat Treatment

Table of contents
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1、Basics Explanation of Aluminum Heat Treatments 

2、Types of Aluminum Alloys 

         2.1 Heat-treatable

         2.2 Non-heat-treatable alloys

         2.3 Brief explanation of common alloy series

3、4 Types of Heat Treatments You Can Use on Aluminum Alloys

        3.1  Method of Annealing 

        3.2 Method of Solution Heat treatment 

        3.3 Natural and Artificial Aging Methods

        3.4 The Method of Homogenizing 

4、Latest Aluminum Heat Treatment Techniques 

        4.1 Innovative Quenching Techniques

        4.2 Innovations in Aging Methods

        4.3 Control & Monitor Technologies

5、Factors Affecting Heat Treatment 

        5.1 Heating temperature and holding time

        5.2 Quenching method and rate 

        5.3 Benefits and Applications of Heat-Treated Aluminum 

6、Applications of Heat-Treated Aluminum

          6.1 Aerospace 

          6.2 Automotive 

          6.3 Construction & Structural UsesConsumer goods

          6.4 Consumer goods

          6.5 Military applications

          6.6 Supports Goods 

7、Factors Affecting Aluminum Heat Treatment Cost 

        7.1 Initial investment

        7.2 Material considerations

        7.3 Type of Heat Treatment

        7.4  Operational costs

        7.5 Complexity of the Part

       7.6 Aluminum Alloy

8、How to Get an Accurate Quote

         8.1 Contact Heat Treaters 

         8.2 Consider Online Resources

         8.3 Share Through Information 

9、Aluminum Heat Treatment Vs Other Metal Heat Treatments

        9.1 Features

        9.2 Aluminum

        9.3 Steel

        9.4 Titanium



As a result of its excellent characteristics, including its high solidarity-to-weight proportion, protection from erosion, and lightweight nature, aluminum composites track down broad applications across various industries. The primary factor that affects its variation and structure is heat treatment procedures. Heat treatment changes the way aluminum compounds are structured to make them stronger. 

This heat treatment process aims to enhance the performance and strength of aluminum alloys by altering the metal's microstructure. In this post, we are going to give you a thorough understanding of the heat treatment process, including its concepts & ideas, techniques, and applications. So, for whom this guide will be beneficial? This guide will be a valuable resource for engineers, metallurgists, and enthusiasts aiming to maximize the properties of aluminum alloys for their particular applications. It covers everything from the nuts and bolts of heat treatment to investigating aging,  solution treatment, and quenching.  

Basics Explanation of Aluminum Heat Treatments 

Heating and cooling aluminum changes its structure and strength through aluminum heating treatment. Think of it as baking a cake: the right temperature and time to get the cake ready as you desire.


Types of Aluminum Alloys 

Heat-treatable compounds and non-heat-treatable composites are the two primary classifications of aluminum alloys.

These alloys, you call heat treated, can be strengthened using heat treatment techniques like solution heat treatment, aging, and quenching. A few examples include the series 2xxx, 6xxx, and 7xxx.

Conventional heating procedures significantly affect these compounds. They are typically strengthened with cold working methods like extrusion, rolling, or aluminium deep drawing. A few examples include the series 1xxx, 3xxx, and 5xxx.

1xxx Series:

Aluminum is nearly pure thanks to these alloys, which contain only a small amount of other components. Their primary purposes are their incredible corrosion resistance and extraordinary formability, and they are not heat-treatable. Manufacturers use it in applications that need corrosion resistance, such as compound gear and cooking wares. 

2xxx Series:

Copper is the fundamental alloying component in the compounds in the 2xxx Series. They can endure heat treatment and are eminent for their outrageous strength, especially at high temperatures. Manufacturers broadly utilize it in military and aviation applications where strength and lightweight are fundamental.

3xxx Series:

 Manganese is the most important alloying component in the 3xxx Series. They show great strength and protection from corrosion, and they are not heat-treatable. Manufacturers use it in items like refreshment jars and vehicle parts that need to have great formability and moderate strength.

5xxx Series:

Magnesium is a core component in the 5xxx series.  They are extensively utilized in chemical tanks, ships, and watercraft construction due to their exceptional corrosion resistance and ability to withstand heat treatment, particularly in maritime conditions. 

6xxx Series:

The essential alloying parts in these compounds are silicon and magnesium. They consolidate strength, weldability, and corrosion resistance well and can be heat-treated. Manufacturers regularly use it in underlying materials, car parts, and building applications.

7xxx Series:

Zinc is another alloy that exists in this series. They are strong, can be heat-treated, and have a high strength-to-weight ratio. They are used frequently in structural and aeronautical applications where toughness and performance are essential.

Note: Please note that all alloy series show different concerns regarding to heat treatment in a particular way. Selecting the ideal aluminum alloy and heat treatment for your project might be made more accessible by speaking with a metallurgical specialist like JCL.


4 Types of Heat Treatments You Can Use on Aluminum Alloys

This process aims to make the aluminum alloy softer and more easily molded or shaped. Cold work is the most common way of framing aluminum without the utilization of heat, which builds the metal's solidarity and hardness to the detriment of its flexibility and formability. Cold work hardening can make a product stronger, but it can also make it hard for later forming processes to work, which could cause the product to crack and need to be thrown away. So, this means heating the metal to a certain temperature, depending on its type, and then letting it cool down until it reaches the normal room temperature. Strengthening makes the grains grow in the metal and reduces the pressure inside caused by working with the metal at cold temperatures. The material is softer and easier to shape because the pieces are bigger. Moreover, annealing cast aluminum parts diminishes interior strains and keeps them away from future breaking.

This process makes aluminum compounds stronger. In solution heat treatment, manufacturers heat the metal for a prescribed time at higher temperatures, which can be changed according to alloy. Because of the high temperature, some of the aluminum's parts mix and form a strong and even structure. Aluminum can be easily bent and shaped at this point. More treatment is needed to make it stronger and more reliable.


Once you have undergone the alloy-to-solution heat treatment, aging is a natural process that enhances the alloy's hardness and strengthens properties beyond its initial qualities. This process is accelerated by the precipitation of components from the solid solution, which gradually locks the alloy's microstructure.

Regarding normal aging, the solidifying impact starts to move within 24 hours of treatment and arrives at its most extreme strength in four to five days. Be that as it may, not all compounds can age normally to their most extreme strength since some strong arrangement parts probably won't precipitate totally without outside help.

To overcome this limitation, these alloys undergo an extra warming technique called artificial aging or precipitation hardening/. To do this, the compound should be warmed to a specific temperature much lower than that of solution heat treatment. It should then be kept at this temperature for at least six to 24 hours prior to being permitted to cool to room temperature. This interaction diminishes malleability while at the same time expanding the alloy's solidarity and hardness.

The main use of this treatment is to make amalgams using cast aluminum. It means slowly making something warmer and hotter. The alloying components spread evenly in the cast metal because of the high temperature, creating a more consistent microstructure. Heating the cast aluminum can make it easier to work with and stronger.

In contrast, lower melting point components — like unadulterated aluminum — will generally set initially close to the projecting's periphery. Without intervention, this could make the material conflicting, making a few sections excessively delicate and others exorbitantly hard and weak, which raises the chance of disappointment. So, it ensures that the chemical composition of the product is constant. 

Latest Aluminum Heat Treatment Techniques 

As you know, quenching plays an important role in heat treatment in evolving metal fabrication. 

Innovative Quenching Techniques

  1. Vapor Phase Quenching 

This method rapidly cools the aluminum after heating it by blowing a fast gas stream like nitrogen or argon. It is good for intricate or complex geometries as it reduces the cracking & distortion risks. 

  1. Polymer Quenching 

The composition of these solutions includes water and specific ingredients that can be dissolved in water. Polymers make the quenching liquid thicker, altering its capacity to keep things cool.

  1. Precision Quenching 

It explains how to cool metal evenly and controlled after heating it to a certain temperature. Controlled cooling is essential to achieve the desired characteristics in aluminum, including durability, versatility, and protection against corrosion.

Innovations in Aging Methods

  1. RRA (Retrogression and Reaging)

RRA, as you know, defines re-aging and re-quenching as a process when manufacturers reheat an alloy that has already undergone natural aging. 

  1. Before Aging

When manufacturers apply aging after cold work, it not only improves the grain structure but also enhances the precipitate formations.


Control & Monitor Technologies

Maintenance Predictive 

Manufacturers use machine learning and AI to avoid machine failure and achieve uninterrupted work.  

Process Monitoring in Real-time

Manufacturers now use advanced sensors and algorithms to monitor heat treatment in reality. 


Manufacturers use this digital replication to test diverse conditions before they apply in actual prototype.

Factors Affecting Heat Treatment 

Gradually ease changes in the microstructure of metals by the temperature at which it is heated of warmed. 

In order to achieve the desired outcome, it is essential to appropriately manage the temperature due to the varying properties of the various phases. An uneven microstructure may adversely affect mechanical properties caused by insufficient holding time.

The fast cooling of a warmed material is known as quenching. The last microstructure and material qualities are affected by the speed of quenching. You can get brittle and harder materials through a fast quenching rate, whereas slow quenching offers ductile and softer materials. 


Benefits and Applications of Heat-Treated Aluminum 

Improved Machinability: 

Certain heat treatment processes can soften aluminum, making it easier to the machine. This reduces the expense of creation and empowers the formation of additional intricate parts. 

Controlled Distortion: 

Applying heat treatment prior to cooling lessens twisting and bowing. For pieces that should keep definite aspects, this is fundamental. 

Optimized Performance: 

Manufacturers can accomplish different qualities like improved corrosion resistance by customized heat treatment for the aluminum.

Enhanced Strength and Durability:

Aluminum alloys' solidarity is significantly expanded by heat treatment. This makes them suitable for utilizations requiring high-pressure resilience, including motor parts, bike casings, and flying parts.

Applications of Heat-Treated Aluminum

Aluminum that has been heat-treated is an adaptable material with many advantages over different materials. It is cost-effective, lightweight, and impervious to erosion. Therefore, it is used in applications across various enterprises. 

Since heat-treated aluminum compounds have an extraordinary solidarity-to-weight proportion, they are utilized in the aerospace industry as often as possible. They are used for parts including wings, landing gears, and fuselage skins.

 Many vehicle components are made of heat-treated aluminum, such as wheels, motor blocks, and suspension parts. On account of its solidarity and lightweight properties, it improves performance and eco-friendliness.

 Window casings, wings, and building exteriors are only a couple of primary applications for heat-treated aluminum. It is also utilized in material and cladding applications in architectural design.


Various consumer gadgets, including PCs and cell phone cases, are made of heat-treated aluminum. It offers a decent blend of weight, strength, and style.

Heat treat aluminum is widely used in military gear because it is stronger and lighter. Naval ships, weapons, military aircraft, vehicles, body armor, etc. 

 Various sporting items, including skis, bike edges, and sluggers, are made of heat-treated aluminum. It's ideal for equipment where weight is a crucial component as it is strong as well as lightweight.

Factors Affecting Aluminum Heat Treatment Cost 


1. Initial investment 

What you need to purchase machinery equipment like heaters, quenching, aging ovens, and furnaces to begin heat treatment tasks. This capital speculation is fundamental for organizations beginning or filling the heating industry.

2. Material considerations 

Since various alloys respond distinctively to heat treatment, choosing the right aluminum compound is fundamental to obtaining the ideal outcomes. It is essential to pick a given material performance need irrespective of cost.  

3. Type of Heat Treatment

The costs of quenching, aging, solutionizing, and other procedures will vary.

4. Operational costs 

 The energy prerequisites for the heating process can extensively drive up working costs, especially in situations with longed solution treatments or batch volume. This part is basic to functional preparation and planning for heat treatment plants. 

5. Complexity of the Part

Costs may go up for plants with intricate shapes or delicate structures because they require extra care and attention.

6. Aluminum Alloy

The final cost may vary depending on the specific alloy being treated, as confusion over handling and heating requirements could play a role.

How to Get an Accurate Quote

Contact Heat Treaters 

Contact local heat treatment providers and give them information about your project, such as the type of aluminum, part details, quantity, and preferred heat treatment method. They can give evaluations based on what you need.

Consider Online Resources 

You can find essential details about how much heat treatment services cost on some websites that sell industrial equipment. 

Share Through Information 

The more information you provide about the aluminum (like type, size, and quantity) and what you want to achieve (like better corrosion resistance and more robustness), the more accurate the estimate you will get. 

Aluminum Heat Treatment Vs Other Metal Heat Treatments 





Temperature range

Around 200℃-1000℃

750℃ to 1400℃


Melting point 




Standard heating time



4-12 hours

Quenching mode

Air, water

Water, inert gas & oil, 


Heat treatment

Aging and solution-treating

Tamping and quenching, etc. 

Stress relief, Aging annealing, and solution-treating

Strengthening Mechanism

Precipitation Hardening

Various like grain size reduction, martensitic conversion, etc.



In essence, heating aluminum alloys is vital for adjusting their strength and durability to suit the specific demands of various industries. By carefully controlling the heating, cooling, and aging processes, aluminum components can have the appropriate amounts of strength, hardness, and resistance to corrosion. The basics of heat treatment and other techniques for aluminum alloys are outlined in this guide, demonstrating how they alter the metal's structure and properties. Development and progression in different industries are pushed by the versatility of heat treatment aluminum compounds, which track down the application in consumer gadgets, development, auto, aviation, and different fields.



What are the most commonly used heat treatments for aluminum alloys? 

Some common and popular heat treatment methods include annealing, aging, and solution heat treatment. 

Why are aluminum alloys heat-treatable?

When heated, certain elements in aluminum alloys partially dissolve, allowing for heat treatment. These materials are trapped in a very concentrated state when they cool down quickly. As they age, their bodies can make helpful particles that make them stronger.

How does heat treatment affect the properties of aluminum?

Heat treatment can make Aluminum mixtures stronger, tougher, and more rust-resistant. The correct process can also make the work easier, and the machines work better.

Are aluminum alloys heat-treatable?

Yes, you can use heat to make many kinds of aluminum stronger. Not all metals respond well to heat treatment. The type of alloy determines which treatments work. 

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