5052 vs. 3003 vs. 5005

In terms of doing all the things for which we love thin aluminum sheet
(hammer forming, bending, shaping, cutting, welding, getting horrible
splinters in our skin deep enough to puncture an artery) which is the
preferred aluminum alloy? Most books seem to vote for 3003, except for
one of my catalogs which pushes 5005, and some other discussions I've read
which seem to adore 5052. We're talking thin sheet, maybe around 0.040
inch thickness, used for things like aluminum skins, race car interiors,
and hammer formed art work. Does 5052 even come in sheets of that sort?
And is the cost/availability difference of 3003 versus 5005 such that one
is the best all-around winner?
Reply to
The Hurdy Gurdy Man
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In general 3003 is the cheapest aluminum available. 5005's only real advantage over 3003 is surface finish after drawing. Other than that it behaves just like 3003, as far as cold working and annealing.
5052 is much stronger, and not so easy to form into compound curves like bowls and fenders.
5052 is an excellent choice for making aluminum enclosures, or boxes. It forms easy and welds easily. As shipped it is usually much harder than 3003 or 5005.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
From an aircraft perspective, 5052 is used mostly for fuel tanks (welded), 3003 I can't remember what its used for in aviation, but not as common as 2024, 6061, and 5052. (should look it up in my catalogs), and I never heard of 5005 until now.
Reply to
JohnT.
In aircraft it is used mostly for decorative panels.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

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