The compositional specifications for wrought aluminium alloys are now internationally agreed throughout Europe, Australia, Japan and the USA. The system involves a four-digit description of the alloy and is now specified in the UK as BS EN 573, 1995.

Registration of wrought alloys is administered by the Aluminum Association in Washington, DC. International agreement on temper designations has been achieved, and the standards agreed for the European Union, the Euro-Norms, are replacing the former British Standards.

Thus BS EN 515. 1995 specifies in more detail the temper designations to be used for wrought alloys in the UK. At present, there is no Euro-Norm for cast alloys and the old temper designations are still used for cast alloys.

In the following tables the four-digit system is used, wherever possible, for wrought materials.

Alloy designation system for wrought aluminium
The first of the four digits in the designation indicates the alloy group according to the major alloying elements, as follow:

1XXX aluminium of 99.0% minimum purity and higher
2XXX copper
3XXX manganese
4XXX silicon
5XXX magnesium
6XXX magnesium and silicon
7XXX zinc
8XXX other element, incl. lithium
9XXX unused

1XXX Group:
In this group the last two digits indicate the minimum aluminium percentage.
Thus 1099 indicates aluminium with a minimum purity of 99.99%. The second digit indicates modifications in impurity or alloying element limits. 0 signifies unalloyed aluminium and integers 1 to 9 are allocated to specific additions.

2XXX-8XXX Groups:
In these groups the last two digits are simply used to identify the different alloys in the groups and have no special significance. The second digit indicates alloy modifications, zero being allotted to the original alloy.

National variations of existing compositions are indicated by a letter after the numerical designation, allotted in alphabetical sequence, starting with A for the first national variation registered.

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