5 Types & Grades of Different Aluminum Scrap

Aluminum seems to be one of the most confusing as well as most commonly scrapped metals. Aluminum can be found in residential items like folding lawn chairs and commercial items like airplanes. As one of the softest and strongest metals, its use is widespread and wipe spread. 

Let’s go into some of the names and grades of aluminum to help learn and explain it more. 

What is Extruded Aluminum?

We have talked about the phrase extruded aluminum before, and it is important to know that it is a type and not a grade. A lot of scrappers get those wordings wrong when they are talking about aluminum grades, and to their credit- many of the scrap yards do their classifications wrong as well. 

Extruded aluminum is like making pasta from the dough; it pushes aluminum through a mold and forms or extrudes it on the other side. The grade of aluminum could be dozens of different types, and the type determines the value, not the process (most of the time). 

What is Cast Aluminum?

How to recycling scrap die cast aluminum.

Cast aluminum also is a type, not a grade of aluminum. Cast aluminum is sometimes made from multiple types of aluminum mixed and could contain iron or other non-aluminum inside the composition. Examples of casted aluminum pieces could be aluminum cooking grills, pots, pans, or even certain engine parts in cars or other gas-powered engines. 

Scrap yards will ask you to sort and separate these types of aluminum even though the price grades will be similar to that of sheet aluminum.

What is Sheet Aluminum?

Sheet aluminum grading could range from scrap yard to scrap yard but there will be many commonplace things. Many old items that could have slight contaminates like nails, screws, rubber, or steel could be included in the sheet aluminum prices. To get sheet pricing, these items will have to contain less than 2-3% of non-aluminum attachments or weights. 

Sometimes aluminum scrap items like lawn chairs that were cleaned and had no debris on them could still be considered sheet aluminum as a default metal pricing. 

6061 Aluminum – Where It Comes From

6061 grade of aluminum contains other metals like magnesium and also silicon inside of its composition. These sub-items allow the metal to have a much stronger base property which means they will last for a longer period of time. The longer that items like window frames, car frames, and other applications last, the greater the overall product and experience will be.  

Knowing what 6061 aluminum is- is very important, but at the same time, you have to be able to look for different signs and uses to identify it better. Below are some of the common applications and products that 6061 is used for. One thing to keep in mind, when 6061 is painted or has other contaminants like stickers or labels, it will go down in pricing.

  • Bicycles
  • Automotive Parts
  • Airplane parts such as fuel tanks
  • Flashlights
  • Welding materials to bond aluminum together.

6063 Aluminum – Where It Comes From

6063 Aluminum - scrap metal prices

When it comes to aluminum 6063 (and other grades), things to this about is that there are always other elements involved in creating the metal. Just like in 6061, you will find magnesium and silicon traces inside Aluminum 6063 alloys (you may even find traces of iron, copper, or zinc in minimal percentage amounts). 6063 properties allow it to be very easily extruded, and because of that, you will find it is one of the most common metals used. 

6063 aluminum should always be separated before bringing it to the scrap yard so you can make more money with this metal. You should also separate any painted materials that may be mixed to get the best pricing possible. Below are a few examples of where you could find 6063 Aluminum being used.

  • Door Frames
  • Commercial Window Frames
  • Electrical Conduits
  • Medical Devices
  • Aluminum Tubing

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