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A Guide To Aluminium Temper Designations



Anyone who is familiar with our blogs will know that aluminium is an incredible material. As well as being strong yet lightweight, corrosion-resistant and even aesthetically pleasing (especially when used to make aluminium windows!), aluminium can also have a number of processes applied to it throughout its lifecycle.

Some of these processes involve the formation of aluminium structures such as windows or other pieces of architecture, as the aluminium is melted down into its intended purpose and then reused again, thus continuing its life cycle and aiding in sustainability. 

Whenever aluminium is subject to a heat treatment process, the aim is to increase strength and durability, and this also applies to aluminium tempering.

In today’s post, we’ll give an overview of what aluminium tempering is, along with a rundown of aluminium temper designations. 

What Is Aluminium Tempering?

Tempering is a process that involves heating a material (i.e. aluminium) to a set point below its lower critical temperature. The temperature will then be sustained for a specific amount of time depending on the type of metal and the desired mechanical properties. 

Lastly, what’s known as a dwell time will commence, whereby the furnace is shut off, and the material is allowed to cool. 

The objective of tempering any material, whether it be aluminium or another metal such as steel, is to improve the machinability and formability of that material. In turn, this reduces the risk of that material cracking or failing due to internal stress.

Read more: Aluminium vs Steel

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Aluminium Temper Designation Systems

Aluminium tempering has a wide number of variants which manufacturers and eventual installers will need to be aware of. So to clarify how the aluminium has been treated through tempering, there is a formal, industry-standard guide known as aluminium temper designation systems. 

The aim of the designation systems is to give information about how the alloy has been mechanically and (if applicable) thermally treated to achieve the desired properties. However, aspects such as the specific amount of reduction during cold rolling or precise temperatures used during thermal treatments will not be given through the designated system. 

Each of the temper designation systems is given as a code, and contained within that code are details of the alloy temper. Further information can also be given that relates to the strength KSI (ultimate & yield), elongation (thickness and diameter specimens), hardness Brinell, shear ultimate shearing strength, fatigue endurance and the modulus of elasticity. 

The first character of a temper designation will indicate the general class of the treatment, with the most common characters including F,O,H,W and T. 

These characters relate to the following processes: 

  • F – Fabricated
  • O – Annealed
  • H – Strained Hardened
  • W – Solution Heat Treated
  • T – Thermally Treated
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Aluminium bending and aluminium section bending

With ABS (Aluminium Bending Specialists) – the clue is in the name! We are the UK’s premier aluminium extrusion and non-ferrous sectioning bending company. 

Some of our top services include aluminium bending, aluminium windows, curved windows and doors, gothic arch windows, aluminium round windows, porthole windows, commercial windows along with architectural powder coating.

If you would like any further help or guidance on aluminium temper designations or any of the many other services that we provide, then you’re in the right place. ABS is based in Nottinghamshire, and we operate across the UK and Ireland. 

Please get in touch either by dropping us an email or giving us a call on 01623 721 172 for further help or information. 

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