Aluminum is lightweight and corrosion resistant. It accommodates temperatures from –325° to 400°F (–198° to 204°C). By itself, aluminum has low tensile strength and is used for its corrosion resistance and low density in low-pressure applications. To improve strength and hardness it is alloyed with zinc, copper, silicon, manganese, and other elements. Performance depends on the grade of aluminum and its heat treatment. Pressure rating of heat treated aluminum alloy fittings can reach 4000 psi.
Aluminum fittings can handle higher pressure than brass and reduce weight when an application has a moderate pressure rating. An anodized external finish improves corrosion resistance, as well as makes the surface harder for wear and abrasion resistance. Media compatibility of aluminum is very good.
Aluminum fitting straights are generally machined from hexagonal bar stock; shapes are normally forged.
Aluminum fittings are used where light weight is important — aerospace, military and automotive. They are widely used with plastic and aluminum tubing.