Applications of Aluminium

Aluminum smartphones: Apple and others

The first aluminum phones

In fairness it must be admitted, that in the late 1990s, Motorola first adopted the aluminum profiles in the metal body design of its Razr mobile phones.

Steve Jobs made aluminum fashionable

However, the legendary Steve Jobs and Apple has been a great first, who put aluminum in the center of the construction of its metallic notebook, ayfonov, aypadov and iPods, as well as its smart watch Watch Sport. Also in 2008 , Apple presented its concept of the unibody - a metal body Macbook laptop from a single piece of extruded aluminum profiles.

It was Steve Jobs made aluminum smartphones and laptops are fashionable and prestigious. He was such a fan of aluminum, that ordered the aluminum boat, which, Unfortunately, It was built only a year after his death, c 2012 year. The construction and design of the aluminum yachts «Venus» behalf made in the same minimalist style, Jobs that Apple promoted in. She looks so too, like made from one piece of aluminum.

Steve Jobs yacht

Steve Jobs's aluminum jacht

Aluminum smartphones

HTC recently released its metal – aluminum – phone the One. Its metal body made from solid aluminum billet - the segment extruded aluminum profile.

Nokia company also plans to release its metal model, of course, aluminum, model called Catwalk.

Samsung is committed to the traditional plastic in the construction of its smartphones. However, he is already preparing his aluminum "smart phones". The current model Galaxy S4 still has a plastic housing, but the following models, such as Galaxy Note Galaxy S6 and already have a metallic body of aluminum alloy.

Aluminum laptops

Many companies have followed Apple and aluminum is increasingly used in the constructions instead of the traditional notebook plastic or painted metal.

Google has in its new laptop Chromebook Pixel uses metal – aluminum – housing, which is produced by machining from solid aluminum molded preform. This - the direct successor and rival the famous notebook Macbook the unibody design, which is still in 2008 It was developed by Apple.

Samsung and Sony as the company already produces its aluminum laptops.

The best metal for smartphone – aluminum

Why did Apple's competitors take so long to use aluminum in their products and suddenly become interested in it? Experts find this, least, two explanations.

At first, aluminum became more available for use in this mass electronic products - laptops and smartphones. This happened thanks to the bold breakthrough of Apple. She has created a need for aluminum housings in the consumer electronics market and thus gave an impetus to the development of technologies of aluminum and steel, mechanical machining of aluminum, as well as decorative and protective coatings its.

Secondly, high-end (and expensive) smartphones face stiff competition from lower-quality (and cheaper) competitors. The use of aluminum allows manufacturers to differentiate their smartphones more expensive products. For the buyer the difference between expensive and cheap plastic smartphone does not look so great, to pay for it extra money. But if you instead of the usual plastic smartphone offers an elegant and fashionable metal, aluminum, it can be an excuse for you to pay a little more.

Aluminum alloys in smartphones

Apple and other companies never fully reveal the chemical composition of aluminum alloys, that it is used in their laptops and smartphones.

Therefore, the picture of the aluminum alloys, which are used for the manufacture of shells of consumer electronics - laptops and smartphones, as well as other electronic "toys", such, as sports "reasonable hours» Watch Sport of Apple, rather ragged and incomplete. It is based on expert opinion, as well as the scraps of information from corporate websites, commercials and magazine articles.

6xxx series aluminum alloys

According to most experts, Apple has adopted a well-known structural design for the unibody of its Macbooks. Aluminium alloy 6061. This alloy belongs to a series of aluminum alloys 6xxx, in which the major alloying elements are magnesium and silicon. This alloy is widely used in bearing building construction.

The first iPhones, which received a one-piece aluminum housing, was IPhone 5. It is believed, that it is also applied Alloy 6061.

Experts have suspected, that since the iPhone 6/6+ Apple switched to an aluminum alloy 6063. Alloy 6063 also refers to the 6xxx series, but it is more diluted (and cheaper), than an alloy 6061 and it has a lower strength. Alloy 6063 - is the most common aluminum alloy compressible. It in huge quantities used in building constructions, but not in bearing, and in the so-called protecting translucent constructions - windows, doors and facades of buildings. Alloy 6063 It has one major advantage over alloy 6061 - it is much more amenable to anodization.

There are separate data, that in some of their Apple products and uses such aluminum alloys as the 6003 и 6082.

reported, the aluminum giant Alcoa will supply aluminum alloy for Samsung Galaxy S6 latest model 6013.

7xxx series aluminum alloys

After the well-known problems with the iPhone irreversible deflection devices 6 Apple has decided to change not only the aluminum alloy, but even a series of alloys. Already Watch Sport watches used an aluminum alloy from the 7xxx series. In contrast to the 6xxx series alloys, in which the major alloying elements are magnesium and silicon, This series of alloys has a major alloying element with a magnesium zinc additives, and often copper.

The exact chemical composition of a new aluminum alloy, naturally, not reported. In advertising texts and commercials is limited to the, this alloy 60 % stronger, than "normal" aluminum alloys. What is meant by "conventional" alloys, for example, alloy 6061 or 6063, it is not known.

Meanwhile typical limits alloy strength 6061 и 6063 They are, respectively, 310 и 240 MPa. If the "normal" metal - an alloy 6061, the new mysterious alloy of the 7xxx series must have some strength 500 MPa - at the level of one of the most durable aluminum alloy 7075.

If by "normal" aluminum alloy is hiding – really normal – alloy 6063, the typical strength of the new alloy is about 380 MPa, which indicates alloy 7005.

Aluminum alloys: 7005 or 7075?

Unlikely, that mysterious 7xxx series alloy is alloy 7075. Furthermore it contains magnesium and zinc, what is important, to 2 % copper. This makes it very difficult extudable alloy, which requires a special high pressure extrusion press. Moreover, to achieve its high strength, it requires special heating furnace, followed by quenching in water instantaneous. It is fraught with serious residual stresses and problems with buckling, as well as increased product rejection. Therefore, the profiles of alloy 7075 at times more expensive, than "normal" aluminum alloys. Moreover, This alloy lends itself very mediocre anodizing.

But the type of alloy 7005, seem to be, just perfectly solves the problem of Apple. The alloy has only supplements magnesium, but not copper. Therefore, it is quite well-compacted on conventional presses, It does not require to achieve their individual strength oven heating, and quenched directly on the press, wherein water is not, just in the air. it, by the way, removes it from the high residual stresses, who suffer as a fusion 7075, and, at least, alloy 6061. It is not excluded, that spontaneous deflections iPhones problems were connected with the residual stresses, which could be in violation of manufacturing technology of the aluminum case. It is known, that excessive residual stresses often catastrophically weaken the structural strength of various metal products.