The 5052 aluminum round tube is an alloy composed of 2.5 percent magnesium and 0.25 percent chromium. It is widely used in marine environments because of its ability to resist corrosion better than 5005 alloys. It can be made hardened with cold working only. Its endurance limit and fatigue properties are excellent. 5052 alloys can be placed in slightly alkaline environments. The high level of corrosion resistance this product has is due to the protective surface film it has. When damage occurs, rapid reaction between oxygen and aluminum repairs it. In cases where the damage can’t be prepared, rapid corrosion can take place on the base metal. This is why it’s not recommended for use with reducing media. To thicken the protective surface film and improve resistance to corrosion, the metal can be anodized.
The 5052 aluminum round tube is readily machinable, weldable and heat treatable. Cold forming can also be used when in the annealed condition (due to its ductility). When blanking and piercing, the punch to die clearance is recommended to be around 7 percent of the thickness of both sides when using H34 and H32 tempers. Sharp tools are recommended for cold working.
Machining can be performed using conventional methods. It’s best to use high speeds and lots of lubrication to avoid thermal distortion. Sharp tools are also needed for this process. When cutting, use high speeds and cuts that are continuous and deep. Standard techniques can also be used for welding. The aluminum should be clean and dry to prevent porosity and contamination of the weld. Filler metals can be used like 1100, 4047 and 4043. For the best color match, 1188 should be used and for high crack tolerance, 4034 should be used.