Getting the best gradings 

aluminium gradings

Image credit: PMIT

PMIT shares its expertise with the Australian market on the best aluminium gradings for different applications.

Press Metal International Technology Limited (PMIT) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Berhad who is a world-class producer of aluminium with markets and operations in the strategic locations of Malaysia, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, Europe, and the Americas.

PMIT specialises in providing a complete, high value adding production chain from ingot production, billet casting, extrusion, bending, CNC machining, surface finishing, fabrication to delivery. 

Established in 1986, today PMIT produces and supplies materials for high specification applications, in the high-profile industries of Technology, Marine, Transportation, Infrastructure, energy companies and their projects. We work collaboratively with our customers to provide innovative turnkey solutions fit for the intended purpose. 

Working closely with some of our clients, exploring opportunities in technologically advanced materials that enhance performance across multiple elements such as design, strength, weight, and workability has afforded PMIT the insight to invest in the R&D of innovative aluminium grades and extrusion portfolio, continuously improving on our manufacturing capabilities.  

The early adoption of these innovative manufacturing solutions by our clients has provided them with ability to build lighter and safer structures with clear competitive advantages, due to improved efficiency and reduced resource demand in the project lifecycle. 

The global projection for transportation demands post COVID-19 is set to rise by circa 4.2 per cent CAGR up to 2050 coupled with the global drive toward decarbonisation by the same year these factors are challenging engineers, designers, and fabricators more than ever to look deeper into ways to optimise the build strategy, finding ways to reduce weight and improve efficiency.  

The transportation industry is a prime example where every kilogram saved results in either greater payload, higher paying passengers volumes, greater fuel savings and where applicable faster transit times. These factors not only provide more cost-effective solutions to the value chain but also support the global environmental drivers due to reduced energy consumption. 

Focusing on the marine industry, particularly shipbuilding. One of the major areas of focus for any naval architect or designer is reducing the structural weight. Aluminium has become the material of choice due to the superb strength, workability, weldability and corrosion resistant characteristics for ocean going vessels.  

Typically, 5083 grade continues to be the dominant grade of choice for most aluminium shipbuilders, due to its cost and availability in the world market. 

Over the last few years more and more shipbuilders/fabricators are using or exploring the use of 5383 grade aluminium. 5383 the name was registered in the mid 90s and promoted to the shipbuilding industry for the enhancements of substantial weight savings in vessel design, increase post-weld yield strength, increased fatigue strength and better corrosive resistant properties. Along with equal fabrication characteristics as 5083. 5383 grade is an appealing grade for architects and manufacturers who are pushing the boundaries in the design of some of the world’s fastest, largest, most impressive aluminium vessels.   

5383 grade aluminium is designed to provide superior strength over 5083, allowing designers to reduce material thicknesses whilst still providing outstanding impact resistance and high corrosion resistance. Which combined, reduces the extent of heat input problems such as welding which cases distortion resulting in additional work and potential design impact. 

5383 is typically used in high stress areas where a more robust welded structure is required typically this would be the hull and superstructure.  The key advantages are as follows: 

  • Stronger welded structures = High corrosion resistance 
  • Structural weight saving = Less weight – more efficient transportation  
  • Increased strength = Less welding required 
  • Improved Structural fatigue = High strength 
  • Increased space  = Flexibility of design and function 
  • Improved stability  = Easier workability / machining 

Safety is the first and foremost consideration in vessel design, with these improved features 5383 provides engineers & designers with added assurance in their product selection. 

One of the least discussed benefits of 5383 is material handling. Until recently the utilising of 5383 grade aluminium throughout a vessel, even for non-structural elements was not seen as commercially viable within the marine industry due to long lead times, higher cost and minimal supply chain availability compared to the 6005/6082 extrusion that is more readily available.

This is still very much the case for much smaller vessels. Shipyards and fabrication facilities must segregate 6005/6082 extrusion from 5383 to prevent incorrect material selection If 6082 is used where 5383 us required this could have severe consequences to the material composition and structural design.

By using 5383 across the whole of vessel there are significant savings in material handling and storage, along with a more streamlined Bill of Materials, which in turn reduces stockholding and enable better strategic planning in inventory management. These additional value adding opportunities could balance the over front-end cost throughout the project Lifecyle. Especially when faced with an aggressive build schedule.   

Whilst we have specifically highlighted the shipbuilding industry in this article the points raised, and the benefits associated would be systemic throughout the transportation industry.  

PMIT has positioned itself to be the partner of choice in the production and supply of standard profiles tee, flat, angle, channel, i beam, rectangular, square, round hollow sections, or tubes in grades, 6005, 6082, 5083 & 5383 alloys. All in accordance with the most stringent criteria as set out and certified by all major international independent verification bodies such as Classification Society Certifications of CCS (China), ABS (America), DNV (Norway), BV (France), and NK (Japan). 

To date PMIT has manufactured and supplied an assortment of 5383 extruded parts for several ocean-going high-speed aluminium passenger ferries.  

  • 111m Catamaran – Europe 
  • 100m Catamaran – Caribbean 
  • 35m Catamaran – Australia 
  • 76m Catamaran – South Korea 

In addition to providing aluminium finished products of the highest quality, PMIT can offer bespoke solutions and components as well as a suite of industry standard solutions that can reduce manufacturing costs and production time. 

PMIT is here to support our clients old and new on your next project to achieve a lighter weight, lower cost, and higher performance fabrications. 

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