5086 aluminium alloy

5086 aluminium alloy

5086 is an aluminium alloy, primarily alloyed with magnesium. It is not strengthened by heat treatment, instead becoming stronger due to strain hardening, or cold mechanical working of the material.

Since heat treatment doesn't strongly affect the strength, 5086 can be readily welded and retain most of its mechanical strength. The good results with welding and good corrosion properties in seawater make 5086 extremely popular for building boat and yacht hulls.Boatbuilding with Aluminum, Stephen F. Pollard, 1993, ISBN 978-0-07-050426-4]

Basic properties

5086 has a density of 0.096 lb/in³ (2657 kg/m³), with a specific gravity of 2.66.

Melting point is 1090 °F (588 °C).

Chemical properties

The alloy composition of 5086 is: [http://www.suppliersonline.com/propertypages/5086.asp 5086 Material properties] at supplliersonline.com, accessed Oct 29, 2006]
* Chromium - 0.05% - 0.25% by weight
* Copper - 0.1% maximum
* Iron - 0.5% maximum
* Magnesium - 3.5% - 4.5%
* Manganese - 0.2% - 0.7%
* Silicon - 0.4% maximum
* Titanium - 0.15% maximum
* Zinc - 0.25% maximum
* Others each 0.05% maximum
* Others total 0.15% maximum
* Remainder Aluminium

Mechanical properties

The mechanical properties of 5086 vary significantly with hardening and temperature.

–O hardening

Unhardened 5086 has a yield strength of 17 ksi (17,000 psi; 117 MPa) and ultimate tensile strength of 38 ksi (262 MPa) from –18 °F (–28 °C) to over 212 °F (100 °C). At cryogenic temperatures it is slightly stronger: at –320 °F (–196 °C or 78 K), yield of 19 ksi (131 MPa) and ultimate tensile strength of 55 ksi (379 MPa); above 212 °F (100 °C) its strength is reduced.

Elongation, the strain before material failure, ranges from 46% at –320 °F (–196 °C), 35% at –112 °F (–80 °C), 32% at –18 °F (–28 °C), 22% at 68 °F (20 °C), 30% at 75 °F (24 °C), 36% at 212 °F (100 °C), and increases above there.

–H32 hardening

–H34 hardening

–H112 hardening

–H116 hardening

H116 strain hardened 5086, with properties measured at 68 °F (20 °C), has yield strength of 30 ksi (207 MPa), ultimate tensile strength of 42 ksi (290 MPa), and elongation of 12%.


5086 is the preferred hull material for small aluminium boats or larger yachts. Its high strength and good corrosion resistance make it an excellent match for yachting.

5086 has a tendency to undergo Stress corrosion cracking and is not used much in aircraft construction as a result. [http://www.alcoa.com/mill_products/catalog/pdf/general_engineering_plates/en/5xxx_EN.pdf 5xxx Plate information sheet] at www.alcoa.com, accessed Oct 29, 2006]

5086 has been used in vehicle armor, notably in the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier and M2 Bradley Infantry fighting vehicle.


5086 is often assembled using arc welding, typically MIG or TIG welding. The newer technique of Friction stir welding has also been successfully applied but is not in common use.

Arc welding reduces mechanical properties to no worse than –O hardening condition. For –H116 base material, measured at 68 °F (20 °C) ambient temperature, yield strength decreases from 30 ksi (207 MPa) to 17 ksi (117 MPa) and ultimate strength from 42 ksi (290 MPa) to 38 ksi (262 MPa). The relatively low decrease in ultimate strength (about 10%) is extremely good performance for an aluminium alloy.

ee also

* Aluminium alloy


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