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Numbering Systems for Alloys. Ref: “Engineering Materials – Properties and Selection”, K.G. Budinski and M. K. Budinski, 7 th ed., Prentice Hall, 2002 (Chap. 8 – 16). How can you tell the others exactly which kind of material you want?. What do these codes mean?. AISI 1020 steel

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numbering systems for alloys

Numbering Systems for Alloys

Ref: “Engineering Materials – Properties and Selection”, K.G. Budinski and M. K. Budinski, 7th ed., Prentice Hall, 2002 (Chap. 8 – 16)

what do these codes mean
What do these codes mean?
  • AISI 1020 steel
  • ASTM A 29 grade 1020 steel
  • UNS G10200
  • SAE 1006
  • 6061-T6
  • 3003-H38
what you should include in the specifications of a material
What You Should Include in the Specifications of a Material?
  • Description: e.g. steel, hot-finished, low-carbon, bar, ASTM A29 grade B
  • Dimension
  • Chemical composition
  • Mechanical properties
  • Dimension tolerance: LWH, flatness, etc.
  • Finish: hot-rolled, cold rolled, patterned
  • Special requirements: heat treatment, texture, etc.
unified numbering system uns
Unified Numbering System (UNS)
  • Developed by ASTM and SAE
  • Not a specification but only identify an alloy covered by other standards
  • The 5 digits closely related to the original identification system. E.g. AISI 1020 = G10200
  • Adopted by the Copper Development Association as official identification system for Cu alloys
most frequently used carbon and alloy steels in the us
Most Frequently Used Carbon and Alloy Steels in the US
  • SAE 1010: formed sheet-metal parts
  • SAE 1020: general machine applications
  • SAE 1040: flame- or induction-hardened parts
  • ASTM A36: structural steel
  • SAE 4140: high-strength machine parts
  • SAE 4340: high-strength machine parts
  • SAE 8620: carburized wear parts
tool steel types
Tool Steel Types
  • High alloy content and thus high hardenability
  • Melted by electric furnace for cleanliness and alloy content control
  • Melted in small heats and subjected to tight quality control
wrought aluminium alloys aluminum association designation system
Wrought Aluminium Alloys – Aluminum Association designation system

Indicate the Al content above 99%, e.g. 1040 has 99.40% Al

Second digit designates mill control on specific elements

The last two digits have no significance, except…

cast aluminium alloy designations
Cast Aluminium Alloy Designations

The last digit indicates product form: 0 for a casting, 1 for ingot form

additional designation of the state of the aluminium alloy
Additional Designation of the state of the Aluminium Alloy
  • Al alloys can be precipitation hardened and work-hardened to different extents.
degree of strain hardening
Degree of Strain Hardening
  • The second digit indicate the degree of strain hardening
  • 1 indicates smallest amount of cold-work and 8 indicates maximum of cold work
temper designations24
Temper Designations

Other variations can be denoted by adding more digits after these designations

  • 3003-H38: 3003 alloy cold finished to full hard temper and stress relieved by a low temperature treatment
  • 6061-T6: 6061 alloy, solution heat treated and furnace aged hardened.
most commonly used aluminium alloys
Wrought alloys

1100 (pure Al)







Sand Cast


Die Cast


Most commonly used Aluminium alloys

*: can be age hardened

Blue shaded: mainly for aerospace applications

more to come
More to come…
  • Steels and Al alloys are the most widely used alloys
  • Other important classes are Cu alloys, Mg alloys, Ni alloys and Ti alloys, etc.
  • ASM Metals Handbook or ASTM yearbooks are always good places to start when looking for the alloys information