Why 5005 Aluminum Sheet ?

SAF has the largest inventory of 5005 aluminum sheet in North America and maybe the world.  Pick a thickness below to see SAF’s aluminum sheet size options, get a quote.

Why 5005 Aluminum Sheet ?

The alloy you choose for your aluminum sheet naturally depends on your application.  5005 Aluminum sheet is often used when the material will be anodized and deployed in an architectural application like flashings, sills, curtain walls etc.  Architects often specify 5005 alloy for anodized aluminum architectural metalwork.

The importance of using an anodizing quality (AQ) alloy when the aluminum will be anodized cannot be overstated. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. For more information about anodizing please see http://www.anodizing.org/Anodizing/what_is_anodizing.html.  When anodizing, the metal you start with has a tremendous impact on the quality of the finished product that you will receive. Simply stated 5005 AQ alloy is formulated for a decorative architectural anodized finish.  It allows for a more uniform and attractive anodized finish than other alloys.

DO NOT attempt to anodize aluminum alloys like 3003 or 3105 if you want the finish to be attractive and consistent.  These alloys will show imperfections such as structural streaks, cloudiness, blemishes, and EXTREME color variation.

Many people substitute 5052 for 5005. While 5052 can produce acceptable results, it has more imperfections and is more prone to color variation than 5005 alloy aluminum.

SAF is frequently asked, “Does SAF sell 5005 sheet is 1/4″ thickness?”  Unfortunately, we do not. Flat material that is 1/4” is not technically sheet, it is plate. Plate is rarely used aesthetically, and is normally used in structural applications.  Because of this, plate is not manufactured for a perfect finish.  If your application does not require good aesthetics, 5052 or 6061 alloys may be an acceptable substitute for 5005 aluminum.

Talk to your anodizer about your applications, and your expectations for the finish.  They should be able to recommend an aluminum alloy for your application.

3003 vs 5005

Here is a good example of why you should never anodize 3003 aluminum

Alloys Suitable for Anodizing

ALLOYS SUITABLE FOR ANODIZING This Aluminum Alloy Reference matches various alloys with finishing advice. Source: Aluminum Anodizers Council (AAC) Technical Bulletin #2-94, Aluminum Alloy Reference for Anodizing, issued March, 1994.

Series (AA)* Alloying Constituents Metal Properties Coating Properties Uses A.Q.** Types Non-A.Q.** Types Finishing Advice
1XXX none soft, conductive clear, bright cans, architectural none 1100, 1175 care should be taken when racking this soft material good for bright coatings susceptible to etch, staining
2XXX Copper very strong, hard, low elongation yellow, poor protection aircraft, mechanical none 2011, 2017, 2219, 2224 since copper content is >2%, these produce yellow, poor weather-resistant coatings. Don’t mix with other alloys on load
3XXX Manganese strong, small grain grayish-brown cans, architectural, lighting none 3003, 3004 difficult to match sheet-to-sheet (varying degrees of gray / brown). Used extensively for architectural painted products
4XXX Silicon strong, fluid dark gray architectural, lighting none 4043, 4343 produces heavy black smut which is hard to remove 4043 & 4343 used for architectural dark gray finishes in past years
5XXX Magnesium strong, ductile, fluid clear, good protection architectural, welding wire, lighting 5005, 5657 5052, 5252 for 5005 – keep silicon <0.1% and magnesium between 0.7% and 0.9%, maximum of +/- 20% for job watch for oxide streaks
6XXX Magnesium & Silicon strong, ductile clear, good protection architectural, structural 6063, 6463 6061, 6101 matte – iron >0.2%, bright – iron <0.1%, 6063 best match for 5005, 6463 best for chemical brightening
7XXX Zinc very strong clear, good protection automotive none 7029, 7046, 7075 zinc over 5% will produce brown, tinted coatings, watch zinc in effluent stream, good for bright coatings

This information used by permission of the AAC

5005 Properties and additional information:

>General Features

  • 5005 is a non-heat treatable alloy with magnesium content. It can be strengthened (hardened) by cold working. It scores well in weld-ability, formability, and corrosion resistance (especially when anodized).


  • 5005 has excellent formability, especially in softer tempers. SAF carriers 5005 H34 temper which is slightly harder and is comparable to 5052 H32 for forming.


  • 5005 alloy is noted for excellent welding characteristics. When 5005 material will be welded and then anodized, SAF recommends a 5356 welding wire for best color uniformity. Weld discoloration can still occur, but it is less severe than other welding alloys.


  • 5005 machinability is generally fairly poor . Soft 5005 tempers machine worse than harder tempers. 5005 H34 and 5005 H38 can be machined, but with much more difficulty than many other aluminum alloys.

>5005 properties by temper (typical)

 Alloy    Form   Temper Tensile Strength Yield Strength   Elongation
5005 Sheet H12 20 19 10
5005 Sheet H14 23 22 6
 5005  Sheet H16 26 25 5
 5005  Sheet H18 29 28 4
 5005  Sheet H32 20 17 11
 5005  Sheet H34 23 20 8
5005 Sheet H36 26 24 6
5005 Sheet H38 29 27 5


The above information is provided “as is”. SAF makes no guarantee to the accuracy of the subject matter contained herein. SAF disclaims all warranties expressed or implied of merchantability or fitness of material for a particular use.

In no event will SAF be liable for direct, indirect, special, or consequential damages resulting from the use of the information contain herein.

Information contained herein may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. We may change or modify the information contained herein periodically as new or corrected information becomes available.