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What is A380 Aluminum Alloy?Properties, Applications, Alternatives and Application?

Aluminum A380

A380 aluminum holds a prominent position as the most specified die-casting alloy available. Design engineers use it for diverse applications such as hand tools, gear cases, lawnmower housings, furniture, and more. Given its wide popularity, you may be interested in its composition, applications, and suitability for your die-cast part.

Read on for essential information to help you determine if it is suitable for your project.

Aluminum A380 Chemical Composition

As a member of the 3xx.x alloy series, A380 is an Al-Si-Cu alloy, and alloys in this series are the most commonly used for die castings. Here, you can see a breakdown of its alloying elements.

SL. No Element A380
1 Copper (Cu) 3-4%
2 Iron (Fe) ≤1.3%
3 Magnesium (Mg) ≤0.1%
4 Manganese (Mn) ≤0.5%
5 Nickel (Ni) ≤0.5%
6 Silicon (Si) 7.5-9.5%
7 Tin (Sn) ≤0.35%
8 Zinc (Zn) ≤3%

‎There are two things to note about the alloy’s composition:

The main alloying element is silicon (7.5-9.5%), which enhances the alloy’s fluidity, allowing it to flow easily into complex molds during the die-casting process.
It also contains 3-4% copper, which enhances the alloy’s tensile strength and hardness, but at the same time decreases corrosion resistance. (NADCA)
Mechanical Properties of A380 Aluminum
Engineers generally regard A380 as the ‘default’ alloy for aluminum die casting, due to its desirable combination of strength, ductility, and castability. Here are some key mechanical properties of A380.


High thermal conductivity in aluminum alloys, like A380, enhances their suitability for die-casting applications, particularly in industries where effective heat dissipation is essential for maintaining performance and durability, such as automotive and communication. (MDPI)

Applications of the A380 Aluminum Alloy

Worker connecting aluminum A380 gearbox

A380 aluminum is a general purpose die-casting alloy that can be used for diverse applications, and some of the most common are:

Automotive Components: Companies use A380 aluminum to make components like engine parts, transmission housings, and brackets due to its strength, durability, and light weight.
Electronic Housings: The alloy’s thermal conductivity and electromagnetic shielding properties make it popular choice for LED lighting fixtures and telecommunications equipment.
Power Tools and Machinery: Manufacturers often use A380 to produce power tools, machinery housings, and components due to its strength, durability, and ease of machining.
So, how does this alloy compare to the others you might consider?

A380 vs. Other Alloys

Aluminum ingots stacked for transportation

This alloy is essentially the first consideration for many applications — what you might refer to as the ‘default.’ Depending on the requirements for your product, it can make sense to specify another alloy instead.

A360: It has similar properties overall, but offers significantly better corrosion resistance and higher strength at elevated temperatures.
A383 (ADC12): This alloy is ideal for more intricate parts due to its die filling properties and resistance to hot cracking. It also offers better machinability.
B390: The main benefit of this alloy is its very high wear resistance and hardness. However, it has lower ductility and a low elongation percentage.
A413: Its biggest advantage is its pressure tightness, making it better suited for components that must contain fluids or gases without leakage.
It is worth considering these other alloys if your part has any of the requirements mentioned.

Surface Finishing for This Alloy

Powder coating gun spraying A380 aluminum

A380 can also accept surface finishes such as anodization and powder coating. These finishes can enhance the appearance of a die cast part and improve corrosion resistance.


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