The Uses of Grade 319 Aluminum

By Jay Leone

Grade-319 alloy is an aluminum-based alloy. This material offers many practical applications and is widely employed in the automotive industry for the production of engine blocks. The 319 aluminum alloy is comprised of between five and ten basic elements. In general, grade-319 aluminum alloy is a durable, versatile material.


The 319-grade aluminum alloy is comprised of an overwhelming majority of aluminum. This alloy can be manufactured to contain between 82 and 91 percent aluminum and between 0.6 and 1.2 percent iron. Grade-319 aluminum alloy contains between 5.5 and 6.5 percent silicon, between 3 and 4 percent copper, between 1 and 3 percent zinc, and between 0.1 and 0.5 percent magnesium. This alloy can also contain up to one half percent other materials like titanium, manganese, chromium, and nickel.


This alloy is odorless and appears silver or grey in color. The melting point of this alloy is between 1,050 and 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit while its boiling point is approximately 3,733 degrees Fahrenheit. This alloy typically goes through a solution treating and/or a heat treating process to increase the alloy's mechanical and metallurgical properties. This alloy offers good machinability and casting characteristics. This alloy also offers good fatigue strength and ductility. One of the only downfalls linked with grade-319 aluminum alloy is that the material does not offer high tensile strength and pressure tightness. In its solid form, this alloy is not hazardous; however, fine particles are readily ignitable.


There are several practical applications for 319 aluminum alloy. This alloy is most notably used in the automotive industry in the creation of engine blocks and crankcases. Cylinder heads used in internal combustion engines are often made out of this alloy. Several manufacturers fit gasoline tanks made out of 319 aluminum alloy into their vehicles. Many oil tanks and oil pans are also often created out of 319 aluminum alloy.


This alloy offers many benefits over other materials for certain automotive applications. Cast iron and alloy 319 are both widely used in the construction of engine blocks; however, alloy 319 is engineered to outperform cast iron in almost every way. An eight-cylinder engine block created out of aluminum alloy 319 can weigh less than half as much as the same engine made out of cast iron. This alloy offers a higher level of thermal conductivity and can be made into more complex shapes than cast iron.