Al 3003 powder

Al 3003 powder is an aluminum alloy powder composed mainly of aluminum and manganese. It belongs to the 3xxx series of aluminum alloys, which are known for their excellent workability and corrosion resistance. The powder form allows for easy handling and processing, making it suitable for various manufacturing techniques.


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Table of Contents

Overview of Al 3003 Powder

Al 3003 or 3A21 aluminum is a wrought alloy known for its good cold formability, weldability and corrosion resistance. The manganese additions enhance strength through solid solution strengthening while maintaining workability.

Key characteristics of Al 3003 powder include:

  • Moderate strength with good ductility
  • Excellent formability and weldability
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • High thermal and electrical conductivity
  • Low density
  • Available in a range of powder sizes and shapes

Al 3003 powder is used widely in chemical tanks, pipeline, automotive parts, heat exchangers, utensils, and other applications needing moderate strength, formability and corrosion resistance.

Chemical Composition of Al 3003 Powder

The typical chemical composition of Al 3003 powder is:

Element Weight %
Aluminum (Al) Balance
Manganese (Mn) 1.0-1.5%
Iron (Fe) 0.7% max
Silicon (Si) 0.6% max
Copper (Cu) 0.05-0.20%
Zinc (Zn) 0.10% max
Magnesium (Mg) 0.10% max
Chromium (Cr) 0.10% max

Al 3003 powder

Manganese is the main alloying element in 3003 aluminum. Iron, silicon and copper are present as impurity elements. The composition is controlled to ensure optimal properties.

Properties of Al 3003 Powder

Al 3003 powder possesses the following properties:

Property Value
Density 2.73 g/cm3
Melting Point 645-650°C
Thermal Conductivity 180 W/mK
Electrical Conductivity 43-44% IACS
Young’s Modulus 68-72 GPa
Poisson’s Ratio 0.33
Tensile Strength 145-185 MPa
Yield Strength 110-140 MPa
Elongation 12-20%
Hardness 35-55 Brinell


The alloy offers moderate strength with excellent ductility and formability. It has good resistance to atmospheric corrosion. Thermal and electrical conductivity is high.

Production Method for Al 3003 Powder

Commercial production processes used for Al 3003 powder include:

  • Gas Atomization – Molten alloy stream disintegrated by high pressure inert gas jets into fine spherical powders.
  • Water Atomization – High velocity water jet impacts and disintegrates molten metal stream to produce fine powders.
  • Mechanical Milling – Ball milling of aluminum flakes/powders to achieve finer particle sizes and powder characteristics.
  • Electrolysis – Aluminum produced through electrolysis process and ground to fine powder. Lower purity.

Gas atomization provides the best control over particle size distribution, morphology and microstructure of the powder.

Applications of Al 3003 Powder

Al 3003 powder is used in the following main applications:

  • Additive Manufacturing – Selective laser melting, binder jetting and other 3D printing processes to produce complex components.
  • Powder Metallurgy – Compaction and sintering to create parts with good mechanical properties and machinability.
  • Metal Injection Molding – To manufacture small intricate components for automotive and electronics industry.
  • Thermal Spraying – Wire arc spraying to deposit Al 3003 coatings offering moderate wear and corrosion resistance.
  • Welding Filler – Used as filler wire for arc welding and repair of aluminum components.
  • Pigments – Used in paints and coatings to provide luster and corrosion protection.
  • Pyrotechnics – Added to pyrotechnic compositions as fuel due to flammability of aluminum.

Specifications of Al 3003 Powder

Al 3003 powder is available under different size ranges, shapes and purity levels:

  • Particle Size: From 10-150 microns for AM methods, up to 300 microns for thermal spray.
  • Morphology: Spherical, granular, flake and irregular particle shapes. Smooth powder flows better.
  • Purity: From commercial to high purity (99.8%) grades tailored for applications.
  • Flowability: Powder customized for flow rates above 25 s/50 g.
  • Grades: Conforming to ASTM B209, EN 573-3, ISO 209:2007 etc. Custom grades offered.

Global Suppliers of Al 3003 Powder

Some of the major Al 3003 powder suppliers globally are:

  • Valimet Inc, USA
  • Makin Metal Powders, UK
  • Metal Powder Company, USA
  • Shanghai Chaowei Nanotechnology, China
  • AMETEK Reading Alloys, USA
  • CNPC Powder Group, China
  • SCM Metal Products, USA

These companies produce Al 3003 powder suitable for additive manufacturing, thermal spray, welding, powder metallurgy and other uses.

Al 3003 Powder Pricing

Pricing of Al 3003 powder depends on factors like:

  • Purity levels
  • Particle size distribution
  • Powder characteristics
  • Order quantity
  • Additional processing
  • Supplier and location
Grade Price Range
Commercial $3-8 per kg
High purity $8-15 per kg
Ultrafine $15-30 per kg
Special grade $30-60 per kg


Ultrafine, spherical and gas atomized powders command much higher pricing than regular commercial grades.

Storage and Handling of Al 3003 Powder

Al 3003 powder should be properly stored and handled to prevent:

  • Oxidation and reaction with moisture
  • Dust explosions from powder ignition
  • Inhalation of fine powder causing health issues
  • Safety practices advised by supplier should be followed

Inert gas storage, adequate ventilation, grounding, and PPE is recommended when handling the powder.

Testing and Characterization Methods

Key test methods used for Al 3003 powder include:

  • Chemical analysis using OES or XRF for composition
  • Particle size distribution as per ASTM B822 standard
  • Morphology analysis through SEM imaging
  • Flow rate measurement using Hall flow funnel
  • Density determination by helium pycnometry
  • Impurities testing by ICP-MS
  • Microstructure examination by X-ray diffraction

These testing methods ensure reliable and consistent quality of the aluminum alloy powder.

Comparison Between Al 3003 and Al 6061 Powders

Al 3003 and Al 6061 are two aluminum alloy powders compared:

Parameter Al 3003 Al 6061
Alloy type Non-heat treatable Heat treatable
Mn content 1.0-1.5% 0.15% max
Mg content 0.1% max 0.8-1.2%
Strength Moderate Higher
Corrosion resistance Good Excellent
Weldability Excellent Good
Cost Lower Higher
Applications Chemical tanks, utensils Aerospace, automotive parts


Al 6061 offers higher strength while Al 3003 provides better weldability and formability at a lower cost.

Al 3003 Powder FAQs

Q: How is Al 3003 powder produced?

A: Al 3003 powder is commercially produced using gas atomization, water atomization, mechanical milling, and electrolysis processes. Gas atomization offers the best control of particle characteristics.

Q: What are the main applications for Al 3003 powder?

A: Key applications include additive manufacturing, thermal spraying, powder metallurgy, metal injection molding, welding filler, pigments, and pyrotechnic compositions.

Q: What is the typical Al 3003 powder size used for laser sintering?

A: For selective laser sintering process, the common Al 3003 powder size range is 20-53 microns with spherical morphology for optimal powder bed density.

Q: Does Al 3003 powder require any special handling precautions?

A: Yes, aluminum powders can be flammable and pose explosion risks. It is recommended to handle them carefully under inert atmosphere using proper grounding, ventilation and PPE.

Q: Where can I procure Al 3003 powder suitable for thermal spray coatings?

A: Companies like Valimet, Makin Metal Powders, and AMETEK offer Al 3003 grades suitable for wire arc spray and flame spray coatings needing moderate wear and corrosion resistance.

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