FAAQ’s – Frequently Asked Aluminium Questions:

1 Q: What is a bend radius?

A: It’s the radius of the circle that would fit into the inside of the bend

2 Q: What do you look for on a test certificate?

A: First make sure it’s a real test certificate and not a forgery – this is all too common in our metals game. If something goes wrong you must be able to trace the material back to the mill and the cast (lot). All the information is important, but you should check the alloy elements and the mechanical properties to AFSA’s Guide to Aluminium.

3 Q: Shiny side out or shiny side in when I put potatoes in foil at a braai?

A: Long answer short – it makes a negligible difference. The theory is that the shiny side reflects more heat. But it’s a great topic when standing around a braai with a beer in your hand.

4 Q: MIG and TIG welding. How do you remember the difference?

A: MIG (Metal inert gas) uses a feed wire which moves through the gun and is the weld filler; TIG (Tungsten inert gas) uses an electrode. You remember this by associating the word MIG with the Russian MiG fighter plane which had guns!! The original MiG had a 30mm canon in its port wing (no need to remember this).

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