Jack Cagna

Duralumin Composition

Duralumin is a strong, lightweight aluminum alloy consisting of aluminum, 0.5% manganese, 0.5% magnesium, and 4% copper. In some instances silicon is added.

Discovery of Duralumin

This alloy was discovered in Prussian Germany by Alfred Wilm, a metallurgist engineer. In 1903, Wilm was commissioned by the German War Munitions factory of Berlin to find a strong aluminum alloy that could be used for ammunition. After years of experimentation, in 1908, the alloy was ready to be released for commercial production.


The process in which Duralumin is manufactured involves a series of heat treatments. Before the heat treatment the alloy is malleable. The treatment induces a reaction between the aluminum and magnesium which increases overall strength and hardness.


Since duralumin is both strong and lightweight it is commonly used on aircrafts. It is also used to produce wire, rods, machinery, etc.