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strong, hard, lightweight alloy of aluminum, widely used in aircraft construction, discovered and patented in 1910 by Alfred Wilm, a German metallurgist; it was originally made only at Duren in Germany. The original composition has been varied for particular applications; it may contain about 3 or 4 percent copper, 12 to 1 percent manganese, 12 to 1 12 percent magnesium, and, in some formulations, some silicon. After heat treatment and aging, these alloys are comparable to soft steel in strength