The annealing procedure for aluminum alloys consists of heating the alloys to an elevated temperature, holding or soaking them at this temperature for a length of time depending upon the mass of the metal, and then cooling in still air. Annealing leaves the metal in the best condition for cold working. However, when prolonged forming operations are involved, the metal will take on a condition known as "mechanical hardness" and will resist further working. It may be necessary to anneal a part several times during the forming process to avoid cracking. Aluminum alloys should not be used in the annealed state for parts or fittings.

Clad parts should be heated as quickly and carefully as possible, since long exposure to heat tends to cause some of the constituents of the core to diffuse into the cladding. This reduces the corrosion resistance of the cladding.