The principle concepts in the physical metallurgy of aluminum alloys include the effects of composition, mechanical working, and/or heat treatment on structure and properties. This article focuses on the effects of alloying and the metallurgical factors on phase constituents, structure, and properties of aluminum alloys. Effects from different combinations of alloying elements are described in terms of relevant alloy phase diagrams. The article addresses the underlying alloying and structural aspects that affect the properties and possible processing routes of aluminum alloys. It provides information on the heat treatment effects on the physical properties of aluminum alloys and the microstructural effects on the fatigue and fracture of aluminum alloys. The important alloying elements and impurities are listed alphabetically as a concise review of major effects.