Archive: Jan 2022

Guide to 6061 Aluminum

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One of the most important considerations when designing an industrial project is the materials involved. With metal alloys, it can be challenging to select the best option because there are so many.

Aluminum is a popular material for a wide range of industrial projects, with an equally vast range of alloys. Aluminum 6061 is one of the most versatile and durable alloys in use today. This guide will discuss the properties, benefits, applications, and types of aluminum 6061 that make it such a highly preferred material.

What Is Aluminum 6061?

Aluminum 6061, or 6061 aluminum, is the world’s most commonly used aluminum alloy. Its primary alloying elements are magnesium and silicon. Aluminum 6061’s heat treatability, easy machining, weldability, corrosion resistance, and strength are desirable properties for many applications. This alloy is also excellent for situations that require anodization, which adds a coating of anodic oxide to protect the metal.

Aluminum 6061 is commonly found in consumer products—bicycle frames, cameras, pins—as well as industrial products like marine hardware, decorative hardware, aircraft parts, couplings, electrical components, valves, and brake and hydraulic pistons.

Aluminum 6061 Benefits and Applications

Aluminum 6061 is also called structural aluminum for its strength in structural applications. Because it is a wrought alloy instead of a cast alloy, it possesses good mechanical properties that allow it to be rolled or forged into various standard and custom shapes. Anodization can add aesthetics, durability, and corrosion resistance to the metal surface.

The adaptability of 6061 aluminum has made it a standard material in these industries:

  • Construction
  • Sports and recreation
  • Medical
  • Electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Aerospace
  • Military

General Properties of 6061 and Common Types of 6061

Pure metals have fixed, limited properties, but aluminum 6061—an alloy of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon—combines the best properties of each element to produce a better metal. Magnesium increases strength, and silicon lowers the metal’s melting point. The hybrid material is stronger and more flexible, and it can be further adjusted to specific needs. The distinct elements of aluminum 6061 cannot be separated, giving it a strength that rivals steel.

There are two main tempers of 6061 aluminum: 6061-T4 and 6061-T6. Aluminum 6061-T4 is aged naturally, whereas aluminum 6061-T6 is aged artificially to enhance its strength.

All 6061 aluminum products have good corrosion resistance, machinability, weldability, and general workability. It is a medium to high strength metal alloy.

Working With Industry Leader Richardson Metals, Inc.

With over 50 years of experience, Richardson Metals has a reputation for providing stellar customer service in custom aluminum extrusions. Because we specialize in low to medium production runs of aluminum 6061 and aluminum 6063, we can deliver premium quality and highly specialized expertise to our customers.

Richardson Metals provides a one-stop shop for designing, engineering, producing, and inspecting services. We maintain stringent quality controls at every stage of the manufacturing process. Learn more about our services, or contact us to see how we can help with your next project.

Guide to Aluminum 6063

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When deciding on the right aluminum alloy for your extrusion project, you may have questions about how to choose from so many options. However, 6063 aluminum is an easy choice, since it offers good strength, machinability, corrosion resistance, and other desirable properties.

This guide will outline 6063 aluminum’s features, applications, benefits, and types to help you determine if this metal is the best material for your application.

What Is Aluminum 6063?

Aluminum 6063, or 6063 aluminum, is a heat-treatable 6000 series alloy comprised of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon. Often called architectural aluminum, 6063 aluminum is often soft anodized to create colored, visually appealing architectural structures.

Aluminum 6063 Benefits and Applications

6063 aluminum is known for its excellent corrosion resistance against both chemicals and stress cracking. The alloy is easily welded and machined. Specifically, aluminum 6063 is a preferred material for long structural pieces with a constant cross-section, such as pipes, tubes, angles, and “U” or “L” shaped channels.

6063 aluminum is ideal for architectural applications. Some of the most common applications include:

  • Sign frames
  • Door frames
  • Window frames
  • Truck frames and trailers
  • Railings
  • Balustrading
  • Irrigation tubing
  • Roofing
  • Shop fittings
  • Extrusions

General Properties of 6063 and Common Types of 6063

Aluminum 6063 is a preferred material for extrusion because it can be easily pushed through dies to fit various cross-sectional shapes. As an alloy of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon—with trace amounts of iron, copper, manganese, and other elements—6063 aluminum is tough, flexible, workable, and corrosion-resistant. In fact, aluminum 6063 outperforms aluminum 6061 in corrosion resistance.

6063 aluminum comes in two variations: 6063-T4 and 6063-T6. They have similar physical compositions, but their mechanical properties differ due to contrasting tempering methods. Aluminum 6063-T4 is aged naturally, while 6063-T6 is aged artificially to boost strength.

Working With Industry Leader Richardson Metals, Inc.

With over 50 years in the industry, Richardson Metals is a leader in custom aluminum extrusions. Our vast capabilities include a 550-ton RAM press and a circular press that can accommodate parts up to 4 inches in diameter with a weight lower than 2.5 pounds per foot. We can produce tight tolerances as low as ± 0.005 inch and thicknesses as low as 0.02 inch. We specialize in extruding aluminum 6061 and aluminum 6063.

Richardson Metals is your one-stop aluminum extrusion service provider. Our experienced engineers, advanced production capabilities, and inspection equipment will save you time and money. Our manufacturing processes undergo stringent quality controls to ensure finished products meet your specifications.

To learn more about our services, vist our custom aluminum extrusions page. If you’re ready to get started on your custom solution, contact us today.