6061 Aluminum Alloy – Decoding Properties and Uses, Etc

6061 Aluminum Alloy – Properties and Uses

The selection of the alloy (alloy is a metal) for the specific end usage determines the success or failure of the project. All alloys are not capable to withstand strict project requirements such as high strength, better conductivity, good corrosion resistance, etc. 

This is because these properties vary from alloy to alloy and depend on metallic elements that go into their composition. Therefore, you need to become familiar with the alloy composition, specific properties, and uses. 

This article aims to throw light on the 6061 aluminum alloy regarding material properties, material composition, applications, and much more. Sounds interesting! Learn more about 6061 aluminum down below!

6061 Aluminum Alloy – Overview

6061 alloy of aluminum is an alloy that contains magnesium and silicon as primary alloying elements. This alloy is part of the 6000 series. You can also refer to it as “alloy 61s which was first introduced in 1935. 

6061 Aluminum Alloy

The components made of 6061 aluminum alloy have excellent characteristics such as good weldability, machinability, etc. 6061 aluminum alloy also refers to general purpose alloy.  

Uncovering Material Properties of 6061 Aluminum

There are certain properties exist for the 6061 aluminum alloy; uncover the facts in the section below:

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of the 6061 aluminum alloy are:

Sr. No.Mechanical PropertiesValue (psi / mpa)
1Yield Strength21000 / 145 
2Modulus of elasticity10000 / 68.9 Gpa
3Tensile Strength35000 / 241 
4Fatigue Strength14000 / 97.9
5Shear Modulus3770 ksi / 26 GPa
6Ultimate Tensile Strength45000 / 310

Physical Properties / General Characteristics of 6061 Alloy

The general physical properties of the 6061 aluminum alloy are:

Corrosion Resistance

6061 Corrosion Resistance

You can use 6061 alloy of aluminum in highly humid or corrosive environments. This feature contributes to the longer life and durability level of the components. 

Machinability

This aluminum alloy supports superior machinability. You can easily shape the alloy using drilling, milling, or tempering. Machineability allows you to achieve intricate and precise details. This is what makes this alloy desirable for multiple applications. 

Weldability 

6061 Weldability 

6061 alloy is not difficult to weld because it features good weldability/ thermal properties. This way, you can improve the mechanical properties by employing various heat treatment techniques. With zero loss in strength, you can easily weld a variety of shapes. This is why the alloy is best for heat-treated components.

Heat Treatable

6061 aluminum alloy variations including T4/T5/T6 all supports heat treatability. In this process, you can heat the alloy at a particular temperature for a particular time and then subject it to sudden cooling. 

heating aging oven

It depends on the application for which you want to use the specific variation. For T4, the temperature is 530 degrees Celsius, and for T6, the temperature is 177 degrees Celsius. The overall hardness of the t4 is less than t6, which is why t6 is commonly known as t6 temper.

 6061-T4 Vs. 6061-T6 VS 6061-T5

6061-T4 refers to naturally aged alloy, while 6061-t6 aluminum refers to artificially aged. The tensile strength of the T4 is less than that of t6.

Among other characteristics, the notable ones are resistant to corrosion, heat treatable, and excellent toughness. T5 variation possesses hardness that is between the T4 and T6. This makes T5 highly tensile and elongative. Other properties are right in the table below:

Sr. No.Property6061-T46061-T66061-T5
1TempernessNaturally agedArtificially agedT5
2Tensile strength (psi)29,000 up to 33,00035,000 up to 40,00040,000
3Yield strength (psi)25,000 up to 28,00030,000 up to 35,00032,000
4Elongation (%)18 up to 2512 up to 1822
5Hardness65 up to 8580 up to 95HB 75
6MachinabilityMediumHighExcellent
7WeldabilityMediumHighExcellent
8ApplicationsAircraft, Automotive, MarineAircraft, Automotive, Sports EquipmentGeneral extrusions, sheet metal, foil

Workability

6061 Machinability

This aluminum alloy possesses good workability. You can form any size and desired shapes with this alloy. The option exists to easily subject this alloy to forging, rolling, or extrusion. This property makes aluminum alloy suitable for manufacturing a wide range of components.

Strength

This alloy has medium to high strength. If you subject this alloy to more tempering/ temper, then the strength increases. Apart from this, corrosion resistance also increases. 

Highlighting the Chemical Composition of 6061 Aluminum

Among various manufacturing materials that make up 6061 aluminum, the major alloying elements are magnesium and silicon. Uncover the composition of this alloy in Table 1 below:

Sr. No.Composition of 6061 Aluminum (%)
1Al96.85
2Mg0.9
3Si0.7
4Fe0.6
5Cu0.30
6Chromium 0.28
7Zn0.20
8Ti0.10
9Manganese0.05
10Others0.05

Applications of 6061 Aluminum Alloy

Multiple applications exist for this aluminum alloy. Some of the notable ones are:

6061 aluminum applications

Comparing 6061 Aluminum With Others

6061 Vs. 6063

6063 and 6061 aluminum properties comparison are as follows:

Sr. No.Property6061 (T4, T6)6063 (T4, T6)
1Tensile strength (psi)29,000 up to 33,00021,000 up to 25,000
2Yield strength (psi)25,000 up to 28,00016,000 up to 22,000
3Elongation (%)18 up to 2525 up to 35
4Hardness65 up to 8550 up to 70
5MachinabilityMediumHigh
6WeldabilityMediumHigh
7ApplicationsAircraft, Automotive, MarineExtrusion, Architectural, Sheet Metal

6061 Vs. 5052

5052 aluminum alloy comparison with the 6061 is as follows:

Sr. No.PropertyAlloy 6061 (T4, T6)5052 (H32, H34, H38)
1Tensile strength (psi)29,000 up to 33,00025,000 up to 32,000
2Yield strength (psi)25,000 up to 28,00016,000 up to 25,000
3Elongation (%)18 up to 2530 up to 40
4Hardness65 up to 8550 up to 65
5MachinabilityMediumHigh
6WeldabilityMediumHigh
7ApplicationsMarine, Aircraft, AutomotiveElectrical, Architectural, Food

6061 Vs. 7075 Aluminum

7075 aluminium vs 6061 properties include:

Sr. No.Property6061 (T4, T6)7075 (T4, T6, T73)
1Tensile strength (psi)29,000 up to 33,00088,000 up to 95,000
2Yield strength (psi)25,000 up to 28,00075,000 up to 85,000
3Elongation (%)18 up to 2510 up to 14
4Hardness65 up to 85130 up to 150
5MachinabilityMediumHigh
6WeldabilityMediumHigh
7ApplicationsMarine, Aircraft, AutomotiveAerospace, sports components

6061 Vs. 2024

Get insight into the comparison of various parameters between the 6061 vs. 22024 aluminium alloy:

Sr. No.Property6061 (T4, T6)2024 (T4, T6, T73)
1Tensile strength310 MPa470 MPa
2Yield strength270 MPa420 MPa
3Elongation (%)1822
4HardnessHB 95HB 120
5FormabilityMediumLow
6MachinabilityGoodBetter
7WeldabilityGoodPoor
Corrosion ResistanceGoodBetter
0ApplicationsMarine, Aircraft, AutomotiveAerospace, sports components

 

Conclusion

To get the most out of your product/component, it is crucial to focus on the selection or choice of the metal or alloy. 6061 aluminum, because of its high hardness, tensile, and yield strength, offers useful applications in marine, automotive and aircraft components manufacturing.

Considering the properties you can use, this allows where you need it without giving a second thought. If you want to get more insights and useful information on various aluminum and its alloys, click here!

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