Click to ExpandAluminum Alloy 6061

If you are working on an extrusion project, alloy selection is one of the most crucial decisions you have to make. Aluminum 6061—whether in angle, sheet, bar, or plate form—is among the most commonly used aluminum grades internationally. The mechanical properties of the alloy make it a popular choice for a range of applications, including furniture, piping, electrical products, boats, and structural applications.

Learn more about the properties of the alloy known as structural aluminum.

6061 Aluminum Chemical Makeup and Properties

The chemical makeup and properties of aluminum 6061 contribute to its versatility. It contains 1% magnesium and 0.6% silicon as alloying elements. Magnesium increases strength, while silicon lowers its melting temperature. This composition makes aluminum 6061 highly resistant to stress, cracking, and corrosion. As a result, the grade has good formability and weldability characteristics. Other chemical elements present in 6061 aluminum include iron, manganese, copper, zinc, titanium, and chromium.

Here are some other properties of aluminum 6061:

  • Medium to high strength
  • Excellent brazability
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Good machinability

6061 Aluminum Extrusions

Extrusion refers to transforming a material—such as plastic, metal, or rubber—into an object with a uniform cross-section. The physical characteristics and heat treatability of the aluminum 6000 series make it popular for extrusion. After aluminum 6063, aluminum 6061 is the second most popular grade for extrusions. Aluminum 6063 can form complex shapes with extremely smooth surfaces, so it is good for anodizing. However, 6061 is ideal for applications that require more strength than is possible with 6063, such as construction purposes.

If there is a lot of machining required, 6061 aluminum emerges as the best alloy choice because it is affordable and versatile across a variety of machining operations. 6061 aluminum is also best where there is a need for a lot of welding. The alloy can bend easily without breaking or cracking and be welded together with high-strength joints.

If corrosion is a concern, aluminum 6061 is superior to aluminum 6063. Its high corrosion resistance makes it a good choice for products or equipment that rust quickly due to exposure to humidity, moisture, or saltwater.

Aluminum 6061 Bars

Aluminum 6061 bars are the most commonly used type of aluminum alloy across various industries and applications. It has excellent strength, corrosion resistance, workability, and joining capabilities. Extruded 6061 aluminum square bars are easy to cut, weld, and machine for applications requiring corrosion resistance and a high strength-to-weight ratio. Most extruded bars of aluminum 6061 are ordered with strict diameters for direct use in screw machines.

Applications

Common applications of aluminum alloy 6061 include:

  • Automotive components
  • Electrical parts
  • Piping
  • Bicycle frames
  • Structural components

6061 Aluminum Alloy Extrusions From Tri-State Aluminum

6061 aluminum is the best choice and most common alloy for applications that require a lot of machining and welding. Also known as structural aluminum, 6061 has good corrosion resistance and strength characteristics for structural applications.

At Tri-State Aluminum, we are a one-stop shop for all your aluminum extrusion needs, including design, fabrication, cutting, finishing, and packaging. You can choose from a selection of over 2,000 standard dies in a variety of sizes and shapes. We provide custom extrusions and capabilities to manufacture to tight tolerances within ±0.002”. Contact us to learn more about aluminum alloy 6061, or request a quote to start your aluminum alloy extrusion order.