6061 Aluminium Vs. 6063 Aluminium -The Complete Guide

Whether to choose 6061 aluminum or 6063 aluminum alloy will depend on the application. This guide explores everything about these two aluminum alloys. So, keep reading to learn from.

What Is Aluminium Alloy?

These are alloys that use aluminium metal as their predominant metal. Usually, the most common elements in these alloys are copper, magnesium, zinc, silicon, manganese, and tin. They make up about 15% of the total mass of the alloy.

These additional elements help in improving:

  • Workability
  • Strength
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Corrosion resistance, and
  • Density

6061 and 6063 alloys share properties of most 6xxx series aluminium. 6061 Aluminium alloys have good mechanical properties. It is also easy to weld and extrude. Besides, It is also the most common Aluminium alloy used for general purposes. 6063 Aluminium, on the other hand, is mostly used in extrusion.

Chemical Properties Of 6061 vs. 6063 Aluminium

6061 and 6063 Aluminium are made of the same chemical element in their alloys.

The difference is in the percentage of each alloying element. Additionally, the alloying elements are iron, silicon, manganese, magnesium, tin, copper, and chromium, among other elements.

On the other hand, the chemical composition of 6061 Aluminium is; 0.15% magnesium, 0.70% iron, 1.2% manganese, 0,80% silicon, 0.4% copper, 0.25% zinc, 0.15% tin and 0.35% chromium with the balance being Aluminium.

The chemical composition of 6063 Aluminium is; 0.10% magnesium, 0.35% iron, 0.90% manganese, 0.60% silicon, 0.1% copper, 0.10% zinc, 0.10% tin and 0.10% chromium with the balance being Aluminium.

Chemical Properties Of 6061 vs. 6063 Aluminium
Mechanical Properties Of 6061 vs. 6063 Aluminium

Mechanical Properties Of 6061 vs. 6063 Aluminium

The 6061 and 6063 Aluminium are the same Aluminium series (6000 series).

Machinability – Machinability is the material’s ability to be milled, die-cast, or turned. Additionally, 6061 Aluminium is more machinable than 6063 Aluminium.

Material hardness – Hardness is the material’s flexibility, material strength, and surface quality.  There is very little significant hardness to both 6061 and 6063 Aluminium alloys. They are resistant to deformation due to their strength.

Overall strength of the material – It combines yield strength, fatigue, shear, and ultimate strength. Again, 6061 Aluminium has higher overall strength than 6063 Aluminium.

Corrosion Resistance Of 6061 vs. 6063 Aluminium

Corrosion Resistance Of 6061 Aluminium
Corrosion Resistance Of 6063 Aluminium

Considering corrosion resistance, both 6061 and 6063 Aluminium grades have some resistance to corrosion. The alloys form a protective oxide layer making the theme inert to other bodies in the environment. 6063 Aluminium has less copper content in them.

Moreover, copper content increases the vulnerability of material to corrosion. The higher the percentage of copper present in the material lowers, the material’s resistance to corrosion. Therefore, 6063 Aluminium alloys are more corrosion-resistant than 6061 Aluminium alloys.

Similarities Between 6061 Aluminium And 6063 Aluminium

Similarities Between 6061 Aluminium And 6063 Aluminium
Similarities Between 6061 Aluminium And 6063 Aluminium

The 6063 and 6061 Aluminium grades are the same Aluminium series – 6000 series. Both 6061 and 6063 Aluminium alloys, therefore, have a somewhat similar chemical composition. The similar chemical composition is because they are formed using the same alloying elements. These elements include; silicon, zinc, tin, copper, manganese, magnesium, chromium, and iron.

Due to the similar chemical composition, their mechanical properties are also close and identical. The physical properties of the 6061 and 6063 Aluminium alloys differ by a small margin. These alloying elements have different effects on the properties of the Aluminium alloy.

Both 6061 and 6063 Aluminium alloys have magnesium which increases the strength of the alloy. The silicon present in the alloys is critical in lowering the melting temperature of the alloys. Both 6063 and 6061 Aluminium grades have excellent formability. The formidability is significant in making different metal extrusions such as angles, bars, and tubing.

Differences Between 6061 Aluminium And 6063 Aluminium

Differences Between 6061 Aluminium And 6063 Aluminium
Differences Between 6061 Aluminium And 6063 Aluminium

The 6063 and 6061 Aluminium grades are the same Aluminium series – 6000 series.

Both 6061 and 6063 Aluminium alloys, therefore, have a somewhat similar chemical composition. Additionally, the similar chemical composition makes it very difficult to differentiate the Aluminium alloys.

This view applies to the properties of the material. However, we can use the application of the alloys and their usefulness to distinguish the two alloys.

  • 6061 Aluminium has a medium and high tensile strength of between 241 MPa to 310 MPa. 6063 Aluminium, on the other hand, has a medium tensile strength of 186 MPa to 290 MPa.
  • The tensile strength of both alloys is dependent on the process of tempering or heat treatment.
  • 6061Aluminium has a lower melting temperature compared to 6063 Aluminium. On the other hand, 6061
  • Aluminium has a lower thermal conductivity. Again, 6063 Aluminium grade has a higher thermal conductivity.
  • Aluminium 6061 – T6 has a higher yield strength than the same grade of 6063 Aluminium grade.
  • 6061 Aluminium has a higher fatigue strength than 6063 Aluminium
  • 6063 Aluminium grade has a higher corrosion resistance than 6061 Aluminium grade.
  • 6063 Aluminium has a higher heat capacity as compared to 6061 Aluminium.
  • Aluminium 6063 grade has a better surface finish as compared to 6061 Aluminium.
  • 6061 Aluminium has better machinability than 6063 Aluminium.
  • 6063 Aluminium is easy to extrude compared to 6061 Aluminium.
  • 6061 Aluminium has a resistance of about 0.0365 to 0.043 Ω.mm²/m, while 6063 Aluminium has a slightly lower resistance of about 0.035 Ω.mm²/m
  • 6063 Aluminium has a higher versatility than 6061 Aluminium due to its excellent surface finish and easy extrusion.
  • Concerning bearing yield strength, 6061 Aluminium alloys have a higher bearing strength of about 386 MPa than 6063 Aluminium alloys with a bearing strength of about 276 MPa.
  • For applications where hardness is a source of concern, 6061 alloys are preferred.
  • 6061 Aluminium has a relative hardness of 95 compared to 6063, which has 73 Brinell hardness
  • The 6061 Aluminium has better machinability than the 6063 Aluminium alloys. Machinability is about the general response to machining procedures.

6061 Aluminium Vs. 6063 Aluminium Alloy Fabrication

Extruding Aluminum
Extruding Aluminum

This process exerts less amount of stress on Aluminium alloys. Extrusion forces a material to change its shape to the die used. It is done either cold or hot.

Adhesive Bonding
Adhesive Bonding

It involves the assembly of Aluminium parts. Aluminium can bond adhesively to the Aluminium oxide outer layer.

Forming Aluminum
Forming Aluminum

This process involves rolling aluminum, stamping aluminum, and bending aluminum. The flexibility and softness of Aluminium suit the forming processes. It involves pressing Aluminium sheets into desired products and shapes. 6061 Aluminium alloys are especially great for forming.

Drawing Aluminum
Drawing Aluminum

The drawing process stretches a metal by pulling it through a tapered die. Due to its flexibility, aluminum can be drawn to wires and other products such as cans.

Machining Aluminum
Machining Aluminum

The machining process entails turning and milling Aluminium. Special cutting tools and lubricants are used. The thermal properties of Aluminium make it difficult to use standard general equipment. 6061 Aluminium alloys are very easy to machine.

Waterjet Cutting Aluminum
Waterjet Cutting Aluminum

Water spraying at high pressure with abrasives does not require heat. Waterjet cutting does not alter the properties which could be changed in laser cutting.  Aluminium can still be cut using plasma cutting or a saw blade.

MIG And TIG Welding
MIG And TIG Welding

Welding aluminum involves melting the thread of metal to bind pieces together. All 6000 series Aluminium alloys are weldable. Aluminum can also be attached to another by friction welding.

Casting Aluminum
Casting Aluminum

Liquid Aluminium is poured into a mold of the desired product shape. Casting is best when strength and resistance to wear are critical. The 6061 aluminium alloys are best suited for casting.

Forging Aluminum
Forging Aluminum

For incredible durability, beating or compressing Aluminium metals is recommended. These are useful in making stress-bearing parts.

Applications Of 6061 Aluminium

Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding

6061 Aluminium grades are used in making sailboats, yachts, hardware, and marine fittings

Automotive Industry
Automotive Industry

It is used to make various parts of automobiles, such as brakes, hydraulic pistons, and wheels, and some transportation end uses trucks and bodies for buses.

Aerospace Technology
Aerospace Technology

Aircraft fittings and structures are some of the main structures

Railway Industry
Railway Industry

6061 Aluminium grades are used to make railway components

Home And Business
Home And Business

Some home furniture, moldings, awnings, and appliance fittings are made using 6061 Aluminium alloys

Food Service Industry
Food Service Industry

Food storage cans, cooking appliances, and beverage cans are made using 6061 Aluminium alloys.

Miscellaneous Application
Miscellaneous Application

Pipe fittings, hinge pins, bridge components, valve and valve parts, bike frames, scuba tanks, fire ladders, camera lens mounts, couplings, electrical fittings, and connectors, magneto parks, structural framing, base plants, and gussets.

Applications Of 6063 Aluminium

Architectural Industry
Architectural Industry

It makes structural supports, frameworks, trims, and brackets.

Automotive Industry
Automotive Industry

It is perfect for most applications in the automotive industry which require specific weight to strength ratio. It can be used in the making of trailers and truck frames.

General Construction Applications
General Construction Applications

Some available construction materials are made using 6063 Aluminium. They include; tubing, door frames, pipes, window frames, roofs, stair rails, and signages.

Domestic Applications
Domestic Applications

It helps make recreational equipment and furniture.

Window And Door Frames
Window And Door Frames

Strength in this application is least required; hence 6063 Aluminium fits best.

Electrical And Electronic Parts
Electrical And Electronic Parts

Some electronic components such as spark plugs and PCBs are made using Aluminium alloys such as 6063 Aluminium.

Piping
Piping

Corrosion resistance applications make it ideal to use 6063 Aluminium alloys for piping works.

Storage Tanks
Storage Tanks

In some applications, storage tanks are made using Aluminium 6063 grade. It can also be used in lagging for heat loss prevention applications.

Extreme Sports Equipment
Extreme Sports Equipment

Sports equipment and machine require strength coupling with light weight for optimum performance and durability. 6063 Aluminium grades are perfect for such application.

aluminum pipe

People Also Ask:

Which Is Stronger Between 6061 And 6063 Aluminium?

The overall strength of a material is the combination of all types of power, such as yield strength, fatigue strength, shear strength, and ultimate strength, among others. 6061 Aluminium has higher strength values than 6063 Aluminium. Due to the higher strength values possessed by 6061, Aluminium can be said to be stronger than 6063 Aluminium.

aluminum coil

Between 6061 Alloy And 6063 Alloy; Which Is Commonly Used?

The most commonly used alloy is dependent on several factors. The mechanical properties of 6063 Aluminium grades make them the most popular extruded alloy. Aluminium alloys have ease of extrusion and can anodize the alloy. 6063 alloys have an excellent surface finish.

Cosmetically and visually sensitive applications make 6063 Aluminium alloy the best choice. The application of 6063 Aluminium alloys in architectural, automotive, and moulding applications also makes it a standard alloy. On the other hand, 6061 is most used in projects that require durability and strength.

For strength, 6061 Aluminium is the most commonly used alloy. It applies to automobiles, construction, manufacturing of aircraft parts, and hydraulic manifold design.

Which Aluminium 6061 And 6063 Are Commonly Used?

Some of the most common options include:

  • Aluminium bars
  • Aluminium tubes
  • Aluminium structural shapes
  • Aluminium sheets and plates
  • Specialty Aluminium pre-cuts

More Resources:

6061 Aluminum

6063 Aluminum Alloy

Aluminum And Aluminum Alloys

Aluminum Fabrication

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