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Make a Decision on 6061 Aluminum vs 6063 Aluminum

6061 Aluminum vs 6063 Aluminum

Appreciating aluminum’s importance in commodities is crucial. Construction materials and automotive parts are examples. Recognizing knowledge about alloys, like the 6061 series and 6063 assemblies, contributes to informed decisions. Learn in-depth about 6061 vs 6063 aluminum alloys. Keep reading.

6061 Aluminum Properties

6061 Aluminum

Composition:

In the list of 6063 aluminum properties, aluminum is in group 13 on the periodic table. Generation of 6061 alloys, renowned for its notable strength and weldability capabilities after being heat-treated, is attained when aluminum is combined with an amalgamation of items like magnesium and silicon.

6063 aluminum has a lower alloying content and undergoes temper-level extrusion that produces softer parts like window frames or furniture with curves instead of sharp corners.

Chemical compositions of both grades are similar but the main difference lies in the amount of magnesium and silicon present.

6061 contains 0.6-1% Silicon while 6063 has a range of 0 to 0.2%, however, their tensile strength and ultimate yield points remain similar. Other properties like thermal conductivity differ.

Strength And Durability:

6061 vs 6063 aluminum strength lies in the strength levels. Each alloy is engineered to meet different requirements.

Its ultimate tensile strength is about 45,000 psi. 6063 is more ductile and yields about half the strength of 6061, and has higher stress crack resistance in forming operations as it sees less heat treatment.

Both alloys provide adequate hardness for various jobs. Examples include barbecues, balconies, and knife handles.

Weldability:

For welding, 6061 is the go-to alloy because of its good formability and weldability; it can be friction stir or TIG directionally butt welded.

You must soften its edges by heating them up first. Although 6063 has lower strength, it can still be TIG welded when higher in temper and provides additional adhesion for a tight seal.

RF ovens or induction heaters work well for heating. However, welds are not as strong and should not be used in structural projects.

During welding, be aware of areas around weld locations. Color changes like bright silvery colors or oranges and yellows indicate oxidation.

Machinability:

Machinability between these grades differs. 6061 aluminum has a machinability rating of 01-03. 6063 has a rating of 05 max.

When cutting parts from these grades, you need to use high-speed tools and coolant. Nonferrous grades work well with these two aluminum alloys.

Like other metals, tool wear may occur. Aluminum can stick and clog up cutting surfaces with particles. Hard spots in the aluminum can cause chipping.

When dealing with these metals, it is normal for chipping to occur during machining; if this happens the part should be discarded. What is 6063 aluminum used for will keep continuing, so you need to make sure the right application is first.

Properties Of 6063 Aluminum

6063 Aluminum

Composition

6063 aluminum alloy has a specific composition. Magnesium is 1% and silicon is 0.5-0.9%. Iron is less than 0.35%. Copper is less than 0.1%.

Manganese is less than 0.10%. Zinc is less than 0.10%. Aluminum makes up the remainder. AlMgSi, referred to extruded shapes or products, is the short form of this.

Aluminum-magnesium-silicon family is useful and perfect for various purposes, such as complex designs and anodizing options.

In spite of its renowned welding proficiency and esteemed corrosion security, 6463 aluminum rivets interest contemporary production because it is extensively applied to extrusion undertakings.

Sturdiness & Strength

6063 aluminum has the highest strength-to-weight ratio. Its tensile yield strength is more than double, reaching up to 33 ksi cut and over 50 ksi in other grades, which affects malleability due to its strength and durability.

Deformation or stretching can cause permanent changes, which complicates assembly or machining processes.

Consider design and fabrication factors when selecting this alloy. Some applications need post-extrusion operations, such as annealing to fix deformations or stretches.

Weldability

6063 aluminum has excellent sheet metal welding characteristics. Annealing is recommended in some applications. Welding methods include gas tungsten arc (GTA) or shielded metal arc techniques.

No special preparation is needed. 6063 aluminum has excellent fusion weldability. Coated surfaces can be easily blunted or “melted.” Local heat is applied before welding operations.

6063 offers flexibility in aluminum welding. Compare its weldability and strength to other alloys.

Machinability

Machining 6063 Aluminum can be tricky. Its temper rating affects machinability and has lower malleability than other alloys. Careful consideration is needed for machined parts design.

Finishing processes can be used for aluminum projects. Wet sanding and polishing are examples. Methods vary depending on application or requirements. Careful planning and experienced machinists are crucial. 6063 aluminum can achieve desired results in various projects.

6061 And 6063 Aluminum – Comprehend the Comparison

6061 and 6063

 

Wide-ranging application of aluminum alloys that incorporate magnesium in the main alloy mixture has resulted in two easily recognizable amalgams, 6061 and 6063.

As an added measure for strengthening their properties, both mixtures have included minor portions of silicon and copper.

There is a remarkable difference between the 6061 vs 6063 chemical composition, which results in significantly different mechanical properties.

Variance in strength and durability that exists between 6061 aluminum and 6063 aluminum provides customers with greater confidence when making their purchasing decisions.

Composition:

There are some differences that cause them to have disparate responses when subjected to processes such as machining or welding, given that their primary alloying element is common among them and contains 1.0% magnesium.

Yet, the latter also comprises an additional 0.6-0.8% of silicon alloying material, thus accentuating their differences significantly more so than any resemblances they maintain.

By virtue of minute proportions of iron, copper, titanium, manganese, and chromium, as well as zinc being whipped into a harmonious symphony in the 6061 aluminum alloy, it is granted greater strength-related qualities.

By combining various elements, it surpasses what might be possible by any individual element used as a solo agent.

6063 aluminum generally has a lower silicon content than 6061 with smaller amounts of manganese, chromium, titanium, zinc and iron in its composition.

Zinc content is higher in this alloy, allowing for greater corrosion resistance and increased machinability levels.

Aluminum 6061 vs 6063 thermal conductivity differs between the alloys. At thermally high temperatures (over 400 degrees Fahrenheit), the components of 6061 become less workable.

  • Strength & Density:

At normal temperatures, the specific modulus values show an average difference of only 1088 psi between them. However, tensile strength values can differ by as much as 7000 psi.

Elongation values also differ drastically between the two alloys. Studies show that 6063 melts at around 483 Celsius, while 6061 aluminum has a higher melting point of 627 Celsius or greater when thermally treated. Higher melting points are driven by increased strength and stiffness.

Weldability & Soldering:

Welding or soldering differences between 6061 and 6063 aluminum are evident. Both alloys can be welded, but not at lower temperatures with a filler rod when welding 6063.

Heat treatability differences are significant between each type. At 500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the properties of 6061 deteriorate slightly.

If thermally treated at a higher temperature with sustained heat, it can harden to around 600 degrees Celsius. When welded with filler metal, 6063 aluminum can harden even further.

Soldering is more easily done with 6061 alloy due to its higher melting temperature. Before welding or soldering, understand the mechanical properties of both types and use a process like TIG that best suits your needs.

Surface Finish & Machinability:

In terms of surface finish, 6061 aluminum has better results compared to 6063 and is easily machinable with similar density alloys.

When it comes to 6061 vs. 6063 alloy machinability, these two materials generally present similar results; however, due to its properties when cut to size, the advantage lies with the former in terms of outcome.

However, once thermally treated, 6061 aluminum has slightly greater tensile strength and a harder surface.

Studies show that when 6061 alloy is compressed and tempered, it yields better results than 6063 in cutting or drilling speed and surface finish.

Also, the marked differentiation in cost between the grades of aluminum alloys 6061 and 6063 can diverge acutely, depending upon both domestic market conditions such as consumer demand and production expenses incurred when working with either alloy type.

Plus which particular supplier is selected; however, when considerable volume is acquired, the cost can be significantly decreased representing a potentially lucrative bargain.

Corrosion & Heat Treatability:

Understanding and consideration of the constitution for both 6061 and 6053 aluminum is of paramount importance, as there are no striking disparities in their thermal conductivity.

At the same time analyzing how each metal competes with corrosion.

Presence of alloying elements like zinc in 6063 allows for greater corrosion resistance and heat treatability. If used in an underwater environment, 6063 is often more suitable than.

Though 6061 can be generally acceptable for projects necessitating corrosion resistance, a disadvantage of its utilization is that tensile strength diminishes as temperatures lower. Yet this should not undermine the suitability of selecting it to complete general purpose assignments.

Extrudability:

In weighing the trade-off between its augmented strength and hardness contra processing constraints when it is extruded, 6061 aluminum pales in comparison to the greater malleability of6063 aluminum.

Thereby transforming a clear preference toward selecting said latter material. Despite the undeniable allure of its augmented properties.

Its higher zinc content can make it difficult for extruders in terms of accuracy and consistency when forming the material. Both alloys have similar product applications, but their strengths make a considerable difference in usability.

Generally, alloy 6061 is used for structural frames, aircraft components, road signs, and bicycle parts that require higher-strength materials with good fatigue performance and can withstand pressure over time.

Having an increased aptitude for withstanding corrosion, 6063 is frequently observed being utilized in contexts that range from window framing and door trims to a spectrum of architectural forms.

Availability:

Regarding availability differences between the two alloys, there is limited variability. Both alloys are quite common. Variability often comes from the supplier or the heat treatment and commercial use of the alloys.

Moreover, this can sometimes lead to slight differences in pricing. With KDMFab, both alloys are available, offering a wide selection of products made from each type for any application or project desired.

Ranging from high-strength aluminum to general-purpose products that resist corrosion for various applications, these products offer a wide range.

Property6061 Aluminum6063 Aluminum
CompositionMg (1.0%), Si (0.6-0.8%), Fe, Cu, Ti, Mn, Cr, ZnMg, Si, Mn, Cr, Ti, Zn, Fe
Strength & DensityHigher tensile strength, denser (2.7 – 3 g/cm3)Lower tensile strength, less dense
Weldability & SolderingSlightly worse weldability, better solderingBetter weldability, worse soldering
Surface Finish & MachinabilityBetter surface finish, slightly greater tensile strength when treatedSimilar hardness and machinability
Corrosion & Heat TreatabilityAdequate corrosion resistance, lower zinc contentGreater corrosion resistance, higher zinc content
Extrudability & ApplicationsPreferred for components using extrusion, e.g., structural frames, aircraft componentsCommonly found in window frames, door trim, and architectural uses
AvailabilityCommon, variability depending on supplier and treatmentCommon, variability depending on supplier and treatment

Given the discrepancies in composition, fabrication feasibility, and mechanical features of 6061 vs 6063 aluminum alloys that necessitate intensive inspection, along with a greater cognizance as to their availability from respective suppliers; it is pivotal for diligent consideration.

Depending on the application – structural frames, aircraft components, or window trim – both alloys deliver according to each feature they yield.

Selection should be made with care, analyzing factors such as cost difference, strength vs. hardness, and more.

Which Aluminum Alloy To Choose?

Aluminum Alloy

There are many different alloys. Each one has unique characteristics that make them suitable for specific applications or uses. 6061 vs 6063 aluminum represents two popular alloys.

When selecting 6061 or 6063, there is much to consider. Understanding the differences is essential.

Determine The Required Strength Resistance.

Aluminum alloys are classified into four categories, such as wrought and heat-treatable, non-heat-treatable, cast & heat treated, and forged/extruded products. Both 6061 and 6063 are heat-treatable alloys.

Consider thermal properties and other aluminum products. There is a noticeable difference in mechanical properties. 6061 has higher values.

Determine The Surface Finish.

6061 and 6063 have other differences. Surface finish is one of them. Aluminum alloys are defined by their tempering process.

When talking about 6063 t6 vs 6061 t6, the former leaves different surfaces on the final pieces while 6061 is more available in T4 temper.

6063 is typically found at T6 tempers. If you need a smooth finish, 6061 is the best option. But, if you need better welding or high temperature handling, 6063 is preferred.

Consider The Cost And Availability.

Material costs are important. Prices for each alloy depend on the grade. 6063 typically costs less than 6061. Both are available from suppliers like KDMFab.

6061 is more expensive due to higher strength applications. Also, it requires additional machining processes. 6063 is ideal for easier machining or welding.

Evaluate Formability And Machinability.

Both alloys can be machined. 6061 is more malleable and easier to form. 6063 provides better strength at a greater expense. 6061 has better machinability.

T4 temper provides more hardness, and results in a longer lasting part and resists wear and tear from die-casting or high precision processes. If you need a strong, durable part, 6063 may be beneficial.

Consider Welding And Joining Characteristics.

Aluminum alloys have high thermal conductivity. Welding and jointing characteristics need to be considered. 6063 has better heat treatability.

Joining process requires essential control over the weld-pool size and consistency in order to be successful.

6061 is also suitable for welding applications. Its higher tempers make it a less labor-intensive solution, so evaluate the joining method and strength in detail.

Evaluate Heat Treatability.

Employment of heat-treating being a critical factor in ensuring durability and making it possible to shape the metal, cold working is an absolute necessity when aiming for optimal strength from aluminum alloys.

Heat treating involves subjecting metals to elevated temperatures. Then, they are air-cooled for creating structures with desired characteristics.

Both 6061 and 6063 have favorable heat treatability. Different tempering processes can improve their performance.

Check For Industry Or Regulatory Standards.

Check both industry and regulatory standards, as the AA classifies aluminum alloys by their temper level. Know your standards and check each product. Not every temper will fulfill requirements.

Consult With An Expert Or Supplier.

Assess the best option for your project. 6061 and 6063 aluminum have slightly different attributes, and are often interchangeable for strength resistance or welding requirements.

Consider cost as a major factor. Consult with an expert or supplier. Their experience can help you decide which suits your needs. For instance, KDMFab works closely with customers to discuss projects and operations.

Before producing a finished part, this is done with either aluminum type. Having the best quality products and materials is important.

Conclusion

6061 and 6063 have similar strengths. Although they have minor differences in mechanical properties, the cost difference between 6061 and 6063 aluminum is not significant.

Choosing the right aluminum alloy depends on several factors, such as intended use, surface finish, and formability.

To decide, evaluate key factors for your project. Consider strength resistance and surface finish. Determine cost baselines.

Take into account the alloy’s formability. Look at machinability features such as welding and joining. Consider heat-treatability properties too.

Check regulatory or industry standards before deciding. Consult an expert or aluminum supplier for guidance.

KDMFab is a great source for custom CNC manufacturing as they focus on 6061 and 6063 alloy fabrication solutions. Visit KDMFab for assistance. Contact them for production and prototyping needs more knowledge about 6061 aluminum vs. 6063 aluminum!

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