The Many Faces of 6061 Aluminum

Aluminum tends to be used for a great many things, and few alloys of aluminum are more widely used that 6061 aluminum. This versatile alloy is blended to have many beneficial properties that make it very useful for several industries and a multitude of products. Whether used in its common plate form, used as a rod or bar, forged or extruded into other shapes, there are few aluminum needs that cannot be met by some form of the 6061 alloy.

About Aluminum’s 6061 Alloy
The 6061 alloy of aluminum was developed under the name Alloy 61S in 1935. It is a blend of predominantly aluminum, magnesium and silicon, with elements of copper, iron, manganese, chromium, zinc and titanium included. It has good corrosion resistance and it can be welded or formed, but it does not have the machinability of some other alloys. The alloy is also fairly tough compared to some other alloys. It can be painted, as long as it is pretreated and primed.

Aluminum Plate
Aluminum plate is often used in structural applications. The common thicknesses of 6061 plate range from .25 inches to 10 inches. Aluminum 6061 in plate form is often used for wings and fuselages in homebuilt aircraft as well as in the construction of yachts and SCUBA tanks.

The 6061-T651 alloy is used to create precision plate, which has improved flatness and thickness tolerances. This product is wrought aluminum, which comes with natural advantages over cast aluminum in terms of physical and mechanical properties. Precision aluminum plate is available with a satin brushed finish which makes anodizing much easier.

Aluminum Rod and Bar, Forging and Extrusions
Aluminum in the 6061 alloy is available in rod and bar form. These pieces can be used to make bicycle frames, auto parts or even parts for firearms, although these more intricate parts are sometimes forged instead. The rods and bars can also be welded to make more intricate pieces. The 6061 alloy can also be extruded, meaning heated and forced through a die to make particular shapes. This processed is sometimes used to make aluminum gangways from 6061 aluminum in the T6 temper.

Howard Precision is your one stop shop to buy 6061 aluminum and other alloys. Visit Howardprecision.com to view their large inventory of available aluminum pieces.

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