Aluminum extrusions are widely used in many industries due to their lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and high strength-to-weight ratio properties. Two of the most commonly used aluminum extrusion alloys are 6063 and 6061. While they may look similar, there are significant differences between them that affect their applications and performance. However, what are the differences between them?
6063 is a widely used aluminum alloy for extrusions. It is an aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloy, which means it has excellent corrosion resistance and good formability. 6063 aluminum extrusions have a smooth surface finish, making them ideal for decorative applications such as window frames, door frames, and trim. It's also utilized in structural applications like solar panel frames and other renewable energy applications, as well as in the building sector.
6061 aluminum extrusions are another widely used alloy for extrusions. It is an aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloy with good corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties. 6061 aluminum extrusions are commonly used for structural applications such as bicycle frames, aircraft parts, and automotive parts. Because of its resistance to seawater corrosion, it is frequently employed in maritime applications.
Here are some differences between 6061 aluminum extrusions and 6063 aluminum extrusions as the following:
Machinability refers to the ease with which a material can be shaped or formed using machining processes such as drilling, milling, and turning. In the context of aluminum alloys, both 6063 and 6061 are commonly used for extrusions and have different machinability characteristics.
6063 aluminum extrusions are known for their good machinability, especially when compared to other aluminum alloys. This means that they are relatively easy to machine using traditional machining techniques. Processes like drilling, milling, and turning can be performed smoothly on 6063 aluminum. However, one challenge that may arise during milling is the creation of lengthy, stringy pieces of aluminum. These long chips can cause issues such as chip clogging or poor surface finish if not properly managed.
On the other hand, 6061 aluminum extrusions also exhibit good machinability but are generally more difficult to machine compared to 6063 aluminum. When machining 6061 aluminum, shorter and more manageable chips are produced. These shorter chips are typically easier to handle and do not pose as many issues during the machining process. However, machining 6061 aluminum requires more cutting force and slower cutting speeds compared to 6063 aluminum.
6063 aluminum extrusions are known for their outstanding weldability. They can be easily welded using various welding processes such as TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas), MIG (Metal Inert Gas), and spot welding. This versatility in welding options makes them a popular choice for many applications. When subjected to welding, 6063 aluminum extrusions exhibit good resistance to weld cracking and porosity.
On the other hand, 6061 aluminum extrusions also possess excellent weldability, but they require a bit more caution during the welding process compared to 6063 aluminum extrusions. When welding 6061 aluminum, especially using TIG welding, it is crucial to exercise extra care due to its increased susceptibility to hot cracking and porosity. Hot cracking is a form of cracking that occurs in the weld metal or HAZ when it is still hot, and it can be influenced by factors such as composition, welding parameters, and joint design. Porosity is also more likely to occur in 6061 aluminum when welded using TIG welding, meaning that extra attention must be paid to achieve high-quality welds.
6063 aluminum extrusions are known for their excellent corrosion resistance, making them a popular choice in various industries. Compared to other aluminum alloys, 6063 exhibits superior resistance to corrosion. It performs exceptionally well in different environments, including atmospheric conditions, seawater, and industrial settings.
In terms of atmospheric corrosion, 6063 extrusions show remarkable resilience. They can withstand exposure to moisture, oxygen, and various airborne contaminants without significant degradation. This makes them suitable for outdoor applications where they may come into contact with rain, humidity, or pollutants in the air.
On the other hand, while 6061 aluminum extrusions also offer corrosion resistance, they are not as corrosion-resistant as 6063. They provide good protection against atmospheric corrosion, making them suitable for various outdoor applications. However, due to their vulnerability to saltwater corrosion, they are not recommended for marine applications. In environments with high salt content, such as those found in seawater, 6061 extrusions may experience accelerated corrosion, potentially compromising their performance and longevity.
6061 and 6063 aluminum extrusions are both popular alloys for various applications due to their excellent properties. While they share some similarities in physical properties, such as density and melting point, they also have notable differences in terms of strength, ductility, and machinability.
Choosing between 6061 or 6063 aluminum extrusions will be determined by the application's unique requirements. If you are looking for a trusted aluminum extrusion supplier, XIANGZHEN can help you. We offer a wide range of aluminum extrusions not only 6061 and 6063 aluminum extrusions but also 6060 and 6065 aluminum extrusions. Come and get more about the product details now!