The 6000(*) series is an aluminum alloy family with magnesium and silicon as their major alloying elements. The remarkable properties of 6000 alloys are their extrudability, excellent strength, and high corrosion resistance. 6000 sereies alloys can also be thermally treated to enhance their strength properties. Extrusion products in the 6000 series are perfect choices for structural and architectural applications. An overview of 6000 series aluminum alloys is provided below.
Aluminum 6000 series sheets/plates are offered as part of our own branded (AVIATIONEU NEW ERA) product lines mostly in 6061 grade but also in other grades. Sourced from quality producers, they are available in different tempers, pre-cut dimensions and specifications depending on the order requirements. For additional information, please refer to our Brief Guide on Aluminum Grades & Temper Designations, the individual product presentations or contact us.
(*) Aluminum alloys are named in accordance with a four-digit naming system developed by the US Aluminum Association to characterize a wide range of alloys on the basis of their main alloying elements.
6000 Series Aluminum Alloys
6005/6005A Aluminum Alloys6005 alloy contains greater amounts of silicon which reduces its melting point and enhances its extrudability. 6005A, on the other hand, contains higher amounts of chromium which reduces its susceptibility to stress corrosion and improves its toughness. 6005A also contains extra manganese, which increases its strength and extrudability. Producing thin-walled and intricate extrusion can be difficult with 6005, but it still has better extrudability than 6082. Both 6005 and 6005A possess excellent bending capabilities and a better mill surface finish than 6061. These two alloys can both be welded or brazed easily using commercial methods, but the heat from welding can diminish the strength of the alloy. Both 6005 and 6005A offer excellent corrosion resistance, finishing characteristics, and respond well to standard anodizing methods creating clear, clear and color dye, and hardcoat finishes. 6005 and 6005A are typically used for applications that require intricate extrusions such as tubing for furniture, components for railways and busses, pipe, portable ladders, and applications where much greater strength from 6063 is needed, as well as in some marine applications.
6061 Aluminum AlloyΙt is the most commonly used aluminum alloy in the world and the most versatile and used alloy of all the other 6000 series alloys because of its high strength, good corrosion resistance, weldability, and machinability. Very popular for its characteristic toughness in medium- to high-strength applications. Like some of the other aluminum alloys, the 6061 aluminum alloy comes as annealed (O Temper) or in or tempered grades such as 6061-T4 and 6061-T6 or 6061-T651. When heat-treated, 6061 aluminum alloy is a great choice for general purpose uses and finds many applications in structural materials, electronics, chemical equipment but also in non-flight critical aircraft components and automotive components. 6061 is available in many forms, including extrusion sheets, and forgings.
Compared to 2024 Aluminum Alloy, the so-called aircraft aluminum, 2024 aluminum’s yield strength surpasses 6061 aluminum’s and should be generally selected if strength is a priority. Furthermore, the 2024 has a higher modulus of elasticity that 6061 aluminum, bearing more stress without permanently changing shape and therefore a better choice for forming applications. Compared to Aluminum 5052,the highest strength alloy of the more non-heat-treatable grades, the 6061 is heat-treatable and presents an excellent machinability, being one of the most popular machining alloys and therefore often preferred if machining procedures are necessary for a project.
Comparing 6061 to 6063 aluminum, 6061 aluminum and 6063 aluminum are both popular alloys used in extrusions for a variety of architectural, machinery, equipment, and consumer products. Both are similar in composition and mechanical properties and come in different tempers such as O (annealed), or tempered grades (e.g. T4 or T6). Their magnesium content provides increased strength, and silicon reduces their melting temperature. Their formability, weldability, corrosion resistance, and moderately high strength make these alloys quite versatile. However, even though they are from the same series of metals, there are some differences between them and factors that make each one suitable for different applications. 6061 aluminum is used in all kinds of applications ranging from electronics to welded assemblies. 6061 tubes, sheets, bars, and plates offer high- to moderate strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and superior machinability and weldability while 6063 aluminum tubes offer an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, superior corrosion resistance, and a fine appearance and finish. Typical applications of 6061 Aluminum alloy include:
Shipbuilding – sailboats, yachts, marine fittings, and hardware
Automotive – truck and bus bodies, wheels and various transportation end uses, brake and hydraulic pistons
Aerospace – aircraft structures and fittings
Rail – railway car components
Home and Business – furniture, awnings, moldings, and appliance fittings
Food Service – food and beverage cans
Miscellaneous – scuba tanks, pipe fittings, hinge pins, valve and valve parts, bike frames, fire ladders, bridge components, camera lens mounts, couplings, electrical fittings and connectors, magneto parks, structural framing, base plants, and gussets.
6063 Aluminum Alloy6063 aluminum is a top choice for architectural materials because of its excellent response to extrusion; it is easily formed into complex shapes, including bars and tubing. 6063 aluminum bars and 6063 aluminum tubes offer a good surface finish for decorative finishes and resists corrosion more effectively than other 6000 series alloys due to the lack of copper in its elemental composition. While this alloy does not differ from 6061 aluminum in many ways, its lower strength and better corrosion resistance make 6063 aluminum a better choice for extrusion projects. With lower compositions of magnesium and silicon, this alloy is only half as strong as 6061 and suitable for use in applications where strength is not the fundamental consideration such as door and window frames, non-load-bearing posts, roofs, decorative structures, railings, furniture, parts for boats and motor vehicles, and electrical components such as conduit pipes, and tubes for irrigation systems. Highly corrosion resistant preventing environmental deterioration. Typical applications of 6063 Aluminum alloy include:
Architectural – trims, framework, brackets, and structural supports
Automotive – truck frames and trailers
Home goods – aluminum furniture and recreational equipment
General construction – pipes, tubing, stair rails, window frames, door frames, roofs, and signage
6082 Aluminum AlloyGenerally known as “structural alloy” providing one of the highest strengths of all the 6000 series aluminum alloys replacing 6061 in some applications. It is a good alternative for engineers who don’t want to invest in the stronger 2000/7000 series aluminums and also enables the ability to extrude more complex shapes than those posible from 2000/7000 series alloys. 6082 is commonly known for machining, and it also features excellent weldability, cold formability, and corrosion resistance. Its high amount of manganese allows it to control its grain structure, resulting in a stronger alloy that is perfect for general purpose applications that require an extra degree in strength and toughness. One drawback is that it is harder to form thin-walled, complicated extrusion shapes using 6082 alloys versus other alloys in the 6000 series family. It is typically used in highly stressed applications such as bridges, towers, trusses, structural automotive, and structural marine applications.