Aluminum Forgings 6061
One of the most common forged aluminum alloys produced is the 6061-type alloy, a common alloy from the 6000 series of aluminum alloys. Forged 6061 alloy aluminum, sometimes referred to as “alloy 61S”, products are some of the most commonly produced types of aluminum products.
6061 aluminum alloys function well in most situations and really stand as general-purpose aluminum stock to serve a wide variety of use cases. Anchor Harvey is proud to provide the highest quality forged 6061 aluminum products and to offer a variety of heat treatment options that can custom tailor material solutions to your needs.
What is the 6061 Aluminum Alloy?
The 6061 alloy belongs to the 6000 series of aluminum alloys, which primarily includes Magnesium and Silicon as the alloying elements. 6061 Aluminum specifically has between 0.8 – 1.2% Magnesium, 0.4 – 0.8% Silicon, 0.15 – 0.5% Copper, up to 0.7% Iron, and <0.5% of Chromium, Zinc, Titanium, and Manganese.
6061 Aluminum is one of the most commonly used grades of aluminum across multiple industries and around the world. 6061 aluminum can easily be found in aluminum sheets, plates, bars, or various angles. It has seen use in boats, furniture, aerospace structure and components, and other structural applications.
6061 Aluminum alloy is chosen so often for its versatile properties, including:
- Strength: Good strength that doesn’t compromise core structural integrity.
- Easy heat-treatability- This allows the material to be fitted to a wide variety of applications. The proper heat-treatment can make a given amount of 6061 Aluminum stock over twice as strong as its untreated counterpart.
- Machinability: 6061 Aluminum alloys are very easy to machine. Machining is necessary for many core components of large aerospace projects, and indeed where precision is needed anywhere. An easy-to-machine material guarantees customers a faster machining turnaround time, higher quality product, and lower overall costs.
- Weldability: Investing time and cost into complex and tough welding procedures can strain timelines and increase the risk of mistakes. 6061 aluminum stock is easy to weld, which makes the assembly process for many aerospace applications simpler and faster.
- Corrosion Resistance: 6061 aluminum has good resistance to environmental corrosion when compared to 2000 series aluminum. This is important for applications where the material is constantly exposed to the weather, especially in places where abrasion or wear is constant enough that protective coatings will be quickly worn away.
Forged 6061-T6 Aluminum
The most common heat treatment is the T6 treatment standard. Heat-treating 6061-T6 aluminum is achieved, like most T6 treatment standards, by holding the material at high temperatures for several hours and then artificially aging it at medium temperatures for up to 1-2 days. This yields the most precipitation hardening of alloy elements throughout the structure of the stock.
The T6 temper produces a material with a tensile strength of 310 MPa and a yield strength of 276 MPa, with a failure elongation percentage of 12%. Forged 6061-T651 aluminum heat treatment is achieved much through the same process and has very similar properties.
Forged 6061-T4 Aluminum
One of the more uncommon heat treatment standards is the T4 standard. 6061-T4 heat-treated alloys are achieved through the standard T4 treatment process, which involves high heating for a few hours and a long natural aging process over the course of several days. This leaves the material slightly more workable than a quicker artificial aging procedure, increasing the malleability and reducing the overall strength compared to the T6 standard.
6061-T4 aluminum alloys have a tensile strength of no more than 210MPa, yield strength of no more than 110MPa, but an elongation failure percentage of up to 16%.
Uses of the Forged 6061 Aluminum Alloys
Forged 6061 Aluminum alloy has been in use since the mid-1930s. In the construction of aircraft structures, it often has more use in smaller aircraft frames. Still, its easy workability and affordability factor can make it popular for aircraft repairs and small structural components. Its chief rival in this area is 2024 Aluminum, which is commonly used in large aircraft frames due to its higher strength, though 6061 takes the edge with its natural corrosion resistance.
Other uses for forged 6061 aluminum alloy stock include the following: Bicycle frames and chains, fly fishing reels, firearm suppressors (specifically baffles and chamber housings), rifle receivers, dockyard planks and gangways, vacuum chambers, model aircraft, hobby planes, radio antennas, rescue ladders, and flashlights. In fact, the gold anodized aluminum plaques on the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft are made with 6061 aluminum.
Customers looking for quality forged 6061 aluminum alloy stock should look no further than the quality engineering and forging facilities at Anchor Harvey. Whether it is for your next bicycle design or major aircraft frame, Anchor Harvey is dedicated to providing the right materials, at the right cost, with the best materials and best delivery times in the industry. Request a quote today.