Tips for Working With 6061 Aluminum Plate

One of the most aluminum alloys used in the world today is 6061 aluminum. This can be sold in virtually all forms including standard extrusions, custom extrusions, rectangle bars, round bars, tubes, sheet and 6061 aluminum plate.

The general public may not realize that 6061 aluminum is used in many pieces of equipment they use on a daily basis. This includes in automobile frames and components, electrical fittings, camera components, bicycle frames and even for boats and motorcycles.

It is also the alloy used in the development of many arenas, theaters and buildings as well for bridge decks. It is naturally corrosion resistant, it has a very high strength to weight ratio and it is also resistant to fatigue and stress-fractures.

Using 6061 Aluminum

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and building contractors as like working with 6061 aluminum plate, bar and rod because it is almost as strong as steel but also allows for flexibility not possible with steel. As a fully recyclable material, it is also increasingly used in “green” and LEED certified buildings and construction projects.

Two advantages that 6061 aluminum plate has over the other alloys is that it is considered to be easy to weld, particularly compared to other aluminum alloys, and it is machinable. It is also possible to heat treat after welding to rebuild any lost strength and enhance the overall performance of the alloy.

In addition to welding, it is also easy to machine. This means that it can be processed and worked with relative ease. It is also very resistant to stress-corrosion cracking. This makes it a perfect option for the automotive and aerospace applications.

When Straight Counts

It is important to realize that there are different options 6061 plate. When there are specific needs for a perfectly straight surface, cast plate can offer an advantage over wrought.

Cast plate can be produced to relieve all internal stress. This prohibits the surface of the plate from having even the smallest of deviations that would be problematic for some types of applications, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries.

Although both wrought and cast 6061 plates can be worked, the cast plate will offer the advantage of remaining true to the original flat surface even when there may be several different machining processes used. Talking to an aluminum dealer can help determine if cast or wrought 6061 plate is the best option.

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