Aluminum 6063 Density, Strength, and Fabrication Characteristics

Aluminum 6063 Density, Strength, and Fabrication Characteristics

Aluminum comes in all sorts of four-digit alloys, but one of the most popular for general manufacturing is 6063 aluminum. Known for superb corrosion resistance, nice finishing, great welding properties, and decent strength-to-weight ratios, 6063 aluminum brings balanced mechanical properties similar to low-carbon steel without all the annoying rust problems or density.

From truck wheels to guardians, drawer slides to window frames, bicycle parts to marine components, 6063 makes the shortlist across tons of industries. Formability for complex shapes? No sweat. Machining ductile housings and fittings? 6063 is practically designated for custom threads and drilling. Plus, the cost difference and lower weight compared to stainless steel make this material extra attractive next to standard grades.

In this article, let me break down everything 6063 Aluminum has been doing. I’ll overview the alloy ingredients. Different temper options, how density and strength stack up, applications, and important design considerations working with these awesome alloys.

6063 Aluminum Alloy Composition

Aluminum comprises over 97% of the alloy matrix, giving a sturdy yet lightweight foundation. But blending in 0.2-0.6% silicon and 0.35%-0.6% magnesium works for some serious property enhancement. These two are principally responsible for 6063’s stellar finishing behaviors, precipitation strengthening response, corrosion resistance, and welding characteristics. Maximum limits on iron, copper, and other elements help optimize these claims while avoiding material brittleness issues.

Key Aluminum 6063 Properties

6063 aluminum delivers well-balanced capabilities:
Excellent corrosion resistance nearing marine-grade 5xxx alloys.
Anodizes exceptionally pretty with dyes for surface protection.
Bends easier than 6061 aluminum allowing complex component shapes.
Precipitation treatable to improve hardness and strength.
Great welding, machining, and finishing properties.
Thermal attributes to cope as die mold cores.

By minimizing dense compositional additives, 6063 also retains comparatively low weight, a mere 2.7 g/cm3 density stands way lighter on scales than 4 to 8 g/cm3 steels.

6063 Aluminum Heat Treatment Tempers

You will notice a dash number stamped onto 6063 parts. It indicates the alloy’s temper or how it was precipitation hardened.

T5
Artificially aged after solution treatment to maximum strength but lower corrosion protection with 52,000 psi ultimate tensile and 41,000 psi yield strength.

T6
Solution soaked at higher temperatures than artificially aged. Perhaps 15% stronger than T5 but slightly less flexible before cracking.

Higher temperatures pull more precipitates out of the solution, concentrating on tiny particles that impede dislocation movement. But more heat exposure also makes 6063 lose some ductility and fracture toughness by the same mechanism.

Density and Weight Savings Details

One unique characteristic of aluminum over steel comes from the drastically lower mass for equivalent component sizes. This allows lighter structures with fuel efficiency and transport benefits:
6063 Aluminum has a 2.70 g/cm3 density.
Mild Steel has 7.85+ g/cm3 density.

If you’re trying to envision grams per cm3, simply know that 6063 packs over three times less weight than general steels. Exact density varies based on which temper treatment gets specified during ordering inventory.

Weight Calculator

Figuring weights starting from drawings helps early design feasibility before prototypes get expensive.
Here’s the formula:
Pick a temper – T6 runs slightly denser than T5
Default density to 2.7 g/cm3 or better yet, ask supplier
Plug measurements into the matched equation:
Bar/Cylinder Weight = π x r2 x L x Alloy Density
Box Volume Weight = L x W x H x Alloy Density

Checking the resultant mass against target goals early on allows adjustment of dimensions, treatments or alloy choices before considerable effort goes into design commitment.

6063 Aluminum Applications

Across manufacturing equipment categories, 6063 aluminum brings friendly capabilities like automotive parts. Pedals, clutches, and wheels all see cost-driven use. They are also useful in aerospace components such as floorboards and secondary structures. Salt sprays are not an issue with marine hardware by using this 6063 aluminum plus weight savings. Architectures rely on this aluminum for building doors, windows, and decorative metalwork.

Design Considerations

To fully harness 6063 benefits across operating environments, keep several advisory factors in mind:
More malleable than 6061 grade for greater formability
Anodizes exceptionally nicely for protective finishes
Welds easier than 2xxx or 7xxx alloys
Allows slightly greater thermal expansion differences than steel
Can still corrode from direct contact with dissimilar metals

With appropriate thickness, work hardening, and insulating safeguards incorporated upfront, 6063 aluminum performs admirably for equipment spanning decorative architecture to rugged marine parts and transport components.

Summary

For architects, automotive designers, safety engineers, and manufacturers targeting the profitable sweet spot blending durable performance, lightweight, and economy, versatile 6063 aluminum alloy makes a compelling choice over traditional building materials across durable equipment structures. Feel free to reach us at YK-Longshun to learn more about our different aluminum products.

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