What’s up guys? This is Michael back with another session of Michael Talks Metal. However, today, we’re talking aluminum!  For the last few weeks our subject has been the most common aluminum alloys.

Today we have the 6xxx series alloys where the primary alloying elements are magnesium and silicon.

If you did not see our earlier video on the heat treated temper designations or for a review….click here now.

The Aluminum Association, the American industry organization that has established standards uses a comparative rating system for various properties  of aluminum alloys.  An A rating is the most favorable and E is the least.  Again these are comparisons within aluminum alloys. An alloy and temper rated “A” is superior to one rated “B” and so on.  Selection of alloy and temper is best left to the design engineers.

The popular alloys for our video are 6061, 6063, and 6262.

Aluminum chemistry requirements routinely contain a restriction of .point 05% maximum each for any unspecified elements and a total of point 15% maximum which applies to all these alloys.

6061   UNS   A96061 is an alloy of point 40 to point 80% silicon, point 70% maximum iron, point 15 to point 40% copper, point 15% maximum manganese, point 8 to 1 point 2% magnesium, point 15% maximum chromium,  point 25% maximum zinc and a maximum of point 15% titanium.

The T4 tempers are rated  C for machining and  B for general corrosion and stress corrosion. The T6 tempers rate A for stress corrosion applications

This alloy is rated A for welding applications and also anodizes well.

Common applications are found in almost all industries due to its combination of strength, corrosion resistance, fabricability and wide availability.

6063 UNS designation A96063 is alloyed with point 2 to point 6% silicon, point 35% maximum iron, point 10 maximum copper, point 10 maximum manganese, point 45 to point 9% magnesium, point 10% maximum chromium, point 10% maximum zinc, and point 10% maximum titanium.

Most common tempers are T5 and T6

Rated A in all tempers for general and stress corrosion performance. T4 is rated D for machinability and the numerically higher tempers are rated C.

Most common for architectural applications and furniture  and in other extruded configurations.  Rated A for weldability and the alloy anodizes well.

6262  UNS designation A96262 is an alloy of point 4 to point 8% silicon, point 7% maximum iron, point 15 to point 40% copper, point 15% maximum manganese, point 8 to 1 point 2 % magnesium, point 04 to point 14%  chromium, point 25% maximum zinc,and point 15% maximum titanium.

If this reminds you of 6061.. you’re right…….. its almost identical.  But now we add point 40 to point 7% each of lead and bismuth to aid in machining characteristics.

T6 ( and variants ) and T9 are the most commonly available tempers

Rated B in all tempers for general corrosion and A for stress corrosion.  Rated B for machinability and A for weldability.

Most common application is for screw machine parts.

A note about 6061- T6.  Commercial specifications often allow for a rapid cool from hot working temperatures as the solution treatment.  Aerospace applications typically require that the  solution treatment is performed by furnace heating  which adds to the cost of manufacture at the mill.

Commercial applications generally specify ASTM standards. Aerospace applications utilize AMS standards or the defense and federal standards.

As always, there are detailed requirements within  the full temper designation and any specifications that can require specific products and processing so we caution you to carefully… very carefully… check the specs!!!!!

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