Properties of Aluminum: Which Alloys Are Best for Extrusion?

Aluminum Alloy ProfilesOne important part of aluminum extrusion design that many people overlook, is taking the time to consider the various properties of aluminum and how they will affect or benefit the finished product. You can find new ways to prevent corrosion through design, but you can also increase the strength, durability and other benefits of working with aluminum just by selecting the best alloy for the project. When you extrude aluminum alloys, you gain additional benefits beyond what you would get using just a basic raw aluminum billet.

Silver City Aluminum uses three primary aluminum alloys, depending on the needs of our clients. Most alloys contain approximately 90 percent aluminum, combined with other metals to improve the quality of the piece, part of product that is created. 6005, 6063 and 6463 are what we use to extrude aluminum alloys at our Taunton facility. You can speak with one of our engineers or technicians to learn more about aluminum extrusion design, as well as continue reading to learn a bit more about the properties of aluminum alloys.

Aluminum Alloy 6005
Applications that require greater strength and durability tend to require the use of structural 6000 series alloys, including 6005 aluminum. This particular alloy can be used in designs that require high quality resistance to corrosion and a moderate strength. Each alloy has a different series of properties, including the way it behaves during extrusion, fabrication and finishing. By adding different elements in with the aluminum, we are able to further prevent corrosion through design and create superior results, when we choose to extrude aluminum alloys.

6005 has excellent characteristics for extrusion, containing significant amounts of silicon to reduce the melting temperature and improve its ability to be extruded. It has a similar minimum tensile and yield strength to alloy 6061, however it is easier to machine and has greater strength properties. 6005 also features bending properties, which make it not the best choice for applications that may be subject to overload or impact. This alloy can be welded and fabricated in other manners, however the heat can reduce strength, so it is best to accomplish any unique features via aluminum extrusion design instead of secondary operations.

Some of the ways that 6005 aluminum alloy is used include:

  • ladder structures
  • connector stock for automotive industry
  • seamless and structural tubing
  • structural applications
  • tubing for hand rails

Aluminum Alloy 6063
One of the most widely used options to extrude aluminum alloys is alloy 6063, which offers a high quality finish and is an excellent option for extrusion. It is used for custom and standard aluminum extrusion design, as well as for structural pipes and tubes, seamless tubing, heat-sinks and much more. Due to its electrical conductivity and other properties of aluminum, alloy 6063 is also a great choice for electrical tubing and applications.

Another alloy that can be used to prevent corrosion through design, alloy 6063 has excellent resistance to corrosion, including stress corrosion cracking, when it is in its heat-treated condition. It is also an excellent candidate for secondary operations and works beautifully with lustrous finishing options, including clear, color, dipping and hard coat. These finishes can be used for aesthetic, function and protection reasons, depending on the intention of use for the finished aluminum extrusion design.

Some of the ways that 6063 aluminum alloy is used include:

  • window and door frames
  • heat-sinks
  • irrigational system pipe and tube
  • hand rails and furniture
  • electrical conduit and other components
  • products for architecture and construction

Aluminum Alloy 6463
While related to 6063, this particular alloy is typically only formed using aluminum extrusion design. It is commonly heat-treated to increase strength and lower the ductility, and is used most often in applications for architecture or construction. When you extrude aluminum alloys such as alloy 6463, you will get best results if used for bars, tubes, rods, wire and other types of custom profiles. Made from a combination of approximately 98 percent raw aluminum and small amounts of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon, and zinc, the properties of aluminum alloy 6463 include high density and yield strength plus a decent amount of tensile and yield strength as well.

Custom Aluminum Extrusion Design
If you are interested in learning more about the properties of aluminum and the best options to extrude aluminum alloys, contact Silver City Aluminum by calling 508-542-7200. Our team of highly trained and experienced designers, engineers and technicians can help you prevent corrosion with design and get the parts, pieces or products you require. Our goal is to always meet or exceed the expectations of our clients, providing high quality extrusion, fabrication and finishing each and every time. Call today to get a FREE estimate for your next project or use our online contact form to submit your request.