Aluminum Extrusion Solutions: The Best Alloys for Fabrication

Aluminum fabrication shops work with a lot of different types of aluminum alloys to ensure that the quality of the finished product meets or exceeds the expectations of the client. Aluminum extrusion solutions need to work with alloys that are malleable, yet strong and durable, to create products, parts, and components that will stand up to the test of time. Most of the alloys used in the aluminum extrusion industry fall into the 6000 series range. However, when you examine the different composition, properties, and benefits of each individual alloy, it becomes apparent which options are better for fabrication and which are better for other types of projects.

Silver City Aluminum uses three different alloys within the 6000 series. Those alloys include the 6063 alloy, which is the most widely used alloy for the aluminum extrusion industry, as well as the 6005 and 6463 alloys. The more you can learn about each alloy, the better equipped you will be to select the best option for your project. Engineering and design play a huge role in the success of your aluminum parts, but if you don’t extrude aluminum alloys that have all of the elements required to make your aluminum extrusion solutions work, you will get an inferior finished product. Working with a team of experts who have many years of knowledge and experience working in the aluminum extrusion industry will be a big help in your quest to discover the best aluminum alloy for your project.

The 6063 Alloy

This particular alloy falls into what is known as the “heat treatable” category. It provides the best-looking appearance after anodizing, is highly resistant to corrosion, and has great workability, making it an excellent choice for the aluminum extrusion industry and aluminum fabrication shops. Used commonly in architectural applications and for cylinder tubing, the 6063 alloy is also an excellent conductor of electricity. The principal alloying elements in 6063 are magnesium and silicon, which make up a maximum of 0.9 and 0.6 percent respectively. This alloy is perfect for creating complex shapes with very smooth surfaces, which is why it is great for aluminum extrusion solutions that require an aesthetic appeal.

Some of the other common uses of the 6063 aluminum alloy include:

  • door frames
  • window frames
  • roofing materials
  • sign frames
  • pipe and tubing
  • furniture

The mechanical properties attributed to the 6063 alloy will depend much on the heat treatment or temper of the material itself and how the technicians extrude aluminum alloys. When not heat treated, 6063 will have a maximum tensile strength of no more than 19,000 psi and no maximum yield strength. The material can be stretched before ultimate failure at a rate of 18 percent. T1 tempered 6063 alloy has an ultimate tensile strength of at least 17,000 psi when used in a thickness of up to a half-inch, with an elongation stretch of up to 12 percent before ultimate failure. Other tempers are used to extrude aluminum alloys, including T4, T5, T6, T52, and T62, at Silver City Aluminum, depending on the needs of the client.

The 6005 Alloy

Our designers and technicians use 6005 aluminum in two tempers, which include T1 and T5. The 6005 alloy is within the “wrought” family, which includes alloys made of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon. The most common forming method used with this particular alloy is aluminum extrusion solutions. However, it can also be rolled or forged but is not for casting. Heat treating of this material is used after technicians extrude aluminum alloys to increase strength and durability of the finished product. The alloy composition of 6005 can contain as much as 99 percent aluminum with a remaining mix of chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon, titanium, and zinc.

The most common uses of the 6005 alloy include:

  • rods and bars
  • tubing
  • wire
  • custom extrusion profiles

The 6463 Alloy

This particular alloy, which is regularly used by aluminum fabrication shops, is also in the “wrought” aluminum, magnesium, and silicon family. In fact, all of the 6000 series are in this alloy family for the aluminum extrusion industry. While 6463 is related to the 6063 alloy, it is quite different. It cannot be work hardened, but it can be heat treated to create higher strength tempers. It is also frequently used in architectural applications, but unlike 6063, it is usually only formed through extrusion. The standard uses of 6463 are exactly like the 6005 alloy, which include bars and rods, tubing, wires, and custom extrusion profiles.

Create Custom Aluminum Extrusions at Silver City Aluminum

If you are interested in learning more about the aluminum extrusion industry or would like to work with our engineers and technicians to create aluminum extrusion solutions, make sure to contact our team by calling 508-542-7200. Our designers can help you learn how to prevent corrosion through design and make choices to extrude aluminum alloys that will strengthen and increase the durability of your profiles. Contact our one-stop aluminum fabrication shop to learn more about how custom aluminum extrusion can help your business save time and money.