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The Most You Need to Know about Aluminium for Machining

Feb. 15, 2022

Alum 6061

Aluminum 6061 is one of the most widely used alloy materials in machining due to its price, strength and versatility. Though Aluminum 2024 has a higher strength to weight ratio, it is not as corrosion resistant.

The ability of aluminum 6061 to withstand corrosion makes it economical because it doesn’t require finishing. Once exposed to the atmosphere, it develops a thin protective layer that protects it from surface rust.

The combination of corrosion resistance and low weight make it an economical material to use in short production runs because parts can be created faster. In addition, it is chemical resistant and easy to machine.

Parts that require multiple processes, such as machining and then welding, benefit from Aluminum 6061 because in addition to being easy to machine it is also weldable.

The Most You Need to Know about Aluminium for Machining

Aluminum 6061 Tempers

There are a variety of tempers for 6061 aluminum alloy, including:


No special treatment


Annealed, good for forming


Cooled and naturally aged

►6061-T4, 6061-T4511:

Heat-treated and naturally aged


Cooled and artificially aged

►6061-T6, 6061-T6511:

Heat-treated and artifically aged, most common alloy used in a variety of applications

►special tempers: 


Aluminum 6061 Composition

Aluminum 6061 is composed of the following elements by percentage of weight:

· Magnesium (0.8-1.2)

· Silicon (0.4-0.8)

· Iron (Max 0.7)

· Copper (0.15-0.4)

· Zinc (Max 0.25)

· Titanium (Max 0.15)

· Manganese (Max 0.15)

· Chromium (0.04-0.35)

· Other (0.05)

· Aluminum (balance)

Aluminum 6061 Characteristics

AlloyTemperFormabilityMachinabilityCorrosion ResistantWeldability (Arc with Inert Gas)BrazeabilityAnodizing Response
6061OVery HighPoorVery GoodExcellentExcellentN/A
6061T1, T4, T4511HighFairVery GoodExcellentExcellentVery Good
6061T6, T6511LowGoodVery GoodExcellentExcellentExcellent

Aluminum 6061 Applications

· aircraft wings and fuselages, not as strong as Alum 2024 but more corrosion resistant

· boats

· automotive parts

· flashlights

· cans

· tactical flashlights

· SCUBA tanks made after 1965

· bicycle frames and parts (T6)

· fly fishing reels (T6)

· firearms (T6)

· RC aircraft (T6)

· welding

· extrusions

· forgings

For More Information About Aluminum, please feel free to contact us.


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