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Properties of Building Metals Aluminum alloy 6063


Aluminum alloy 6063 is an aluminum-magnesium-silicon heat-treatable alloy and is one of the most popular alloys in the 6000 series. Mostly used in extruded architectural shapes, electrical components and conduit, and seamless and structural tube and pipe, aluminum alloy 6063 is produced with extremely smooth surfaces that make it easier to anodize. It also has excellent resistance to corrosion, particularly stress-corrosion cracking. Aluminum alloy 6063 is fairly easy to machine and is highly weldable. After welding, the material may soften and lose strength at the connection, but a post-weld heat treatment can be applied to restore strength and hardness.

Aluminum alloy 6063 is a heat-treatable 0.7% magnesium, 0.4% silicon alloy offering good mechanical properties commonly available in a wide range of extruded sections. Its ready extrudability enables thin walled and intricate hollow shapes to be produced: flats, angles, channels and hollow circular and square sections are all standard profiles. Aluminum alloy 6063 responds well to polishing, chemical brightening, anodising and dyeing. Similar alloys to 6063 are 6061, 6005 and 6005A, all of which are possible alternatives. Corrosion Resistance Excellent in a wide range of atmospheric environments and it is also acceptable in many marine environments. This alloy is particularly suitable for anodising for architectural applications. The magnesium content is low enough that it does not suffer from the stress corrosion cracking that can affect alloys with more than about 3½% Mg, such as 5083. Heat Treatment aluminum alloy 6063 is hardenable by solution treating (522°C followed by water quenching) and ageing (precipitation) heat treatment. It is most commonly supplied in the aged T5 or T6 tempers. To soften Alloy 6063 back to Temper O it can be annealed by heating to 415°C, holding for 2 – 3 hours then cooling; the rate of cooling should be about 30°C per hour down to 260°C. The rate of cooling below that is not important. Heating to 345°C followed by uncontrolled cooling may be used to remove the effects of cold work, or to partially remove the effects of heat treatment. Welding Excellent weldability by all standard methods; gas, electric and resistance welding. GMAW and GTAW are preferred and widely used to produce structural welds. Filler alloy recommended for welding exposed surfaces that will be anodised for decorative purposes is 5356. Alloy 4043 filler may be used for other applications. The strength in the heat affected zone may be reduced by over-aging. Other filler alloys may also be used. Machining Average machinability in all the commonly available tempers. Typical Applications Handrailing, furniture and various extruded architectural profiles such as window frames.

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