6061 vs 7075 are two of the most common types of aluminum used in manufacturing today. Both have many positive characteristics but each has its own strengths and weaknesses, making it difficult to determine which material you should use when you’re trying to determine which type of aluminum to buy for your manufacturing project. We’ll take a look at the characteristics of these two types of aluminum and help you decide which one is best suited to your needs.
What makes aluminum 6061 different from aluminum 7075
Here are some significant differences between aluminum 6061 and aluminum 7075 that make these two metals popular for various applications. These differences will also make it easier for you to decide which metal is a better choice for your specific needs.
Both of these aluminum alloys have great strength-to-weight ratios, good corrosion resistance, high fatigue resistance, good formability, and excellent weldability. This makes them perfect for aircraft components, armor plating, car parts, sporting goods such as hockey sticks or bicycles and more. So what makes each of them different? Let’s find out!
The primary difference between aluminum 6061 and 7075 is their ultimate tensile strengths. Aluminum 6061 has an ultimate tensile strength of 36,000 psi while aluminum 7075 has an ultimate tensile strength of 68,000 psi. Generally speaking, if you need a metal with high yield strength (the stress at which permanent deformation occurs) then choose aluminum 6061.
If on the other hand you need your material to be able to withstand heavy impact without being permanently deformed then go with aluminum 7075. Other key differences include density and temperature limits: While both grades can be heated up to 660 degrees Fahrenheit, only aluminum 6061 can be heated up to 662 degrees Fahrenheit because its carbon content allows it better thermal stability than its sister alloy.
Advantages of alloy 6061 over alloy 7075
It is easier to machine and fabricate parts from alloy 6061 than from alloy 7075. Also, it has a lower density and is less expensive than alloy 7075. Finally, its coefficient of thermal expansion is approximately half that of alloy 7075, meaning that as temperature changes occur, there will be less expansion in alloy 6061 parts. Alloy 6091 will maintain tolerances better due to its low CTE when compared to 7077. One main advantage of using aluminum alloys over steel or other metals is their superior corrosion resistance (even more so in anodized or coating applications). Many times when working with an aluminum product you don’t have to use coatings like paint or sealers like with steel products.
When to choose Alloy 6071
Alloy 6071 is similar to alloy 6082, but it has a lower tensile strength. It has better machinability than both alloys 6082 and 6085. With a minimum yield strength of 42 ksi (290 MPa), it is commonly used in aircraft structures, transmission cases, and landing gear parts.
Alloy 6071’s advantage over other aluminum alloys is its low density (0.0935 lb/in3) and high resistance to corrosion in seawater at near-neutral pH conditions. A big drawback of alloy 6071 is its poor formability when welding or bending above 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). This can be overcome by annealing (heating) before shaping process.
When to use Aluminum 7077 instead of Alloy 6071
If a component needs to be especially light or thin, you’ll need to consider aluminum alloys with high-strength to weight ratios. These alloys can be difficult to work with and should be used only when necessary.
For example, if you’re building a super light iPhone case, you could use Aluminum 7077 instead of Alloy 6071 because it’s lighter and thinner but it costs a bit more. If you’re making an anchor for heavy loads then consider using alloy 7075 because it has superior strength at high temperatures but lower density. Essentially: use Aluminum 7077 when strength is your top priority; use alloy 7075 when weight is your top priority.
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