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6061 vs 7075 Aluminum Alloy

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​Aluminum is one of the most abundant metals on earth and is one of the most commonly used materials within the construction industry, due to its strength, formability, corrosion resistance and light weight. Aluminum is also conductive and non-toxic, making it an ideal structural material for a wide range of industrial applications. 
Aluminum alloys contain different alloying materials in different percentages, giving rise to different properties. Two common aluminum alloys, 6061 and 7075, are good general choices for many projects, providing corrosion resistance and lightweight strength. 

However, knowing the specific mechanical characteristics of the two alloys helps when choosing the optimal material for any project, in terms of cost and performance. 

6061 Aluminum

Aluminum 6061 is a highly versatile aluminum alloy that maintains extremely good mechanical properties at a relatively low cost. 6061 aluminium is considered a wrought alloy, as opposed to a casting alloy, which means that it can be extruded, rolled, or forged into a variety of shapes. 

Aluminum 6061 is suitable for structural applications such as building products, electrical products, piping, and recreational products. It is used for transportation vehicles and infrastructure and consumer products. It’s excellent corrosion resistance, good workability and good machinability make it ideal for many applications, from steps and walkways to bike frames and fishing reels.   

A key difference between 6061 and 7075 aluminum is that 6061 contains less zinc as an alloying material. This makes 6061 easier to weld and work, but it also reduces the alloy’s strength and resistance to stress in comparison with 7075. 

7075 Aluminum

7075 aluminum contains more zinc that 6061 alloy. This gives 7075 improved strength and a higher strength-to-weight ratio, which are key characteristics for the aerospace, manufacturing and sectors of the transportation industry. However, the zinc makes this alloy much less weldable.

7075 was originally designed for applications, such as aircraft frames, where high strength and low weight are critical. It is the ideal alloy for applications where a part will be exposed to high heat and friction, such as for plastic molds in the tool and die industry. It’s also used for high-end bicycle components, marine applications, and tool and die molds. 

When cost is less of a concern and high-end performance is critical, 7075 may be the aluminum alloy of choice.

Industrial Metal Supply is the aluminum supplier of choice in California and Arizona. Visit one of our seven locations for a wide range of aluminum bar, sheet, plate, tube, angle and pipe. We also offer  cutting, precision sawing and shearing of aluminum, in addition to custom aluminum extrusions. Come to Industrial Metal Supply for your 6061 needs.
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