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As a highly versatile material, aluminum’s corrosion resistance, lightweight, and high tensile strength have made it a preferred metal material for a wide variety of industrial uses and applications. Given the depth and options of aluminum grades, it can be challenging to ascertain which alloy is best for your application needs or component requirements.
Two widely used aluminum grades are 5052 aluminum and 6061 aluminum. Each aluminum alloy grade has its advantages and disadvantages. Commonalities between them include good formability and wrought alloy origination.
Differentiating 6061 Aluminum and 5052 AluminumAluminum is a highly versatile and valuable material due to its corrosion resistance, lightweight, and high tensile strength. Two of the most popular alloys are 6061 aluminum and 5052 aluminum. These alloys contain varying amounts of other elements, giving them mechanical properties which tailor them to different applications. For example, 5052 aluminum is easier to form and bend without cracking.
On the other hand, 6061 aluminum is easily extruded into shapes like channels, angles, and tees, and it can undergo heat treatment, which gives it superior strength and hardness. However, both types of aluminum maintain certain similarities, including the ability to be anodized, which increases corrosion resistance or, if desired, adds a colored finish.
6061 Aluminum vs 5052 Aluminum Performance Characteristics
Aluminum 6061 vs Aluminum 5052 Comparison Chart
Aluminum 6061 CharacteristicsSometimes called “structural aluminum,” Aluminum 6061 is one of the most common aluminum alloys used for extrusions. Its primary alloying ingredients are magnesium, resulting in an alloy with medium to high strength, excellent machinability, and good weldability.
Aluminum 6061 can be forged, rolled, or extruded into various shapes. Angles, tees, and shapes made of Aluminum 6061 are a good substitution for steel.
Industrial Applications for Aluminum 6061 Plate
- Tooling plate
- Aircraft components
- Bridge railing components
- Defense machinery
- Transportation equipment
- Storage tanks
- Welded structural parts
Industrial Applications for Aluminum 6061 Channels, Angles, and Tees
- Ship and building construction
- Transmission towers
- Truck trailers
- Machine parts
- Furniture applications
Aluminum 6061 Tempers
Aluminum 6061 alloy is heat treatable. Its corrosion resistance and strength are improved by age hardening. Age hardening allows the metal to be heated to a specific temperature and then cooled and aged to a stable condition.
Aluminum 6061-T4Aluminum 6061-T6
Aluminum sheet 6061-T4 is used in many types of industrial applications, including:
Aluminum 6061-T4 Application Uses
- Aircraft panels
- Automotive panels
- Trailer frames
- Valves and couplings
- Fishing reels
- Marine fittings
Aluminum 6061-T6 Application UsesTypical 6061-T6 Aluminum applications include:
- Heat sinks
- Hydraulic piping
- Bicycle frames
- Water tubing
- Aircraft and aerospace applications
5052 Aluminum CharacteristicsBoth Aluminum 6061 and Aluminum 5052 have magnesium as a primary alloying element, but 5052 Aluminum does not contain silicon. Aluminum 5052 has a smoother finish than 6061 Aluminum, although it is not heat-treatable. Aluminum 5052 has a higher fatigue strength and modulus of elasticity than Aluminum 6061, making it an excellent forming alloy.
Aluminum 5052 Sheet and Plate Industrial Applications
Aluminum sheet 5052 is used in many types of industrial applications, including:
- Refrigerator liners
- Fuel tanks
- Storm shutters
- Electrical enclosure panels
Aluminum plate 5052 is used in many types of industrial applications, including:
- Marine hardware
- Boat hulls
Discuss Your 5052 or 6061 Aluminum Project with IMS
Industrial Metal Supply stocks a complete line of aluminum sheet and plate and aluminum angle, tees, and shapes. We offer a variety of alloys, including a large inventory of 5052 and 6061, in a range of standard sizes and thicknesses. IMS can custom cut-to-size aluminum sheet metal to meet your exact requirements.
Stop by one of our locations or call ahead for will-call order pickup today.