Forging of Aluminum Alloys: Working With 6061

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Forging is a method with a future. It is an affordable means of producing components with desirable mechanical properties. The metals vary, depending upon the intended application; however, the forging of aluminum alloys is increasingly becoming popular in diverse industries where strength must meld with lightweight properties for the product to meet its specifications.

6061 Aluminum Alloy
One of the most common grades of aluminum alloy is 6061. Developed in 1935 as Alloy 61S, this particular alloy contains several trace elements, of which two, magnesium and silicon are primary. Other elements consist of:

  • Chromium: The purpose of this element is to prevent the grain growth that occurs when magnesium is present. It also deters recrystallization that results from the presence of both silicon and magnesium while enhancing corrosion-resistance
  • Copper: The addition of this element augments precipitation hardening as well as enriches the aluminum alloy’s strength
  • Iron: This provides increased strength and durability

The result is an aluminum alloy capable of merging solid strength with other qualities, including corrosion-resistance, heat treatability, and resilience. This makes it a popular choice when it comes to the forging of aluminum alloys.

Applications for 6061
6061 is known for its versatility. It is one of the more common choices for applications where corrosion resistance, appearance, and better-than-average strength are requisite. Its mechanical properties make it ideal for hot forging, specifically the closed die forging process. Among the most common components are derived from this method for the following:

  • Air coolers
  • ATV parts
  • Automotive  components
  • Bicycle frames
  • Marine and other types of watercraft
  • Plumbing fasteners/fixtures, e.g. piping and tubing

The Forging of Aluminum Alloys: The Case of 6061

Different aluminum alloys address the needs of the industry to find an optimal material ensuring ideal results. The forging of aluminum alloys acts to enhance the existing qualities in the selected aluminum. At Aress High Duty Forgings, we use a variety of aluminum alloys, including the very popular and highly successful 6061.

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