The Difference Between Aluminum Grades 6061 and 6063

Aluminum is a popular material that is used throughout a variety of industries. It offers an incredible strength/weight ratio alongside numerous other benefits that make it a reliable and cost-effective choice for nearly any product or machine system. When speaking of aluminum, it should be noted that there are many different “grades” for the metal, each denoted by a series of numbers. In terms of popularity, aluminum grades 6061 and 6063 are two of the most widely utilized options. To ensure that you are choosing the right metal products for your needs, it is important to know the difference between aluminum grades 6061 and 6063. As leading providers of fabrication services and metal products, the team at LWS Manufacturing & Welding has provided some information on each grade.

What is aluminum fabrication?

6061 Aluminum Alloy

6061 aluminum is an excellent general-purpose aluminum alloy that can be used for a wide range of applications and products. It is highly formable and weldable, allowing it to be shaped for many purposes. 6061 aluminum is also moderately resistant to corrosion and exceptionally strong while retaining a low weight, making it the most used type of aluminum alloy. If your project or product requires light and durable metal, 6061 aluminum is the perfect choice.

6063 Aluminum Alloy

6063 aluminum is commonly referred to as “architectural” aluminum as it is widely used as a structural material. This alloy has an excellent response to extrusion and can be formed into cross-sectional shapes. It also has the highest corrosion resistance, holding a perfect surface finish for years. 6063 aluminum is not as strong as 6061, but it is more flexible and can be more easily formed into complex shapes. This makes 6063 aluminum a great choice for decorative parts of a structure, system, or product.

Which is Better?

When comparing 6061 aluminum and 6063 aluminum, it is important to note that they come from the same series. Therefore, they have the same chemical compositions and will not have drastic differences in most aspects. Despite the identical chemical compositions, there are slight differences in the following characteristics:

  • Yield strength
  • Fatigue strength
  • Hardness
  • Machinability

Though there are some slight differences in each type, neither grade of aluminum is objectively better than the other. For optimal results, it is best to understand which type is best for your specific needs.

To ensure that you are getting the best solution for your project, get in touch with the team at LWS Manufacturing & Welding. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to assist you.