The Differences Between Aluminum 3003 and Aluminum 6061


Aluminum is not just the most abundant metal on Earth, but it’s also a unique metal with a wide array of uses. It can be recycled almost completely without any change to it. This metal is also ductile, won’t become brittle in the cold, and is lightweight.

All of these properties make it a common choice for construction, but at its purest form may be too soft for particular applications. This problem is solved by combining it with other metals which are offered in different forms including aluminum 3003 and aluminum 6061. These are two of the most common choices for projects, but have differences between them.

Which of these would be the best for certain tasks, and what are the differences? Keep reading to learn which one you should choose, and what applications complement each one.

What Are Combined Metals?

When two or more metallic elements are combined alloys are created, and can take on some of the other metals’ properties. Different properties such as strength, corrosion resistance, workability, and density can be adjusted by adding different metals to make alloys that work best for certain projects. Understanding two of the most popular forms of aluminum alloys will allow you to choose the correct one for your intended application.

What Is Aluminum Alloy 3003?

3003 aluminum is the most commonly used aluminum alloy. This alloy is created from being combined with manganese, and this creates an increase in strength. Aluminum alloy 3003 also has corrosion resistance, great workability, and is able to be welded.

Aluminum’s formability is one of its greatest properties, and aluminum 3003 alloy is able to be bent more than others. This alloy is able to bend due to its strength, workability, and elongation.

It is difficult to list all of this alloy’s applications because of it being a general-use alloy. It is commonly used in the food and chemical industry in things like storage containers, pipes, cooking utensils, and chemical handling equipment. It is also used in things such as car radiators, fuel tanks, roofing, and siding.

What Is Aluminum Alloy 6061?

Aluminum 6061 contains magnesium and silicon as the main elements added to the aluminum to create the alloy. It is also a general-use alloy and has similarities to it. 6061 aluminum has high strength, corrosion resistance, and is able to be welded like 3003.

6061 Aluminum has higher strength, so it is commonly used in structural materials. This alloy is the better machining alloy because of its strength when welded with bolts and screws. 6061 aluminum experiences minimum stress at the point where pieces are connected, and this makes it last longer than 3003 aluminum as a structural material.

The strength of 6061 aluminum will also be the better choice for structural parts because of its yield strength. This is the measurement of how much stress it takes to cause the materials to deform, and this results in the instability of a building. Aluminum 6061 is more resistant than aluminum 3003, and this makes it the better choice for applications that need heavy strength in the materials.

6061 aluminum has a long list of uses since it is also one of the most commonly used alloys. The main applications of this alloy include chemical equipment, electronic parts, furniture, and welded assemblies. It is used for structural materials in products that are needed to be welded together.

There are a lot of options of sheet metal for your project since it is contributing about $30 billion in U.S. revenue. 3003 and 6001 aluminum are two of the most popular alloy options because of their ability to take on any benefits that aluminum doesn’t have on its own. It is important to know the differences between these two alloys when making your project material decision.

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