The Versatility of 6061 Aluminum Plate

by | Mar 16, 2016 | Aluminum

If you are looking for the best kind of alloy for aluminum sheet, 6061 aluminum plate is one of the top choices you can make. 6061 aluminum is very versatile and serves many purposes in industry today. Here are some of the good things about this metal you will discover.

What is 6061 Aluminum?

Because aluminum by itself would be too soft for many uses, mixing it with other metals gives it some desirable properties. In fact, 6061 is made by adding silicon, magnesium, and other metals and this creates an excellent material which serves a wide range of uses. 6061 has been around since the 1930s when it was first known as alloy 61S.


Aluminum is not by nature a very corrosive element. For example, when left out of doors it will not develop rust quickly like iron or steel. However, when you mix other metals with aluminum, it can either degrade or enhance its ability to resist corrosive conditions. Chromium is one of the metals in 6061 and this makes it highly resistant to corrosion. In fact, 6061 aluminum plate is often used in marine applications where it is frequently exposed to saltwater conditions.

Working with 6061

6061 aluminum is not only anti corrosive, it is easy to work with. It can be molded and pounded into all kinds of shapes. In fact, it is one of the most commonly used aluminum alloys for extrusion products. 6061 is extruded into many different bar and rod products used in many kinds of commercial applications.

Aluminum is not an easy metal to weld. However, due to the nature of 6061 it is not hard to weld. When welded, it can slightly weaken 6061 aluminum. Yet, because the alloy lends itself well to heat treatment, it can be reheated to regain its lost strength. In fact, the ability to be heat treated is another valuable property of 6061.


Due to its versatility you will find 6061 aluminum plate and many extruded in many different industries today. This alloy can be machined to a high tolerance. 6061sees a great deal of use in the automotive industry and it is a very common construction material. Here are some other uses for 6061:

  • Aircraft – can be used without corrosion resistant coating required for 2024 aluminum alloy.
  • Yachts
  • Bicycle frames
  • Firearm components
  • Motorcycles
  • Fly fishing reels
  • Gangways and docks
  • Aluminum cans
  • Helicopters

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