There is a wide variety of alloys in the market. Therefore, expect to meet all manner of qualities and variations of the general properties. Does my project require aluminum 6061 or 5083?

Our post today addresses the differences and similarities of the alloys. We will analyze 6061 aluminum alloy and 5083 aluminum alloy difference now.

Are you searching for an aluminum metal for extreme environments? Aluminum alloy 5083 is a worthy answer. You can use it in places riddled with chemicals and corrosion. The alloy retains its strength and general outlook in such environments. Indeed, this material is one of the best non-heat treatable alloys of aluminum. This is expected given this is a common feature for 5000 series metals.

Like the other alloys, aluminum 5083 draws its superior qualities from its chemical content. Having magnesium as the main alloying component is a big contributor. Of course, there are trace contents of chromium, manganese, and others.

The result is an alloy that remains strong even after welding. It is particularly excellent in low-temperature applications.

Chemical Composition of Aluminum 5083

The prominent alloying element of aluminum 5083 happens to be magnesium. The percentage makeup of this element in the alloy is about 4.00%. The iron component is 0.40% while copper is at 0.10%. Here is a table showing these and other components of the alloy.

ALUMINIUM ALLOY Si Fe Cu Mn Mg Cr Zn Ti Zr Others Al
5083 0.40 0.40 0.10 0.40-1.0 4.0-4.9 0.05-0.25 0.25 0.15 —— totally 0.15 remainder

✣All compositions are in percent.

Mechanical and Physical Properties of Aluminum 5083

Check out the following description of the physical properties of 5083 aluminum:

Corrosion resistance – This aluminum alloy performs excellently even in difficult environments. It has excellent corrosion resistance. Therefore, you can comfortably use it in chemical and seawater environments.

Strength – If you compare 5083 aluminum with non-heat-treatable aluminum alloys, it comes out as strong. But there is a catch: alloy 5083 starts to lose its quality at 65°C and above. Specifically, it is the mechanical properties that start to degrade.

Formability – Cold forming the alloy is not challenging, so fabrication should be manageable. That’s largely because the material has good ductility.

Welding – Alloy 5083 reacts very suitably to welding. It remains incredibly strong even after welding. Its mechanical properties are the reason this metal exhibits a suitable reaction to welding.

What are the welding metals to use? If the two alloys are similar, don’t forget to get the right filler metal. Aluminum alloy 5183 does a splendid job as a filler metal.

Ductility – The ductility of aluminum alloy 5083 is outstanding. I say so because most 5000 series alloys are not a match.

Common Applications of Aluminum 5083

Shipbuilding – Aluminum 5083 is one of the most widely used alloys in shipbuilding. You will find extrusions of this material on the ship deck and other places. Welding suitability, durability, and corrosion are the leading properties that make this material suitable for shipbuilding. Indeed, the alloy extrusions are applicable in any humid section of the ship. The material exhibits corrosion resistance, anti-slip qualities, and strength.

Automotive bodies – The use of aluminum 5083 extrusions in the automotive industry makes sense. This material presents wear resistance and corrosion resistance. These properties suit the parts of the car that are exposed to the outdoor elements. Aluminum 5083 extrusions for car bodies significantly extend the life of the car. They are lightweight, so they also enhance fuel efficiency.

Pressure vessels – For these products, the manufacturer is looking at strength and corrosion resistance.  Aluminum 5083 bears these qualities. It is easy to fabricate and weld. Corrosion resistance and heat resistance are also offered. Pressure vessel tubes are common in heat exchangers and boilers. Alloy 5083 is very reliable in these areas too.

Other large welded structures – The good welding capability of aluminum 5083 comes in handy for structures. Structures that feature weld joints are roofs, railway wagons, oil platforms, etc.

What is Aluminum 6061?

Aluminum 6061 bears prominent percentages of magnesium and silicon. This explains why the material is comparatively strong. The welding capability and corrosion resistance of this alloy are due to the magnesium content. Silicon helps lower the melting point of the alloy.

Copper of up to 0.40% enhances mechanical strength and minimizes artificial aging. Aluminum 6061 is a low-density material, as you would expect of any aluminum. Perhaps you need to compare the metal with stainless steel to observe how low the density is.

Quite a number of industrial applications are synonymous with this material because of this property. A great example is the automotive industry.

Chemical Composition of Aluminum 6061

Magnesium and silicon form the most notable alloying elements of aluminum 6061. Some amount of copper is also in the mix. For more on the chemical composition of aluminum 6061, refer to the table below.

ALUMINIUM ALLOY Si Fe Cu Mn Mg Cr Zn Ti Zr Others Al
6061 0.40-0.80 0.70 0.15-0.40 0.15 0.8-1.2 0.04-0.35 0.25 0.15 totally 0.15 remainder

✣All compositions are in percent.

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 6061

Welding – This aluminum alloy is easy to weld.

Strength – Aluminum 6061 products are popular for their remarkable strength. Extrusions from this alloy feature widely in the aerospace industry for this reason.

Machinability – It is easy to machine this alloy.  That applies even to intricate shapes.  The T6 temper is relevant for this role.

Corrosion resistance – Aluminum 6061 forms an oxide layer when you put it out to the environment. This layer promotes the corrosion resistance of the alloy.

Common Applications of Aluminum 6061

Automotive – The strength and corrosion resistance of aluminum 6061 suits this industry. It also presents excellent thermal conductivity. The blend of these and other properties makes the material popular for car applications. These extrusions are common in vehicle body frames, seat frames, and wheel components.

Aerospace – Aluminum alloy has qualities that fit the demanding performance requirements of the aerospace industry. This industry requires lightweight materials. The high strength-to-weight ratio of this alloy comes in handy.

Electronics – Electronic products have one challenge that the designer must handle thoroughly – heat formation. Thanks to the high thermal conductivity of aluminum 6061, manufacturers of electronic products have managed to take control of the issue. They use the alloy to make various components. Examples are heat sinks and product enclosures.

What are the differences between aluminum 5083 and 6061?

The Chemical Content of 5083 vs. 6061

One area of analysis is the chemical parts in the aluminum 5083 and 6061 alloys. Aluminum 5083 is mostly an aluminum-magnesium alloy. Aluminum 6061 adds silicon to the list of notable alloying elements.

Aluminum 5083 vs. 6061: Comparison of Mechanical Properties

The forte of aluminum 6061 is the wide use in various industries. This industry needs materials with a high strength-to-weight ratio. Corrosion-resistant metal structures can be made using 5083 alloy. The same applies to electronic and bicycle parts.

Aluminium Alloy & Temper Thickness

mm

Tensile Strength
Rm/Mpa
Yield Strength
Rp0.2/Mpa
Elongation /%

A

HBW
6061-T4 ≤25.00 180 110 15 65
6061-T5 ≤16.00 240 205 9
6061-T6 ≤5.00 260 240 95
>5.00-25.00 260 240 10 95
5083-H112 270 125 12 70

✣The tested value is Min.

The Corrosion resistance of 5083 vs. 6061

Aluminum 7075 is relatively hard. On the Brinell hardness scale, it scores about 150 HB. This level shows that the material can tolerate deformation and wear. This property comes in handy in the structural applications of the alloy, particularly when it combines with the high strength-to-weight ratio.

For aluminum 7005, the Brinell hardness performance can vary based on the specific alloy temper. For instance, aluminum 7005-T6 has a Brinell hardness of about 110 HB.

5083 vs. 6061 aluminum application (use)

Regarding the applications for the two aluminum alloys, we note some disparity. Aluminum 5083 mostly works better in scenarios where corrosion resistance and welding capability feature the most. The metal is therefore common in marine vessels and pressure vessels. Yes, 6061 aluminum may feature in marine applications. However, it is mostly in the non-critical areas. These include rails and fittings.

Which one should you buy between aluminum 5083 and aluminum 6061?

In their special areas of applications, the alloys are excellent. That’s why we recommend you consider the application before choosing either of the metals.

For instance, marine vessel manufacturers may want to pick aluminum 5083 for its excellent corrosion resistance. General industrial manufacturers would mostly go with aluminum 6061. In its T6 temper state, 6061 aluminum is much stronger than 5083 aluminum. It is therefore appropriate for the lightweight and high strength requirements of the industry.

Do you have further questions about these or other aluminum alloys? Consult a professional at Fonnov Aluminum today.

You may be wondering, why Buy 5083 and 6061 Aluminum extrusions from FONNOV ALUMINIUM? We are renowned manufacturers of extrusions in China. Our clients come from aerospace, automotive, architecture, and many other industries. If you are requiring the 5083 aluminum extrusions and 6061 aluminum extrusions, we will be your best choice for your project. 

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