Aluminum Square Tube
Aluminum square tube is a type of extruded aluminum. It is used for all types of fabrication projects where a priority is put on corrosion resistance and the use of light weight materials. This includes things like handrails, fencing, gates, support columns, and framework.
Characteristics of aluminum square tube include square corners both outside and inside and the absence of a weld seam. You can find this material available in 6063-T52 and 6061-T6. The 6063 square tube is more formable than the 6061 aluminum square tube, which is stronger.
Uses for 6061 Aluminum Square Tube
This type of aluminum square tube is ideal for structural applications. It is commonly used for an application that requires medium and high strength capabilities with lighter weight properties. It is the ideal option for electrical fittings, structural fixes, couplings, and industrial construction applications.
The 6061 aluminum square tubing provides a superior level of corrosion resistance to all types of atmospheric conditions, it responds well to anodizing, and can be easily welded or joined by different commercial methods.
The 6061 aluminum square tube is an oven baked, treatable alloy. This is done to help increase the total hardness. The higher the “T,” which stands for temper designation, the longer the piece has been heat treated and, as a result, the harder the material should be. If something is labeled as “T6,” it is the hardest temper option that the 6061 alloy is available in.
In some cases, you will see other letters that follow this T6 designation. The letters stand for the processes that are done after the heat treatment. While there are several processes that may be done, the most common include stress relieving which is done by stretching and straightening, which is designated by “T6511.” Here, the “T651” means that there is no additional straightening that has been done after the stretching process to relieve stress.
While all this may seem like industry jargon, many people actually want to know the answer to what this means. In some situations, we had customers order an extruded flat bar made of 6061 aluminum and wind up having it rejected by the quality control department because they should have ordered one of the plate products.
The extruded flat bar will conform to the 6061-T6511 and the plate is a 6061-T651 product. Thanks to the additional one at the end of this designation, the piece must be reordered or the part ordered has to be re-machined.
As mentioned above, 6061 aluminum square tube can be used for multiple industrial purposes.
Uses for 6063 Aluminum Square Tube
Another type of aluminum square tube offered by a quality aluminum supplier is 6063 aluminum square tube. It can be used for architectural applications, including door and window frames, ornamental purposes, and furniture components. This type of aluminum square tube is commonly called structural tubing or box tubing. It provides you with a finished surface that looks good “as is.” This is because it is much smoother than some of the other alloys that are used for the same projects and tasks. Also, it is easier to anodize this material.
Thanks to the superior finishing characteristics, this material is perfect for all types of fabrication projects where corrosion resistance is needed and where light weight materials should be used. Also, the 6063 aluminum tub provides users with high weldability and workability. Since it is so easy to work with, it is considered one of the most joinable alloys that are available.
The 6063 aluminum square tubing is considered one of the lower-strength options among the two found here. Usually, it comes in sizes that will accommodate the thinner wall design. It also features much better corrosion resistance and more appealing finishing qualities compared to 6061. This is by 6061 is most commonly used for structural applications that require more strength and stability.
As mentioned above, 6063 is not as strong as 6061. This means that it will take a 90-degree bend without any cracks occurring.
Similar to the 6061, the 6063 alloy is also considered heat treatable, but it will usually only be treated to a max of a “T5” temper.
This material can be used for several applications, too, including:
It can also be used for custom applications and projects.
Welding with 6061 or 6063 Aluminum Square Tubes
If you have a project that requires you to weld with either 6061 or 6063 for the first time, there are a few tips that may help you with this process.
The first is to remember that when you are welding with a thinner material, it is best to
with a helium or argon mix shielding gas. While this is not as quick as the MIG welding process, it is the easiest process to control and cleaner.
Also, if you are welding thicker aluminum, you need to MIG weld with a spool gun or should use a DC TIG weld using a helium mix.
6063 T5 vs. 6061 T6There are quite a few similarities and a few key differences between the 6063 and 6061 aluminum square tube. Both of the alloys have a high level of corrosion resistance, a similar strength-to-weight