3 11, 2021

The Evolution of The Aluminum Alloy

2022-02-03T22:03:03+00:00November 3rd, 2021|

A large, futuristic, triangular aluminum roof supported by three tall pillars cuts into a cloudy sky, while the light of a bright sun peeks out from one of the edges.

The story of human dominance over nature really begins at metalworking with bronze. Bronze represents humanity’s first steps in substantively transforming the essence of the object around them, rather than just manipulating the physical shape of naturally occurring materials.

The sharp head of a stone spear made sometime in the Stone Age.

Since the introduction of bronze more than 10,000 years ago, metallurgy has continued to evolve. Most of the “giant leaps” in metalworking occurred thousands of years ago, but the technological age has brought about unprecedented advances of its own. Many of the advances piggybacked on the slow progression of past eras, as is the case with steel. However, aluminum stands out for its rise as a brand new, never seen before metal that arrived to chart the course for a new era of human progress.

This “metal, that looked like silver, but was too light to be silver” appears in the Roman history books of Pliny the Elder. He tells of how the Roman emperor saw the beauty and versatility of the metal, and, afraid of what its discovery could do to the price of silver, ordered the beheading of the only chemist capable of producing aluminum. The chemist, who claimed only he and the gods knew the secret of making aluminum, took the secret to his grave. From then, the gods were slow in trusting the secret to humans again. In fact, it wasn’t until 1825 that chemist Hans-Christian Orsted produced the first pure aluminum. This Danish scientist got to keep his head and the honor of introducing the world to a game-changing element.

In a period picture depicting the Middle Ages, a metal goblet is passed between two people, only their arms and part of one of their torsos can be seen.

With aluminum in hand, a whole new world opened to engineers and manufacturers. A lightweight, durable, corrosive-resistant, conductive, tasteless, and versatile metal immediately transformed the possibilities for industries, from aerospace and transportation to food and beverage. Soon aluminum, which at first was considered a royal, luxury metal, would find its way into everyone’s home through consumer products such as cars and appliances.

A photograph of the top of a cluster of red, aluminum canned drinks, with condensation droplets forming all over the cans.

Fueled by these past successes, aluminum continues to be a forward-looking material. Innovation characterizes this industry, focused on pushing the boundaries of the youngest member of the great metal family. Today’s research and development in the aluminum industry focuses on testing and understanding aluminum alloys.

To make these alloys, aluminum is melted and then mixed with other elements such as zinc, magnesium, and copper, among many others. Each alloy has a different set of characteristics, and consequently a different set of uses. In order to streamline the transition of these elements from research to application, aluminum alloys are assigned a four-digit number, where the first number indicates the main element that is alloyed with the aluminum. Some alloys, such as the ones found in the 3xxx series (Manganese), are great as cooking utensils, while other alloys, such as the 7xxx (Zinc) series, are perfect for aircraft. This classification of aluminum alloys gives end-users a guide by which they can pinpoint the aluminum alloy to fit their needs.

A photograph of the underbelly of a large commercial airplane where the engines, wings, and fuselage are visible and far above, another plane flies high in the air, leaving behind white contrails.

Specialized aluminum alloys can be found in our power lines, skyscrapers, appliances, automobiles, aircraft, and consumer products, from soda cans to refrigerators. Perhaps the only thing greater than aluminum’s achievements are the promises for tomorrow. From increased electrical conduction, to stronger, more lightweight aluminum, many of the world’s industries count on aluminum alloys to make their own progress possible. In this way, aluminum alloys are a keystone for the world’s continued technological progression.

At Taber Extrusions, our job is to keep up with every twist and turn in the exciting world of aluminum, so that we can deliver the perfect aluminum alloy for the job. Our intricate, precision extrusions  embody our attention to detail and understanding of the nuanced world of aluminum. Taber uses a wide scope of aluminum alloys to deliver quality aluminum extrusions according to customer specifications. That means, every product is tailor made, in substance and in shape.

Many ages have gone by since the first humans began shaping the natural world to their liking. Many, too, have gone by since we began using the power of chemistry to create the perfect materials. At Taber, we take our place within these traditions of progress and innovation, and are proud to work with aluminum, the metal of the future. Come take advantage of our aluminum extrusion expertise and best practices in the sector to meet your needs today!

ABOUT TABER EXTRUSIONS

Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS in 1995 which houses a new state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses, micro-extrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area has been expanded multiple times.

Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys.

Today, Taber Extrusions is a vertically-integrated supplier of friction stir welding panels and assemblies in North America not previously seen – offering extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw materials.

Follow Taber Extrusions 

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/8843183/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/taberextrusions/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/taberextrusions

Are you interested in joining the Taber Team? Send your resume to: careers@taberextrusions.com

Become a customer today! Visit us or request a quote: https://taberextrusions.com/contact-us/ or call us at (888) 985-5319.

15 09, 2021

6000 Series Aluminum Alloys

2021-10-15T17:30:08+00:00September 15th, 2021|

An artistly presented sheet of aluminum with a vague reflection of red and blue shapes behind a charcoal colored rectangle across the center of the picture with the words: “6000 SERIES ALUMINUM ALLOYS.”

An Aluminum alloy is created when aluminum is mixed with other elements such as silicon or magnesium and other elements.  There are many benefits to using alloyed metals as opposed to pure metals, as alloys allow us to extract the desirable properties and leave the undesirable ones behind. Aluminum by itself is great, but by integrating other elements into the mix, we have the opportunity to introduce various degrees of hardness, durability, ductility, tensile strength, and toughness.

Combined with its great strength, corrosion resistance, and other excellent qualities, you have a perfectly suited alloys for a multitude of uses in numerous end applications. Extrusion companies, such as Taber, offer manufacturers a wide variety of aluminum alloys to be specified by the customer depending on the applications in such industries as infrastructure, automotive, and appliances. This article dives into the topic of aluminum alloys, specifically the most predominant alloy family used for aluminum extrusions — 6000 series aluminum alloys.

In one of our previous blog posts, we defined an alloy as a mixture of metals, and in the case of aluminum alloys, the all alloys contain between 90 and 96% aluminum. Different alloy mixtures are classified into a series according to their unique characteristics. A four-digit number is used to identify alloy mixtures. The first digit of the number identifies the series (class) of alloy they belong to:

A simple table listing aluminum alloy series, alloying elements, and alloy categories: 1000 series, 2000 series, 3000 series, 4000 series, 5000 series, 6000 series, and 7000 series.

The 6000 series is an aluminum alloy family which contains magnesium and silicon as predominat alloying components. The remarkable properties of 6000 alloys are their extrudability, excellent strength, and high corrosion resistance. 6000 sereies alloys can also be thermally treated to enhance their strength properties. Extrusion products in the 6000 series are perfect choices for structural and architectural applications.

Taber offers a wide range of 6000 series aluminum alloys including 6061, 6063, 6082, 6005, and 6005A.

A variety of 3D rendered extruded aluminum motor housing images from the Taber Extrusions website.

6061 alloy

6061 is very popular for its characteristic toughness in medium- to high-strength applications. It is the most versatile and most used alloy of all the other 6000 series alloys because of its heat treatability and comparably easy machining and welding. 6061 alloys contain magnesium and silicon, which gives them a much greater corrosion resistance even on abraded surfaces.

Uses of this form of 6000 series alloy include applications from transportation, to infrastructure to more every  day uses like fly fishing reels, firearm suppressors, non-flight critical aircraft components and automotive components. 6061 is available in many forms, including extrusion sheets, and forgings.

6063 alloy

6063 is also an aluminum alloy with magnesium and silicon. First, it has lower magnesium and silicon levels, it is only half as strong as 6061, making it suited for applications where strength is not the fundamental consideration. Secondly, with the lower amounts of alloying  components, achieving higher surface finish criteria is also possible.

Common uses for 6063 alloys include door and window frames, non-load-bearing posts, roofs, decorative structures, railings, furniture, parts for boats and motor vehicles, and electrical components such as conduit pipes, and tubes for irrigation systems. 6063 alloys are highly corrosion resistant which prevents environmental deterioration.

6082 alloy

6082 alloy is generally known as “structural alloy” and provides one of the highest strengths of all the 6000 series aluminum alloys. It is a good alternative for engineers who don’t want to invest in the stronger 2xxx/7xxx series and also enables the ability to extrude more complex shapes not posible in 2xxx/7xxx alloys.  6082 is an alloy with silicon and manganese. It is commonly known for machining, and it also features excellent weldability, cold formability, and corrosion resistance. Its high amount of manganese allows it to control its grain structure, resulting in a stronger alloy that is perfect for general purpose applications that require an extra degree in strength and toughness. One drawback is that it is harder to form thin-walled, complicated extrusion shapes using 6082 alloys versus other alloys in the 6000 series family.

6082 is a relatively new alloy in North America and gaining wider acceptance, and in some applications, it can replace 6061 because of its higher strength capacity. It is typically used in highly stressed applications such as bridges, towers, trusses, structural automotive, and structural marine applications.

6005 and 6005A alloy

 

6005 alloy contains greater amounts of silicon which reduces its melting point and enhances its extrudability. 6005A, on the other hand, contains higher amounts of chromium which reduces its susceptibility to stress corrosion and improves its toughness. 6005A also contains extra manganese, which increases its strength and extrudability. Producing thin-walled and intricate extrusion can be difficult with 6005, but it still has better extrudability than 6082. Both 6005 and 6005A possess excellent bending capabilities and a better mill surface finish than 6061. These two alloys can both be welded or brazed easily using commercial methods, but the heat from welding can diminish the strength of the alloy. Both 6005 and 6005A offer excellent corrosion resistance, finishing characteristics, and respond well to standard anodizing methods creating clear, clear and color dye, and hardcoat finishes.

6005, 6005A , 6061 & 6082 have a fair amount of similarities and can be interchangeable in some situations, but 6005 and 6005A have much better extrusion qualities and mill surface finish than 6061 & 6082.

6005 and 6005A are typically used for applications that require intricate extrusions such as tubing for furniture, components for railways and busses, pipe, portable ladders, and applications where much greater strength from 6063 is needed, as well as in some marine applications.

A picture of a shiny grey wall of aluminum sheets.

Taber is considered a leader for specialty products such as 6000 series aluminum extrusions for use in many applications. 6000 alloys represent the vast majority used in the production of profiles for Taber Extrusions’ customers. Taber has focused on producing 6000 series alloys and has gained the expertise needed to meet these alloys’ rigorous manufacturing and processing requirements.

About Taber Extrusions:

Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet, enabling the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS, in 1995, which houses a new state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses, microextrusion capabilities, and expanded the fabrication area multiple times.

Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes and has developed its markets beyond the military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in various soft and hard alloys.

Today, Taber Extrusions has completed the addition of in-house friction stir welding capabilities and carries on their offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw material supply to the North American market – making them a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America.

 

Follow Taber Extrusions

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/8843183/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/taberextrusions/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/taberextrusions

 

Interested in becoming a part of the Taber Team? Submit your resume to careers@taberextrusions.com.

 

Become a customer today! Visit us or request a quote: https://taberextrusions.com or call us at (888) 985-5319.

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