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Old 10-06-2018, 12:14 PM
Westhewelder Westhewelder is offline
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Default Starting with aluminum

Hey guys I've been playing around with steel forming 16g and got a big sheet of 16g 6061 from work. Now I have a few questions because I don't have a torch set up.

Is annealing necessary or is it just to make the workability Easier or am I running the risk of work hardening the material to the point of failure.

Also on the topic of annealing I've seen most people use 3000 series aluminum for working with how's 6061 compare as a product for doing forming? I have great ease of access to 6061 that's why I ask.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:21 PM
Ken Hosford Ken Hosford is offline
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Wes
You are starting out wrestling the 800 lb gorilla . 6061 is not considered very workable . Most 6061 I see is T6 and would need annealing to be workable .
6061 typically will crack if bent 90 degrees very tightly .
Even if annealed, it is not very workable , it would be worth the investment to find 3003 .
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:46 PM
Westhewelder Westhewelder is offline
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Ya kinda finding that out been practicing forming with the 6061 and it doesn't seem to want to shrink as much or where I want mechanically or with the tuck method it's at the point where it's like working with steel. No such think as a waste of material though. I'm kind of learning things as I go.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:48 PM
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6061 is a structural alloy and is not designed to be shaped. You also can't annealed like 3003 and 1100 series. If you heat it and then try to bend it you will crack it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:11 AM
fciron fciron is offline
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I would build so many awesome tool boxes if I had lots of 6061 sheet. 🙂
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:25 AM
Gareth Davies Gareth Davies is offline
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Try some 1050 for messing around with at first, then work your way up the grades.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:02 AM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Wes, you've gotten some good advise. 6061 isn't really workable. You can bend it once but as far as getting it to stretch and shrink it's just hateful. Do yourself a favor and get some 3003 H14. Otherwise, you might get so frustrated you give up on metal shaping altogether.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:18 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Hey guys I've been playing around with steel forming 16g and got a big sheet of 16g 6061 from work. Now I have a few questions because I don't have a torch set up.

Is annealing necessary or is it just to make the workability Easier or am I running the risk of work hardening the material to the point of failure.

Also on the topic of annealing I've seen most people use 3000 series aluminum for working with how's 6061 compare as a product for doing forming? I have great ease of access to 6061 that's why I ask.
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Wes

Hi Wes,
6061 is not that bad once you get used to it, actually.
Yes, you can soften it a bit for 12-18 hours by heating to 650F - black marker burns off - then quench with cold water.
Gas welding is fine - use 5356 filler.
P1010035 c.jpg
P1010034 c.jpg
I've made a lot of fancy aeroplane stuff with 6061 ... and I really like it a LOT.
Jim and Ron, tail fairing.jpg
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:39 PM
fciron fciron is offline
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Kent, are you saying that 6061 can be annealed but it will age harden again in 12 to 18 hours?

Just want to be sure I understand you correctly.
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:26 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Default annealing metal alloys - 6061, done in the field

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Originally Posted by fciron View Post
Kent, are you saying that 6061 can be annealed but it will age harden again in 12 to 18 hours?

Just want to be sure I understand you correctly.

"Annealing" is a procedure done to soften metals with correct heating to correct temperatures, holding for a correct amount of time, and quenching at a given rate.

Different metal alloys require different annealing procedures, correctly done.


For full anneal, heat-treatable aluminum alloys must be taken to 925F, held to soak completely and then the temp. is lowered 50deg F per hour until 350F is reached, and then the part may be cooled in any fashion. This is how to get a full anneal on alloy 6061, as well as 2024, 2019, 2117, 7075, 6063, 6153, and etc.
Annealing this family of aluminum alloys requires a controlled environment.


"In the field", outside of the controlled environments, the craftsman can only do a "partial, temporary anneal" - which is to take his part to 650F and then quench. And, yes, precipitation hardening takes over and brings the part roughly back to "hard" in 24-36 hours.
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