The brilliant features of aluminum alloy make it one of the best metals for use in several pieces of equipment, including CNC machines. Aluminum is durable, resistant to damage from corrosion, high in strength, and has other notable attributes. You can find this versatile metal in different alloy types, each with unique and similar qualities.
Among other options, 6061 and 7075 are the machines’ most popular aluminum alloys. If you are starting a CNC machining project, you might be confused about these choices. So, here is a rundown of the two types of aluminum alloys – 6061 vs 7075. Keep reading to know which one is right for your project.
Alloy 6061 – A Review
Aluminum alloy 6061 is the world’s most commonly used version of this metal, and it belongs to the 6000 series. It is made of magnesium and silicon, which give it some of the most desirable qualities. It has high strength and weldability and can be easily treated with heat and mechanized. All these broad qualities give it a universal touch, which is why it is used almost everywhere. You can find 6061 aluminum alloy in several forms, such as sheets and other architectural shapes.
Alloy 7075 – A Review
Aluminum alloy 7075 is mainly applied in high-strength industries such as aerospace and military. Given that the main components of this alloy are zinc and copper, it has one of the highest quotients of strength among other aluminum alloys. 7075 alloy has great strength, resistance, and toughness. The machinability is also easy for this one. However, it does not have properties that allow it to be welded easily. Moreover, this alloy’s high price makes it uncommon compared to the 6061 alloys.
6061 vs. 7075 – How Do They Differ?
There are several differences in how the two alloys are made, which sets them apart from each other and is suitable for use in different projects. Before deciding which alloy is better for your project, you must compare its features to understand its composition better.
Resistance To Corrosion
Copper is one of the components of the 7075 alloy, and it reacts more rapidly with the surrounding air. The presence of copper makes 7075 less corrosion-resistant than the 6061 alloys. However, 7075 still has a good amount of corrosion resistance.
Hardness Of the Material
The hardness of the material constructs the ability of the alloy to withstand pressure from the outside, such as indentation, deformation, and penetration. If a material can resist these issues, it is a hard alloy. 7075 takes the crown in this one and has better hardness than 6061. 7075 also has more yield strength.
Thermal And Electrical Conductivity
While both are good conductors of heat, alloy 6061 is somewhat better than 7075 in conducting heat. The composition of the alloys makes them different in conduction properties. 6061 is also better at conducting electricity than 7075, making it an apt choice for electrical use.
So, which one should you choose between the two for your CNC machine project? It depends on the specifications of the project and several other considerations to choose the right metal alloy. They both have a high weight-to-strength ratio, making them good for general purposes.
However, 6061 is cheaper and can be used for most general projects, while 7075 is more expensive and is better suited for projects that need high strength. Know your project specifications and purpose, and then see which is better.