Lightweight, strong, durable, and widely available, aluminum is perfect for a range of industrial and commercial applications from aircraft to iPhones. Aluminum comes in a variety of alloys, with 6061 and 7075 being the most common for mechanical applications. Let's take a closer look at what each has to offer.
Contains magnesium and silicon
Good all-around choice for heat-treatability, weldabilitiy, and forming
Excellent corrosion resistance, better than 7075
Used in food and drink packaging
Regularly used in small aircraft, boats
Great for secondary operations like anodizing.
Strong, but not quite as strong as 7075
Contains zinc and a small amount of magnesium
Strong, with a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061
Able to match steel in terms of strength
Decent corrosion resistance, but not as good as 6061
Heavier than 6061, though still highly machinable
Used in aircraft, industrial tooling, sporting equipment
Low density with good thermal properties
Produces a smooth material finish
So, which is best? That depends on your use case. But to sum it all up:
Aluminum 6061: Cost effective, medium strength, easy to work with.
Aluminum 7075: Exceptionally strong with typically smoother finishes.
One more thing! Here's a version you can print out for future reference: