Aluminium 6063 is an aluminium alloy used in most of the induction systems on high performance engines used in motorsports such as Formula 1 and touring cars or other applications which require a high strength. (Often aluminium 6061 of 6082 is used for higher strength applications).
The material has magnesium and silicon as the alloying elements which gives it very good mechanical properties and makes it weldable.
Physical Properties/ Mechanical Properties
Aluminium 6063 is in certain tempers easily bendable because of its elongation properties which makes it an outstanding material to create induction systems with various bends and shapes.
Aluminium 6030 is available in different tempers with each having their own properties. Not all of the tempered versions are as easily bendable.
The tempers range from 6063-T0 with a maximum tensile strength of no more than 130MPa through to 6063-T6 with a maximum tensile strength of at least 190MPa.
Choosing the correct material will be a trade-off between bendability and strength.
Aluminium 6063 has a good smooth surface finish and has a high corrosion resistance. Due to the addition of silicon, the melting temperature of the raw material is reduced, making it easier to weld.
Machining and Welding
The machining of aluminium is relatively easy and can be done on the same machines used to machine inconel or stainless steel.
However, the rotational speeds and feed rates need to be adjusted to create the perfect cut.
The tooling used for machining these materials is specially designed as the swarf must be efficiently removed to prevent it from bonding to the hot tool.
Because of its high weldability, aluminium 6063 can easily be welded. However, in the heat affected zone, the strength of the material on certain low tempered aluminium can be reduced up to 25 to 30%.
When strength is critical this loss of strength can be regained through a heat treatment process.