Aluminum 6061 vs Aluminum 7075 – What’s the Difference

What are the Physical Properties of the Aluminum 6061 Plate and Aluminum 7075 Plate?

When choosing an aluminum alloy for your application, some basic technical knowledge will help you get the most out of your aluminum products. Even alloys that appear to be very similar on the surface can behave very differently in manufacturing processes. It is critical to conduct research before selecting an alloy, and it is recommended that you consult with experts who can assist you in your decision-making process if you are unfamiliar with aluminum products.

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Today, we’ll compare two of the most popular aluminum plate alloys on the market right now: 6061 and 7075.

Difference Between 6061 Aluminum and 7075 Aluminum


The main difference between 6061 and 7075 aluminum is their composition. 6061 aluminum is a precipitation-hardened aluminum alloy that contains magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements. On the other hand, 7075 aluminum is a zinc-alloyed aluminum that contains small amounts of copper, magnesium, and chromium.


Another difference between 6061 and 7075 aluminum is their strength. 6061 aluminum has a yield strength of 40,000 psi, while 7075 aluminum has a yield strength of 75,000 psi. This means that 7075 aluminum is much stronger than 6061 aluminum.


Due to their different properties, 6061 and 7075 aluminum have different uses. 6061 aluminum is typically used in applications such as aircraft structures, truck frames, and bicycle frames, while 7075 aluminum is used in applications such as aircraft fittings, gears, and missile parts.


Another difference between 6061 and 7075 aluminum is their cost. 6061 aluminum is less expensive than 7075 aluminum because it contains less alloying elements. Additionally, 6061 aluminum is more widely available than 7075 aluminum.


A final difference between 6061 and 7075 aluminum is their weight. 6061 aluminum is lighter than 7075 aluminum because it has a lower density. This means that applications where weight is a concern, such as in the aerospace industry, 6061 aluminum would be the better choice.

Benefits of aluminum 6061

6061 aluminum is one of the most versatile aluminum alloys, as well as one of the most popular. Plates made of 6061 aluminum can be found in a wide variety of applications, particularly those with multiple-use scenarios where adaptability is required.

Silicon and magnesium are the primary alloying agents in 6061 aluminum. After rolling, the plate is typically strengthened through a precipitation hardening process, which gives this material its superior structural strength and toughness. Precipitation hardening is a type of heat treatment that improves the properties of malleable materials like aluminum.

Even when exposed to air or seawater, 6061 aluminum maintains a good surface finish and has excellent corrosion resistance. Other advantages include its ease of machining and weldability. It should be noted that when 6061 is welded, some of its strength is lost, so additional heat treatment may be required.

The tensile strength of 6061 aluminum is typically 45,000 psi, with a yield strength of 40,000 psi. It has a Brinell hardness of 95, a 12% elongation at break, and a shear strength of 31,000 psi. Thermal conductivity is 170 W/m-K, with a strength-to-weight ratio of 115 kN-m/kg.

Benefits of Aluminum 7075

While less versatile than 6061 aluminum, 7075 aluminum has several distinct advantages that make it preferable for certain applications. The main distinction is that 7075 is a stronger material. When compared to 6061, it improves both overall strength and strength-to-weight ratio. Resistance to stress-corrosion cracking, good fatigue strength, and good machinability are also advantages.

Zinc is the primary alloying agent in this aluminum. It has a tensile strength of 83,000 psi, yield strength of 74,000 psi, Brinell hardness of 150, and elongation at break of 10%. It has a shear strength of 48,000 psi, a thermal conductivity of 130 W/m-K, and a strength-to-weight ratio of 196 kN-m/kg.

Potential disadvantages include lower corrosion resistance compared to other alloys, poor weldability, and high cost. Because 7075 is more expensive than 6061, it is primarily used when increased strength is required. It also has a high hardness, which allows it to withstand a lot of friction.

7075 is most commonly found in premium applications in the aerospace, marine, and transportation industries due to its low cost. High-end bicycle components, molds, airframes, and military-grade rifle receivers are some other examples.

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