View Full Version : Strengthen 6061 aluminum

01-02-2010, 05:18 AM
I have some 6061-0 1/8 inch 6061-0 aluminum rod that I want to strengthen so that it doesn't bend so easily after assembly. Can someone tell me how to strengthen this rod to get say 6061-T4 or 6061-T6? I only have a propane torch to do any heat treating.

01-02-2010, 12:09 PM
Aluminum is very sensitive when it comes to heatment. I don't have the info any more but it must be carefully controlled and done in an oven built for heat treatment. It would be much cheaper and easier to start with a material that has the properties you need.

01-02-2010, 01:30 PM
Tresi is right; the best thing to do is to fabricate what you need, and when done, send it out for heat treatment, hard anodizing, surface hardening, etc. Have it done by a shop who does it on aluminum and knows what they are up to. It can't be done shade tree mechanic style. Tempering steel, yes. But not so well with aluminum.

01-02-2010, 02:51 PM
FWIW solution temperature for 6061 is 529*C, soak times vary due to mass of the part and oven type- need to ensure part is upto temp throughout for alloying elements to be taken into solution before it's quenched

Artificial aging temps are in the region of 160-180*C for 8 - 18 hours

As said, not really a DIY proposition... with a suitable oven and quench tank you could no doubt harden it but results would be hit and miss, distortion to take into account (solution temp not that far off the melting range) making it uneconomic for non critical parts and unsafe for critical parts