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Rolls of aluminum sheets. Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Yulia Grigoryeva

All About 6082 Aluminum Alloy

Learn more about 6082 aluminum alloy, and its different properties and uses.

Xomety X
By Team Xometry
October 24, 2022
 7 min read
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The 6082 aluminum alloy is a medium-strength alloy with silicon, magnesium, and manganese as its key alloying elements. This alloy is part of the 6000 series of aluminum alloys. 

6082 aluminum alloy can be anodized, and heat treated, and it has good corrosion resistance. It is primarily used for structural applications in structural sections such as hollow tubes, angle irons, extrusions, etc. 6082 aluminum has good machinability and weldability, but can be weakened by heating during the welding process in a zone near the weld.

This article will discuss the various characteristics, weldability, and operating temperature of 6082 aluminum and describe the mechanical properties of this medium-strength aluminum alloy. The common trade names will also be listed. Figure 1 below is an example of a structural aluminum profile made from 6082 alloys:

Slide 1 of 1
structural aluminum profile
structural aluminum profile
structural aluminum profile

Structural aluminum profile.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/FotoFeast

What Is Aluminum Alloy?

An aluminum alloy is a mixture between elemental aluminum and a range of other alloying elements. Aluminum is alloyed with different elements to modify specific properties such as strength, machinability, or corrosion resistance. The various aluminum alloys are identified by four-digit numbers. The first digit indicates the alloy series and the remaining three indicate various grades within that series. 6082 aluminum, for example, is part of the 6000 series of aluminum alloys. Pure aluminum is part of the 1000 series and contains over 99% elemental aluminum. Some aluminum alloys can be heat treated. The type of heat treatment is often described by adding the letter “T” and a number after the main alloy designation. 

What is the Alloy Composition of 6082 Aluminum?

The main alloying elements in 6082 aluminum are magnesium (0.6 to 1.2 %) which improves corrosion resistance and weldability, silicon (0.7 to 1.3 %) which lowers the melting point for easy casting and extruding, and manganese (0.4 to 1 %) which controls the grain structure to produce a stronger material. All 6000 series aluminum alloys have these elements as their main alloying constituents, with various other elements such as copper, zinc, titanium, chromium, and iron appearing in very small quantities in the alloy. 

What Are the Characteristics of 6082 Aluminum?

The most important characteristic of 6082 aluminum is its good formability. This attribute makes it popular for structural applications and is classified as a medium-strength alloy. This grade of aluminum is easily anodized, has good machinability, and has excellent corrosion resistance to chloride pitting and crevice corrosion. Because of its tightly adherent oxide layer, 6082 aluminum is resistant to seawater spray and seawater immersion. However, 5000 series aluminum is preferred for seawater applications due to its higher magnesium content. 6082 aluminum is the strongest of the 6000 series aluminum alloys, especially when heat treated. 

What Are the Material Properties of 6082 Aluminum?

The material properties of 6082 aluminum depend on its temper condition. The values listed in Table 1 below are representative of the average material properties for each of the four temper designations. Exact material properties must be confirmed with the material supplier. 

Table 1: Properties of 6082 Aluminum Alloys
Temper Grade6082-06082-T46082-T66082-T651
Temper Grade

Temper Description

6082-0

Untempered

6082-T4

Solution heat treatment and naturally aged

6082-T6

Solution heat treatment and artificial aging

6082-T651

Like T6 but is also stress relieved by stretching

Temper Grade

Density (kg/m3)

6082-0

2700

6082-T4

2700

6082-T6

2700

6082-T651

2700

Temper Grade

Hardness (Vickers)

6082-0

35

6082-T4

65

6082-T6

95

6082-T651

90

Temper Grade

Tensile Strength (Ultimate) (MPa)

6082-0

130

6082-T4

205

6082-T6

290-310

6082-T651

275

Temper Grade

Tensile Strength (Yield) (MPa)

6082-0

60

6082-T4

110

6082-T6

250-260

6082-T651

240

Temper Grade

Elongation at Break (%)

6082-0

27

6082-T4

14

6082-T6

10

6082-T651

6-9

Temper Grade

Shear Strength (MPa)

6082-0

85

6082-T4

126

6082-T6

Not Listed

6082-T651

Not Listed

Temper Grade

Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)

6082-0

70

6082-T4

70

6082-T6

70

6082-T651

70

Temper Grade

Melting Point (°C)

6082-0

585 - 650

6082-T4

585 - 650

6082-T6

585 - 650

6082-T651

585 - 650

Temper Grade

Specific Heat Capacity (J/kg⋅K)

6082-0

896

6082-T4

896

6082-T6

896

6082-T651

896

Temper Grade

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (10-6/K)

6082-0

23.4

6082-T4

23.4

6082-T6

23.4

6082-T651

23.4

Temper Grade

Thermal Conductivity (W/mK⋅)

6082-0

150 - 170

6082-T4

150 - 170

6082-T6

150 - 170

6082-T651

150 - 170

Table Credit: matweb.com

Where Is 6082 Aluminum  Alloy Used?

The 6082 alloy is one of the most common aluminum alloys. It is often used for structural members in Europe but is less common in the United States due to it not featuring heavily in ASTM standards. Due to its good formability, aluminum 6082 is used for structural elements like bars, tubes, extruded shapes, sections, plates, and sheeting. Some more specific applications include trusses, cranes, and fasteners. 6082 is commonly used in machining applications due to its good machinability.

How Strong Is 6082 Aluminum?

6082 aluminum is classified as a medium-strength aluminum alloy but is one of the strongest commonly used alloys in the 6000 series. If it is heat treated to T651, it is the strongest alloy in the 6000 series. When compared to 6061, another common 6000 series grade, 6082-T651 has between 10 and 18 % higher tensile strength. 

What Are the Common Trade Names of 6082 Aluminum?

The common trade names of 6082 aluminum include: EN AW-6082, H30, A96082, DIN 3.2315, AA6082, and AlSi1MgMn. It must be noted that the temper is often also indicated at the end of the name. Common temper grades include T4, T6, and T651.

How Do I Tell What Grade My Aluminum is?

The various grades of aluminum are identified by a four-digit number with the first digit categorizing the principal alloying element. The second digit indicates a modification made to the alloy and the final two digits are arbitrary identification numbers within the series.

  • 1XXX: 99% Pure Aluminum with some impurities.
  • 2XXX: Copper is the main alloying element (0.7 to 6.8%).
  • 3XXX: Manganese is the main alloying element (0.05 to 1.8%).
  • 4XXX: Silicon is the main alloying element (0.6 to 21.5%).
  • 5XXX: Magnesium is the main alloying element (0.2 to 6.2 %).
  • 6XXX: Magnesium (0.4 to 1 %) and Silicon (0.7 to 1.3 %)  are the main alloying elements.
  • 7XXX: Zinc is the main alloying element (0.8 to 12 %).

The aluminum grade can be identified in several ways. If a heat number is marked on the material, its grade can be determined by inspecting the relevant mill test certificate. This test certificate will state the material composition, heat treatment, and properties. Alternatively,  the composition can be determined by making use of a PMI (Positive Material Identification) instrument. This instrument (usually a handheld x-ray fluorescence scanner) will give a breakdown of all the alloying elements and their percentages. This type of test will not, however, give any information on the heat treatment. Finally, samples can be sent to a lab to be mechanically tested.

What Is the Operating Temperature Range for 6082 Aluminum?

The 6082 aluminum alloy has a melting temperature of 585 °C. However, its optimal working temperature is at or below 170 °C, as the mechanical strength of the alloy decreases proportionally as the operating temperature approaches the melting point. Aluminum alloys are not designed for high-temperature applications. If high-temperature resistance is required, steels are a better option.

Is 6082 Aluminum Good for Welding?

Yes, 6082 aluminum has good weldability but is known to exhibit lower strength in the area of the weld (heat-affected zone). Minimizing the size of the heat-affected zone using low heat-input welding methods can help minimize this effect. Heat-treated 6082-T6 is the best version of this alloy for welding applications as it has been stress relieved. Apart from welding, 6082 can also be joined using brazing or soldering techniques. 

What Are the Things to Consider When Choosing an Aluminum Grade?

When choosing among the various aluminum types, it's important to have a thorough understanding of the end application. Some grades have excellent strength but may not have the required corrosion resistance, for example. Listed below are the different aluminum classifications and their common characteristics:

  1. Series 1000: A pure grade of aluminum typically used for electrical bus bars, chemical tanks, and heat exchangers. This alloy is not heat treatable. 
  2. Series 2000: This series contains copper as the main alloying element, which increases strength and hardness. It is typically used in the aerospace industry. This alloy is heat treatable.
  3. Series 3000: This series contains manganese as its main alloying element and is considered a general-purpose aluminum alloy. This alloy cannot be heat treated. 
  4. Series 4000: This series contains silicon as the main alloying element. It exhibits low thermal expansion, high strength, and good corrosion resistance. Some alloys in this series are heat treatable. 
  5. Series 5000: The aluminum 5000 series contains manganese as the main alloying element. The key property of this series is its excellent corrosion resistance. It is widely used in the marine industry. This alloy is not heat treatable. 
  6. Series 6000: This series contains silicon, manganese, and magnesium as the main alloying elements. It is characterized as a structural series with medium strength. This alloy is heat treatable.

Summary

This article presented 6082 aluminum alloy, explained what it is, and discussed when it's used in manufacturing. To learn more about 6082 aluminum alloy and other alloys, contact a Xometry representative.

Xometry provides a wide range of manufacturing capabilities and value-added services for all of your prototyping and production needs. Visit our website to learn more or to request a free, no-obligation quote.

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Xomety X
Team Xometry
This article was written by various Xometry contributors. Xometry is a leading resource on manufacturing with CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, 3D printing, injection molding, urethane casting, and more.