Effect of Artificial Aging Temperature on Mechanical Properties of 6061 Aluminum Alloy
Aluminum alloys have been attracted by several engineering sectors due to their excellent strengthweight ratio and corrosion resistant properties. These are categorized into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7and 8xxx on the basis of alloying elements. Among these 6xxx series contains aluminum–magnesium–silicon as alloying elements and are widely used in extruded products and automotive body panels. The major advantages of these alloys are good corrosion resistance, medium strength, low cost, age hardening response no yield point phenomenon and Ludering. 6xxx series alloys generally have lower formability than other aluminum alloys which restrict their utilization for wide applications. Keeping in view of the shortcomings in the set of mechanical properties of 6xxx series the efforts were made to improve the tensile strength and toughness properties through age hardening. In present study heat treatment cycles were studied for 6061 aluminum alloy. Three different age hardening temperatures 160, 200 and 240oC were selected. The obtained results showed that 17.26, 7.69, and 10.51% improvement in tensile strength, toughness and hardness respectively was achieved with solution treatment at 380oC followed by an aging 240oC. Microstructural study revealed that substantial improvements in the mechanical properties of 6061 aluminum alloy under heat treatment were achieved due to precipitation of Mg2Si secondary phase.