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Properties, Advantages and Disadvantages of Aluminum 6061 vs 5052

Electrical Enclosure, Electronics Enclosure, Electrical Boxes, NEMA Enclosures, Aluminum 6061 vs 5052,

In manufacturing electrical enclosures, using aluminum as a raw material can give the enclosure the strength that it needs to withstand possible extreme conditions when used. Aluminum’s strength is highlighted and amplified if it is alloyed with the following elements: silicon, copper, magnesium or zinc. In addition to this, aluminum is a good raw material because of its higher thermal conductivity and in relation to its other counterparts, enclosures made from aluminum provides a superior high heat dissipation.

Electrical enclosures that are manufactured using 5052 aluminum vs 6061 aluminum  are suitable in various industrial applications. Aluminum electrical enclosures are best suited for the following functions and uses: waste water treatment enclosures, traffic control equipment enclosures, enclosure cabinets used for telecommunication equipments, and enclosures for solar battery storage. 

NEMACO manufactures 5052 vs 6061 Aluminum Electrical Enclosures that are best suited to use as electrical enclosures for control panels, fill boxes, fill stations and rack servers. Electrical enclosures made from these materials are expected to withstand harsh & high-heat environments. In addition to this, electrical enclosures made of Aluminum are generally made for high-wear environments because of strong and durable aluminum alloys.

Advantages of Aluminum 6061 vs Aluminum 5052

  1. High Strength

       Its high-strength compared to its counterpart (5052) is ideal for making structural stiffeners or supporting bars.

  1. Semi-smooth surface

       Compared to its widely used counterpart (5052), aluminum 6061 provides a good surface finish.

  1. Heat treatable and excellent machinability

       With the combination of magnesium and silicon, the aluminum that starts with 6xxx series responds well to heat treatments. Which contributes to its good machinability which means it can be easily welded and joined.

  1. Superior Corrosion Resistance

       Alumium 6061 is an excellent material for enclosures that will require non-corrosive property for certain applications. Compare to its 5052 counterpart, it has an outstanding non-corrosive property.

Disadvantages of Aluminum 6061 vs Aluminum 5052

  1. Inferior welding properties

      Because of its strength, 6061 is stronger and stiff to bend compared to 5052. The later is commonly used in most of the welding applications.

  1. Cannot be easily formed

    6061 is requires larger radius to bend compared to 5052. It can easily form cracks because of its lesser malleability compared to 5052. 5502 only has the ideal properties suitable in manufacturing formed electrical enclosures.

How to differentiate Aluminum 6061 from 5052

These two alumuminum are almost identical and it is important to have a knowledge of their major differences. Here are the distinct properties you should know:

Aluminum 5052 is great in any welding and machining work because of its astounding malleable properties. It is regarded as one of the most durable aluminum because of its non-corrosive properties and it resists degradation. It is cost efficient compare to 6061. The only downside is if it is bended more than 90˚ it can be cracked and it can cause slight damage on a project’s corners.

Aluminum 6061 is regarded as the most durable aluminum because it is widely used as a structural alloy for any structural stiffeners or support bars. It is also commonly used in framing and welding. Unlike 5052, it is not as malleable thus this material is not ideal for any forming or machining work because it cracks easily. It costs more than the 5052 counterpart. In summary, here is the summary of the major differences between two materials.

Comparison of Aluminum to Stainless Steel

In manufacturing electrical enclosures, there are major considerations in choosing the right raw material. Aluminum and steel have major differences every customers needs to know about:

  1. Price

      Price is always fluctuating because the prices based on global supply and demand is constantly changing. But the cost it will take to purchase steel is cheaper compared to aluminum because it is more expensive to produce aluminum.

  1. Strength and Malleability

     Aluminum is generally more malleable and elastic compared to steel. Manufacturers can create aluminum parts with deep and straight walls because of its properties. Steels can easily crack and it has dimensional limits.

  1. Weight Differences

     Because of its strong properties, stainless steel can endure warp, deformity, and it can resist bending under weight, force and heat.