Aluminum is one of the most used conductive materials in the manufacture and construction of electrical power distribution components and equipment. As a heat treatable wrought alloy, 6101 aluminum is best suited to these applications, which require moderate strength and maximum electrical conductivity. Alloy 6101 is an important alloy in Sapa Extrusion's full line of bus conductor extruded products.
A variety of factors must be considered in bus design. Aluminum is desirable for bus conductors because it is only one-third the weight of copper, dissipates heat rapidly, is lightweight but very strong and highly corrosion resistant, and conducts an equal amount of electrical power with only half as much material weight as copper. With these properties, alloy 6101 also makes an excellent choice for electrical projects other than bus conductors.
Alloy 6101 Tempers
Alloy 6101 is available in various temper conditions and, consequently, does not need additional heat treatment. The wide variety of tempers provides different strengths, formability, and electrical conductivity levels, allowing for greater design flexibility.
Sapa’s most common tempers for 6101 alloy are:
•F - As fabricated. No special control has been performed to the heat treatment or strain hardening after the shaping process (e.g., casting, hot working, or cold working).
•T6 - Solution heat treated and artificially aged.
•T61 – An over-aged temper with higher conductivity but lower mechanical properties than -T6.
•T63 – An “in-between” temper with higher conductivity than T6, but less than T61.
•T64 - Partially annealed temper; the highest conductivity and best temper for maximum formability.
•T65 – Has medium strength and conductivity, as well as a controlled range of tensile and yield strengths to help control bending reproducibility.
The alloy is also available in Sapa’s special -T61P and -T64P tempers with the same conductivity as –T61 and –T64, but with maximum yield limits for bending performance and consistency.
Alloy 6101 Properties
6101 alloy is similar to 6063 alloy, but has minor chemistry changes that enhance its electrical conductivity. Although slightly lower in conductivity than alloy 1350, it offers greater strength.
The alloy is easily extruded and offers better machinability than Sapa’s 1XXX alloy series. It has good forming and welding characteristics, corrosion resistance, bendability, electrical and thermal conductivity, and is easily cold worked in either the annealed or aged conditions.
Sapa Extrusion provides comprehensive services for customers in virtually all industrial, commercial and consumer markets. We can satisfy the most challenging requirements, from standard profiles to complex multi-part aluminum extrusions in standard and proprietary aluminum alloys with dimensional accuracy and superior surface quality.
Our unprecedented resources allow us to create custom alloys for customers. We offer the industry’s broadest product capabilities in press sizes and tonnages (direct and indirect extrusion), alloy selection, circle sizes, profile types and “green” billet”, and produce some of the largest Outside Diameter (OD) sizes and highest precision tolerances in the industry.
We also integrate fabrication facilities into our extrusion operations, so you can sequence 100% usable net weight parts directly into a production line. We offer complete capabilities in precision cutting, CNC machining, punching, bending, forming, deburring, beveling/chamfering and welding, as well as anodizing and painting.
6101 aluminum can be produced in extruded rod, bar, structural profiles, structural and seamless pipe and tube. Visit Sapa for assistance with your bus conductor and other electrical applications.