A Closer Look at 7075 T6 Aluminum

Have you ever wondered how products like 7075 T6 aluminum are created? Yes, it is often recycled and this saves a lot on costs, but this is not the origin of this unique type of metal. Here is a look at the process of how aluminum is made available to us today.

It Starts with Bauxite

The ore or raw material for 7075 T6 aluminum comes from a rock found close to the Equator called bauxite. It contains aluminum, iron oxide and several other minerals. The ore is mined a few yards below the surface of the ground.

Once the bauxite is mined it is next passed through a grinder. A refining process extracts aluminum oxide from the ore. Using a mixture of hot lime and soda, alumina is taken from the material.

After heating and filtering pure alumina is eventually extracted and turned into a powder.

Refining Aluminum

During an electrical process, aluminum is purified. To create 7075 T6 aluminum, several alloys are added to the aluminum. Zinc, copper and magnesium are used along with iron, chromium, manganese and others. This creates 7075 aluminum. Tempering the aluminum creates different types of 7075 aluminum.

To make 7075 T6 aluminum, the cast is homogenized for a few hours at 840 F or 450C. The metal is then quickly cooled or quenched and aged for an entire day at 250F or 120C.

History

7075 aluminum is a relatively new product. In fact, the Japanese invented in during the Second World War. They needed a strong yet lightweight material for their aircraft.

Uses

7075 T6 aluminum is usually made into sheets or plates. However it can be shaped into bars and extruded. The 7075 T6 temper is often referred to as the hardest of the aluminum alloys. In fact, its strength is comparable to steel. 7075 T6 sees a great deal of use in the aircraft industry. They need a metal which is very strong and can stand up to corrosion and the rigors of repeated take offs and landings.

Another important reason to use 7075 T6 aluminum is weight. In the aircraft and aerospace industries weight is a major concern and 7075 T6 is much lighter than steel.

The Downside of 7075 T6

This alloy does not lend itself to welding and this is why 6061 is one of the preferred alloys for welding. In addition, its anti corrosive properties are not quite as high as some of the other alloys. However, it is not difficult to machine 7075 T6 aluminum and it is used a great deal in the bicycle industry.

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