bending 6061 T4 ?
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  1. #1
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    Default bending 6061 T4 ?

    OK you guys that do this all the time

    can an 8' sheet of 6061T4 be bent 60 degrees with out cracking
    this would be either .090 or .125 thick I'm in the design and
    material selection stage?

    what about if I have it intermittently cut leaving a series of
    small tabs on the bend line the just tig the joint?

    I know it can easily be done out of 16gauge steel, or even 304
    same if use a 5000 series aluminum.

    local shop would cut on laser and do the bend
    why aluminum well weight savings and it won't rust.
    end product will be painted

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    Yes, with a radius approx. 2x material thickness

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    5x alum bends nicely

    6x t2 and t6 starts cracking at like 15*. Don't remember what t4 was.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk

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    I didn’t understand your idea about cutting small tabs at bend and tig welding but:
    I wouldn’t weld the joint - the heat will change the hardness and strength along with possible distortion. It’s best to find a shop with a good press brake and 1/4” radius punch.

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    Also -
    Does it have to be 6061-t4?
    What about 5052 or 3003?
    I don’t know what you’re making so it’s hard to advise. If there will be any vibration in use - 5052 might be better.

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    longer then normal pickup bed sides for 1950 chevy
    is 19 inches to the bend line and a 4.24 on the other side.
    1.75 in round tube gets welded under the end of the 4.25 part.
    I looked at what I'm replacing and it appears to have about a .5 in radius
    on the bend.
    needs to be 8.5 feet long, bigger then what I can cut so have to have it cut
    so may as well get it bent as well.

    so needs to be something that welds nice and preferably not break the bank.

    have to draw it up in solidworks either way 16 gauge steel or .125 aluminum

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    Just don’t forget that if you weld to 6061-t4 (or t6) it’ll be soft and weaker near the weld.

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    If I was trying to do this job, I would go with the guys that have said a fat radius punch, 1-1/2" vee, heat the sheet to warm, but not too warm, then bump the brake in small increments. I think trying to get it in one motion puts more stress on the sheet. I'd bet the inside radius would be 1/4" or better, but it is doable.

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    5052 bends easy ,welds fine and is cheaper than 6061

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    +1 on using 5052. Now if you'll excuse m I have to go teach myself TIG welding 5052 for corner pieces of a bookshelf I'm building for my house. I'm so over woodwork.

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    ok guys you sold me 5052 it is.
    have to get me some small pieces in different thicknesses
    and see if it kind of feels right.

    I know about the bubblegum effect in haz.

    you know when you mostly machine parts you just naturally think 6061
    that's why you ask the guys who do bending for a living if you are doing
    something stupid.

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    If you're forming 6061 you designed it wrong.

    For a pickup bedside I think aluminum is a bad choice. I have made a few replacement panels for old cars and trucks and I use EG. Everything a sheetmetal shop needs to make from steel is made from EG because it forms great welds great paints great never ever rusts and costs about the same as steel.

    EG is electrogalvanized steel. It is a gray color.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    If you're forming 6061 you designed it wrong.

    For a pickup bedside I think aluminum is a bad choice. I have made a few replacement panels for old cars and trucks and I use EG. Everything a sheetmetal shop needs to make from steel is made from EG because it forms great welds great paints great never ever rusts and costs about the same as steel.

    EG is electrogalvanized steel. It is a gray color.
    that is the material at the very bottom of the list
    it sucks to tig weld, and welding is required to make the panel,
    more expensive then cold rolled.
    I prefer to do body work with a tig over mig it comes out better if done right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    that is the material at the very bottom of the list
    it sucks to tig weld, and welding is required to make the panel,
    more expensive then cold rolled.
    I prefer to do body work with a tig over mig it comes out better if done right.
    It spot welds and mig welds perfectly. EG would be the best material to do what you want. Stainless will be difficult to keep straight, but otherwise fine. If EG must be tigged you scuff off the plating.

    I guess the issue you have is that instead of forming the tubular top portion of the bedside you are going to weld a tube to a sheet. That sounds like a mess to me.

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    Don't ever heat aluminum for a bend. It is hot short and will be far more likely to crack at any elevated temperature. Always bend aluminum cold. If it still cracks, needs to be annealed before working. Annealed T4 or T6 will return to the hardened state a few days or weeks after it is bent (as they are both age hardened). Also, the very act of bending hardens the material significantly, that's why it cracks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    Don't ever heat aluminum for a bend. It is hot short and will be far more likely to crack at any elevated temperature. Always bend aluminum cold. If it still cracks, needs to be annealed before working. Annealed T4 or T6 will return to the hardened state a few days or weeks after it is bent (as they are both age hardened). Also, the very act of bending hardens the material significantly, that's why it cracks.
    I agree that I would not heat 6061 to bend but I disagree with 6061 work hardening - I’ve been manual spinning aluminum - mostly 6061-0 for 40 years and can form (drastically) 6061-0 with no noticeable work hardening. 3003 and 5052 does work harden. The difference between heat treatable alloys and non heat treatable alloys - the latter needing cold working for hardening.

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    Have worked all kinds of alloys in the past, including 6061, 3003, 5052 and 1100. indeed the O grade hardens ess than the others, but have sure seen it work harden easily, when bent at a right angle, or when worked with a wooden/plastic hammer and shot bag and english wheel.

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    for the bending 5052 and 5754 is better then 6061
    aluminium5052

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMEERSHAIKH View Post
    for the bending 5052 and 5754 is better then 6061
    aluminium5052
    Hi. Try this:
    Take a sample of your material, alloy, temper and thickness.
    Heat it (and you can do this local to the bend if necessary) to 510 deg C. This is the temperature at which wood starts to char, so just stroke a stick on it till it leaves brown traces.
    Quench the aluminium in cold water.
    Now make the band within a few hours.

    After a few days the material will age harden naturally and recover its strength and stiffness.

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    I am doing a similar job on my 1963 Chris Craft aluminum Roamer. The cabin sides and windshield frames are mahogany and pretty deteriorated at the joints for a bad loss of support strength. My plan is to fit individual pieces, screw them into position, then field tack weld into position with my 185 Miller MIG with ARGON. All my work is done with 50XX aluminum. This material is all 3/16" thick and cut from sheet stock with a shear. Three pcs are bent at 25 degrees on a 100 ton press thats 100" long

    Once the structure is "fitted", it will slide off and be brought home for a finish weld, grind and paint. Theres two tools you dont use on a boat; a square and a level.

    After final painting, the 3 sided insert will be slipped back into position, and bedded with 3M 4000 marine adhesive/sealant and screwed into position. This is being fabbed on top of 1+ inch wood to add a maintenance reducer, strength and rigidity. Been doing this stuff for 40 years.

    The pics show the current wood wheelhouse sides and rendering of the same covered in the 3/16" Al.

    Aluminum is a nice cross between steel, stainless, and plastics. Very workable. JMHO


    Bill in Two Rivers, Wi.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_6958.jpg   img_6950.jpg  


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