how to get 6061-T6 tubing to 6061-0
I would like to try and bend a piece of square tubing but all I have is T6 tubing, can I put a test piece in a house oven and cook it to get condition "0" so I can try and bend it without cracks?
If it is possible what temperature should I cook at and for how long?
Annealing should be done at 775 F for 2 to 3 hours followed by controlled cooling at 50 f per hour down to 500 F, then air cool."
Aluminum 6061 - All Metals & Forge
It doesn't have to be fully annealed to bend without breaking. I recently experimented with some 1/2 x 2 6061-T6 flat to see what it would take to bend it in a press brake without cracking. I knew from previous experiments that T6 material will begin to over age to a measurable degree by cooking it for an hour at 375*, which is only 25 degrees above the aging temp for a T6 temper.
In T6 condition I could bump the flat to about a 15* angle in the brake and it'd crack to the extent of uselessness. I stuck the bar in an oven for an hour at 500*F, and I could then squash it in a die that was only 2" wide to a full 90 degree bend with no evidence of cracking whatsoever.
Assuming you're bending on a radius 3X the tube diameter or greater, you can likely experiment a bit and find you can over age the tube at a temp less than my 500* and still soften it enough to bend it successfully.
thanks for the answers, I'll give the oven a try and see what happens.
In the field, a technique which works for locally softening hard alu tempers for bending is to smear with hand soap, and apply heat from a torch until the soap (adjacent to but not impinged on by the flame) turns chocolate brown.
That's a "milspec" document on aluminum heat treating and it may be of some use to you. It is about 3.5MB in case you are on dialup.