Aluminum is relatively easy to machine, but the best possible performance in chip handling, tool life and surface finish depend on a number of factors. With the 6042 aluminum alloy, Hydro Extrusion aims to provide machine shops with extrusions that are unmatched in consistency and tolerance control and have lower lead levels.
The two major environmental directives that affect the automotive and electronics industries are ELV (End of Life Vehicle) and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substance). Their purpose is to reduce the amount of toxic materials that enter the environment when products are recycled.
- The RoHS directive restricts certain dangerous substances commonly used in electrical and electronic equipment, such as lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and mercury.
- The ELV directive restricts the amounts of lead in automobiles to .4% maximum.
Alloy 6042 complies with both requirements. It offers better machinability than 6061 alloy and is an excellent alternative to 6262 alloy, which exceeds the .4% maximum lead level.
Standard and Special Tempers
Standard 6042 tempers include –T5 and –T5511 which produce curled and broken chips while machining. Chip formation can be improved further by using chip breakers and special machining techniques (e.g., peck drilling) in certain applications. T5511 applies to products that are stress-relieved by stretching.
Special tempers include –T5H and –T5511H. Hydro Extrusion’s “H” temper is excellent for special applications that need better machinability and higher minimum mechanical properties than the standard tempers. Minimum properties of 42 ksi tensile, 38 ksi yield and 10% elongation are guaranteed. “H” temper is available for rod, bar and certain profiles with a thickness of .500” or more.
6042 Aluminum Properties
Hydro's 6042 alloy offers excellent resistance to corrosion caused by atmosphere and is resistant to seawater corrosion. Its corrosion resistance is better than 2011 alloy and similar to 6262 alloy. It’s important to note, however, that two metals or alloys with different corrosion potentials can cause galvanic corrosion.
Alloy 6042 achieves good finishing characteristics with mechanical finishing, chemical conversion and anodizing. Anodizing methods can include clear, clear and color dye, and hardcoat to improve its appearance and its corrosion and wear resistance.
As for welding and brazing, 6042 alloy’s joining characteristics are an improvement over 2011 alloy, but not as good as 6061. Alloy 6042 is heat treatable, so its strength in the –T5 temper can be reduced from the welding/brazing heat. Filler alloys should be selected based on the desired weld characteristics.
6042 Aluminum Uses
Alloy 6042 is used for electrical connectors and screws, air conditioning components, pneumatic and hydraulic manifolds and valve blocks, brake components, and fasteners and hardware.
Hydro Extrusion has an extraordinary capacity for producing all standard and custom alloys and tempers, shapes and sizes, by both direct and indirect extrusion, through our nationwide network of production and supply facilities. We apply our decades of experience to developing solutions for virtually any unique application.
Choosing the appropriate alloy for your product is a critical step. Some alloys extrude at a faster rate, some are easier to bend, and some are more easily machined than others. Our staff of metallurgists and engineering, manufacturing and design specialists will assist you in determining whether 6042 aluminum alloy or another alloy would be most suitable in your application.