Aluminum Trailer Alloy.
Not All Alloys in an Aluminum Trailer are the same.
When shopping for an aluminum trailer, know the alloy your trailer is made of!
Aluminum Alloys are alloys in which aluminum is the predominant metal. Typical alloying elements are copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and magnesium. Aluminum alloys are widely used in engineering structures, and components.
Aluminum alloys typically have an elastic modulus of around 70 GPa, which is about one-third the elastic modulus of steel. When we talk about elastic modulus we are talking about how many pounds of pressure it will take to bend the aluminum and or steel. Though there are aluminum alloys with higher tensile strengths than commonly used steels, simply replacing steel parts with aluminum alloys equivalents may lead to problems.( Example: A steel trailer manufacturer that decides to build an aluminum trailer), extrusion are particularly important in this regard, owing to the ease of which aluminum alloys, particularly the Al-MG-Si series(aluminum-magnesium-silicon) can be extruded to form complex profiles.
In general, stiffer and lighter designs can be achieved with aluminum alloys than is feasible with steel. For this reason, trailers made with aluminum alloys make use of larger diameters than steel in order to yield the desired stiffness and strength.
In order to produce a quality durable trailer the aluminum components must be heat-treated to produce the stiffness in order to provide our customers a product that will last a lifetime. We have always used heat-treated T6 aluminum in the production of Rance & Lightning trailers. The aerospace industry also uses this alloy in the production of aircraft and space vehicles primarily for its light weight and strength. The 6061 and 6063 alloys are the alloys in the 6000 series of extruded aluminum that are used in the manufacturing of Rance trailers & Lightning trailers.
The aluminum alloy,6061 has a density of 2.70g/cm3 (0.0975 lb/in3).
the chemical composition of 6061 is:
Silicon minimum 0.4%, maximum 0.8% by weight
Iron no minimum. Maximum 0.7%
Copper minimum 0.15%, maximum 0.40%
Manganese no minimum, maximum 0.15%
Magnesium minimum 0.8%, maximum 1.2%
Chromium minimum 0.04%, maximum 0.35%
Zinc no minimum, maximum 0.25%
Titanium no minimum, maximum 0.15%
Other elements no more than 0.05% each, 0.15% total.
6063 has a specific gravity of 2.68 (0.097 lb/cubic inch).
The alloy composition on 6063 is:
Silicon minimum 0.2%, maximum 0.6% by weight
Iron no minimum, maximum 0.35%
Copper no minimum, maximum 0.10%
Magnesium minimum 0.45%, maximum 0.90%
6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy has an ultimate tensile strength of at least 42,000 pounds per square inch. (290 MPa) and yield strength of at least 35,000 pounds per square inch. (241 MPa). More typical values are 45,000 psi (310MPa) and 40,000 psi (275 MPa) respectively. In thickness of 0.250 inch ( ¼ ) (6.35mm) or less it has elongation of 8% or more; in thicker sections, it has elongation of 10%. There for 6061 is widely used in the construction of aircraft structures such as wings and fuselages.
All that said, a quick way to determine if the (new) trailer you are considering to purchase is made from inferior materials will be a visual one. Look at the trailer frame and determine if that frame is shiny or has a dull finish. The trailer with a shiny finish has little to no magnesium in the alloy. A trailer frame with a dull finish has some amount of Magnesium and Silicon metals blended into the aluminum. Ask the sales man or woman to find out what alloy was used in the manufacturing of the trailer. If they don’t know or are unwilling to find out, walk away.
When shopping for an aluminum trailer you will now notice that some aluminum trailers are priced higher and some lower. You now have some education needed to determine how you will spend you hard-earned money. The saying (you get what you pay for) really holds true in this situation. The aluminum alloy T6 is a costly commodity and difficult to work with in the manufacturing process. This is why Brand x chooses to use the less expensive and easy to work with lighter aluminum material.
Know, I have given you tools to go out and help you choose a trailer that will meet you requirements. I have not seen any other aluminum trailer manufacture reveal the aluminum alloys used in their trailers. I wonder why?
I hope you choose a Rance Aluminum Trailer or Lightning Trailer , you won’t be disappointed!
Give me a call if you have any questions, 1-800-940-7786