Aluminium 3003 vs 6061 – What’s the Difference

Aluminium 3003 VS 6061 Aluminium

Aluminium is a popular material used in various applications, including construction, aerospace, electronics, and automotive industries. Different types of aluminium alloys are available in the market, each with varying properties and characteristics. Two of the most common aluminium alloys are 3003 and 6061. This blog post will explore these two alloys’ main differences, uses, and costs.

What is Aluminium 3003?

Aluminium 3003 is a popular alloy that is commonly used in a vast array of applications, from food packaging to construction materials. It is a member of the family of aluminium manganese alloys and is known for its excellent corrosion resistance and great formability. This alloy is widely utilized because it is strong and easily fabricated into different shapes and sizes.

What is Aluminium 6061?

Aluminium 6061 is a high-quality grade aluminium alloy commonly used in industrial and structural applications. It is a versatile material easily machined, welded, and formed into complex shapes. Its impressive strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance make it popular in aircraft manufacturing, automotive components, boats, bicycles, and furniture design.

Difference between Aluminium 3003 and Aluminium 6061

Aluminium 3003 is a manganese-alloyed aluminium alloy, while Aluminium 6061 is a medium to high-strength alloy. The major differences between 3003 and 6061 are their mechanical properties and chemical composition. 3003 has higher levels of silicon, lower strength than 6061, and poorer corrosion resistance, whereas 6061 has better tensile & yield strengths, greater corrosion resistance, and more applications in automotive parts.


One of the main differences between Aluminium 3003 and 6061 is their composition. Aluminium 3003 is an alloy that contains approximately 1.2% manganese and traces of other elements such as copper, iron, and zinc. It is considered a soft type of aluminium and is typically used in sheet metal fabrication, storage tanks, and cooking utensils. On the other hand, Aluminium 6061 is an alloy that contains 0.6-1.2% magnesium, 0.25% chromium, and traces of silicon, iron, copper, and zinc. It is much stronger and more versatile than 3003, making it ideal for various aerospace, automotive parts, and structural framing applications.

Mechanical Properties

Another major difference between these two alloys is their mechanical properties. Aluminium 3003 has excellent corrosion resistance, good formability and ductility, and workability, which makes it easy to manipulate into desired shapes. It also has a low melting point, making it easy to weld or braze. In contrast, Aluminium 6061 has higher strength and hardness, good corrosion resistance, and excellent machinability. It can also be heat-treated to increase strength and hardness, making it ideal for structural applications such as beams and supports.


Regarding pricing, Aluminium 3003 is usually less expensive than 6061 due to its lower strength and versatility. However, the cost of aluminium largely depends on the size, grade, and quantity of the material required. Therefore, it is essential to consider the application’s specific needs and requirements before deciding which aluminium alloy to use.


In terms of appearance, Aluminium 3003 and 6061 can be anodized to improve their surface finish, make them more durable, and protect them from corrosion. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that creates a protective layer of aluminium oxide on the surface of the metal, giving it a more aesthetically pleasing look. It is widely used in architectural applications, automotive parts, and consumer products such as cookware and electronic devices.


In conclusion, Aluminium 3003 and 6061 are popular alloys with distinct properties, advantages, and applications. Choosing the right aluminium alloy depends on the specific needs and requirements of the project, such as strength, corrosion resistance, machinability, and appearance. Remember that both alloys are highly recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly choice for manufacturers.