6061-Т6 temporary de-temper?

twistair

Living in the Skies
Say, we need to bend 6061-T6 0.032 sheet to shape to form a nose skin for a small horizontal stab or whatever else. And we'd like to make this shape close enough to some certain airfoil. And we don't plan using ribs except of tip and root ones. The plan is to slightly stamp this skin around something so it becomes bent closer to an airfoil shape. To make it easier it would be good to temporary soften the sheet. I know that this can be done for 2024 alu (heating it to certain temperature so it becomes soft for couple hours and can be easily bent), but is there similar practical procedure for a 6061-T6? Hope I managed to explain what I'm looking for (big grin).
 

twistair

Living in the Skies
Smack;n1143678 said:
Why not start with 6061-T0, form, then heat treat?
Because of one needs at least quenching in this case which makes things way more complex.

Perhaps extrude rather than bend?
Extrusion would need a mold (or a die?) which itself costs over $1K and at least thousand lbs of extrusion made. Next thing is that extrusion cannot be made thinner than 1.2 mm (0.05") while we need 0.032" only. Though first reason is quite enough even without this second.
 

Hot Wings

Newbie
Smack;n1143678 said:
Perhaps extrude rather than bend?
Similar to my first thought. If he already has a form for the leading edge stretch forming might be the way to go.
Softening 60XX isn't hard. The heat treat needed to get the strength back can be.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Please forgive me if I am missing something Alex.

In my experience .032 6061 T6 can be formed just fine as it is.

Only if I need a compound shape do I need to start with dead soft.

There is a certain amount of spring back that can be managed.

If it gets long making ribs is pretty simple starting with a simple wood form or use wood ribs and bond it.
 

twistair

Living in the Skies
Vance;n1143684 said:
In my experience .032 6061 T6 can be formed just fine as it is.
It likely is, Vance. My curiosity is probably more of academic interest than for practical purpose: since I know how this can be done for 2024, I asked myself if there is similar process for 6061.
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
I'd worry about how accurately you are duplicating the T6 process by heating the material and then letting it simply air-cool. The formal process uses an oven, IIR. You might end up with T- 3.7921 instead of T6. If the re-hardening is not that important to your part, then that's different.

I agree with Vance that this material can be bent without annealing it. It is less springy than 2024-T3, though there is some spring-back. Just bend it it down tighter than your final radius.
 
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