4 Reasons To Use 6061 Aluminum For Your Reenactment Armor Projects


Medieval knights didn't brave the battlefield in a suit of aluminum, but modern re-enactors can still use this valuable and modern alloy in their own replica armor projects. Also commonly called aircraft aluminum, 6061 aluminum, is one of the best materials to use for breastplates, shields, and other pieces of armor. Find out why this type of aluminum outshines sheet steel and other metals for re-enactors and live action role players that want to make their own armor.

Easy to Decorate

While you do need to strip off the working oils and sand the surface of aluminum sheet metal to rough it up before coating it, the alloy itself bonds well with many types of paints and other coatings. Some paint will still scratch and chip off if you use the armor in live combat, but covering up the damage only takes a little work with a paintbrush. Powder coating is more durable if you have the equipment and knowledge to do it.

You can also darken the shiny look of fresh metal with pickling solutions and other effects to make your armor look worn and old instead. 

Simple to Work

Unlike work hardened sheets of cold rolled or stainless steel, 6061 aluminum is relatively easy enough to cut, sand, and bend. This is important when you want to curve a piece for a helmet or cut dozens of small plates to make lamellar armor. If the raw material isn't hard enough for taking a hit from a rattan sword without denting, you can use practically any work hardening method you want, including heat treating and welding.

Light in Weight

Re-enacting sword battles or battling the hordes of goblins is a lot easier when your armor doesn't weigh hundreds of pounds. Put more of your energy into your fighting and less into just trying to walk in armor by using 6061 aluminum. Like all aluminum mixes, 6061 materials weigh approximately one-third of the weight for steel, the other metal commonly used for armor making.

Resistance to Corrosion

You don't have to deal with the weight and difficult working of stainless steel just to keep your pauldrons from rusting in between weekend battles. The alloy mix of 6061 aluminum gives it natural resistance to corrosion, even on cut edges and uncoated surfaces. You don't have to paint or coat your armor just to protect it from damage if you prefer the look of the raw metal.


23 July 2015

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