Most machinists consider ACP 5080 aluminum equivalent to MIC-6 aluminum, as both alloys have similar characteristics. However, the two are quite distinct, and each has unique application areas. Understanding their characteristics will help you make the right choice during material selection. MIC-6, known for its stability and precision machining, is one of the best options for tooling and base plates, but ACP 5080 features a double-sided precision milled surface and has exceptionally well-balanced mechanical characteristics.
In this article, we compare the properties of MIC-6 aluminum and ACP 5080 aluminum, detailing the characteristics of each, and provide other ideal alternatives that are equivalent to MIC-6 aluminum.
Understanding MIC-6 Aluminum
MIC-6 aluminum plates are known for their stability due to fine grain structures and low residual stress levels. This stress-relieved structure enables MIC-6 to be heavily machined with a low level of distortion. With a proper machining process, its tolerance level can be maintained in the thousandths, and it’s known as the flattest product in the industry.
MIC-6 plates have high corrosion resistance and, as a result, rarely require anti-corrosion coating. They are made from recycled 7XXX series aerospace plates and weigh one-third of steel plate. With advantages of high corrosion resistance and low weight, MIC-6 is an excellent choice for manufacturing parts, components, and precision equipment for various industries.
Understanding ACP 5080 Aluminum
ACP 5080 features exceptional machinability as a result of its well-balanced physical, chemical, mechanical and material properties. It has low porosity that gives it uniform metal density and material stability during heavy machining activities. ACP 5080 has fine grain structures, and the high affinity between grain at the boundary results in high yield strength. Thus, the plates can handle more bending during the machining process without developing cracks, even at high temperatures. These properties make ACP 5080 equivalent to aerospace-grade aluminum.
ACP 5080 Aluminum vs. MIC-6 Aluminum
Below, we compare the properties of ACP 5080 aluminum to those of MIC-6 aluminum.
|Form||Plate, sheet||Plate, bar|
|Surface finish||20 RMS||20 RMS|
|Corrosion resistance||Very good||Average|
|Anodizing properties||Good, not decorative||Average, not decorative|
|Flatness deviation||0.23”-0.47” within .015”||0.25″ – 0.62” within .015”|
|Elongation at break||15%||3%|
|Typical tensile||240-290 Mpa||165 Mpa|
|Density||.096 lb/in.³||.101 lb/in.³|
The primary alloying elements in ACP 5080 and MIC-6 are magnesium and zinc, respectively. ACP 5080 plates are manufactured using a horizontal casting process. Not only is ACP 5080 lightweight with no porosity, but it also costs less than MIC-6 and has an edge with better tensile strength and resistance to corrosion. These characteristics make ACP 5080 an ideal versatile alloy for diverse applications in the manufacturing industry.
Some of the following applications are typical for ACP 5080:
- Tooling aerospace industry
- Mould and gauge making
- General engineering
- CNC components
- Food technology
MIC-6 tooling plates maintain their flatness, even when a large part of the sheet is taken out, unlike tempered alloys like ACP 5080 that make a lot of movements. MIC-6 may feel a little gummy to machine, but it’s still a good choice for applications that require a high degree of stability, such as in:
- Base and side plates.
- CNC routing tables.
- Circuit printers.
- Hydraulic equipment.
Popular ACP 5080 Aluminum Equivalent Alternatives to MIC-6
Some ACP 5080 aluminum equivalent alloys can replace MIC-6 without hampering end performance. The three most popular aluminum alloy alternatives to MIC-6 are ATP-5 from Vista Metals, K-100S from Alpase, and Alca-5 from PCP. These alternative alloys contain magnesium as a core element, whereas MIC-6 contains zinc; thus, these alternatives have more favorable material properties to offer.
ATP-5, K-100S, and Alca-5 alloys are manufactured using the VDC billet casting process, resulting in a porosity-free billet. These alloys maintain structural integrity under high pressure and vacuum applications. Therefore, machinists consider these alloys as a perfect alternative to MIC-6 for applications requiring lightweight materials to perform under extremely high-stress conditions.
While these alloys can be purchased straight from the mill, many hobbyists, machinists, and smaller machine shops prefer to purchase recycled usable remnants of ATP-5, K-100S, and Alca-5 to bring down material costs without compromising output quality.
Purchase ACP 5080 and MIC-6 Aluminum from a Local Metal Supplier
For more than two decades, Industrial Metal Service has been providing metal recycling services to the San Francisco Bay Area as well as supplying local machine shops, fabricators, and metalworkers with new and verified remnant metals like MIC-6 and ACP 5080 aluminum sourced from Arconic and Alimex, respectively. We also ship to customers across the U.S. who don’t have the benefit of a local supplier, and we have no minimum order quantities.