Aluminum alloy 601 has an extensive range of industrial applications due to its consistent mechanical properties and structural integrity. The other intrinsic features of this alloy include excellent corrosion resistance and lack of brittleness or susceptibility to stress-corrosion cracking. Continued attempts are being made to decrease the processing time of this alloy without affecting the associated mechanical properties. This paper shows a systematic experimental investigation carried out in a modern aluminum wheel manufacturing plant to study the effects of heat treatment of this alloy. It is shown in this work that a reduction in processing time at the heat treatment stage of manufacturing is achievable without significant effect on the mechanical properties of the alloy wheel produced. A comprehensive set of experimental investigations has shown that the mechanical properties of the alloy, processed using two separate heat treatment methods, are not significantly different. The findings reported in this paper have real implications to aluminum-processing industries in which heat treatment is a fundamental part of the manufacturing process.
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