Modern aluminum extrusion
Aluminum extrusion has massively increased in recent years, with the addition of the technique to product design and manufacture processes. But what exactly is aluminum extrusion, and how is the technique used in industry?
Discover more about the extrusion market and how extruded products are commonly used. Find out how this process makes manufacture easier and more successful in a myriad of sectors.
What is aluminum extrusion?
If you are considering metal extrusion or extruded metal products for industrial or domestic use, you probably have some idea of what the process entails. Basically, aluminum extrusion is the procedure where aluminum alloy is pushed through a special die that has its own cross-sectional design. It is a little like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube.
The product is pushed through the die and it emerges in the same shape. Since you can use a different die to form a different shape, there are various extruded metal forms, including round tubes, channels, and formed shapes.
In more detail, metal extrusion is used to make solid shapes that have no openings, for example a rod or a beam. Or, hollow shapes with voids or openings, such as a rectangular hollow tube. Semi-hollow tubes are also possible, with a variety of complex designs.
Metal extrusion considerations
Temperature plays a vital role in the metal extrusion process. Heat must be expertly controlled to ensure the product is sufficiently malleable during the die steps, and then cool enough to be finished. At room temperature, for example, the product is stretched and manipulated to make sure any natural twisting has been effectively corrected.
Items may also be heat-treated at the end of the process to improve appearance and to provide enhanced anti-corrosion properties. Different finishing processes include powder coats, paint, sublimation, and sandblasting.
Applications for metal extrusions
There’s no doubt that aluminum is a popular product . One key area where aluminum extrusion is used is the transportation industry. It helps to create panels and transmission housings, chassis, and the bodies of cars and other vehicles. Aluminum is lightweight and has a high strength-to-weight ratio, so is ideal for these purposes.
Since aluminum is also an efficient heat conductor, extruded aluminum is often used in air conditioners, thawing units, electronics, car radiators, and even nuclear reactors. This metal is naturally rust-resistant and it defies corrosion, making it critical for uses that withstand high temperatures and different extremes of temperature.
In addition, extruded aluminum makes the housing for wires and cables, since it is not magnetic. It can be effectively used for a variety of high-voltage purposes and in any place where the magnetic field of a device may affect the product use.
Aluminum extrusion is popular in construction and in applications where the materials must resist weathering and distortion.
Aluminum extrusion is a vital manufacturing technique and is used for forming parts that have set cross-sectional profiles. The heated metal alloy, pushed through a die, makes a strong and versatile final product. The shapes constructed from metal extrusion can be hollow, semi-hollow- or solid. They may be simple shapes or more complex.