Aluminum: Best Raw Material of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

best-raw-materialThere are many reasons why aluminum is considered to be the best raw material. Environmentally friendly, naturally corrosive resistant, flexible, durable and cost-effective, we could literally go on all day touting the benefits of this amazing raw material. However, for the purpose of today’s discussion we will focus primarily on extruded aluminum and how it is used with custom extrusion dies to create a wide variety of unique custom aluminum extrusions that are used in manufacturing and production all over the world.

What is Extrusion?
A widely used process for forming aluminum, custom and standard extrusions are used to create an unlimited potential for product design. When most people see the custom extrusion dies and the process itself, the first thing they often think about is the play-dough they used to play with as a kid. The dough was pushed through a plastic die to create specific shapes. Similarly, heated raw aluminum materials are pushed through steel custom extrusion dies to create standard extrusions and custom aluminum extrusions for clients.

Extruded aluminum is used in a wide range of different ways to create many consumer and industrial products that we use every day. The process of creating custom aluminum extrusions allows manufacturers to develop prototypes and product designs quickly and easily. The overall process itself is very cost-effective and flexible, allowing clients to make slight changes for product testing to enhance and improve their final production.

The Facts About Extruded Aluminum
When it comes to creating custom aluminum extrusions or using standard extrusions in manufacturing, there are many advantages. Because aluminum is such a lightweight material, extruded aluminum allows for the building of vehicles that weight less and can reduce auto emissions, while still increasing safety because of its durability. For example, a vehicle that has a pound of custom aluminum extrusions versus a vehicle that used two pounds of steel in its place, will save 3.1 gallons of crude oil and reduce CO2 emissions by 20 pounds over its lifetime.

Because of these clear advantages, car manufacturers in North America are planning to increase aluminum use in cars and lightweight trucks by over 40 percent by the year 2025. Custom aluminum extrusions and even standard extrusions are being used to create aluminum engine mounts, roof consoles, tailgate frames and running boards. As a result, these products that are created with standard and custom extrusion dies are also corrosion resistant, while providing strength and flexibility, making them more resilient in crashes.

LEED-Certification and Extruded Aluminum
Over 40 percent of all the energy consumed globally each year is attributed to buildings. Because it requires less energy to create custom aluminum extrusions from recycled aluminum materials, extruded aluminum is becoming the top choice of green builders who are looking to get LEED-certification for their projects. In fact, extruded aluminum contributes toward important LEED areas, such as energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and selection of sustainable materials.

Did You Know?
Aluminum is a key material that is used in LEED-certified buildings all over the world. Aluminum roofing reflects as much as 95 percent of sunlight, preventing the infrared heat rays of the sun from penetrating into the building below. This dramatically improves the overall energy efficiency of the home or office that the extruded aluminum roofing protects.

Custom Aluminum Extrusions Are Everywhere!
Everywhere you look, extruded aluminum is being used. From boats and sporting equipment to appliances and outdoor furniture, new ways to utilize environmentally-friendly and cost-effective extruded aluminum are being developed all the time. The flexibility and low-cost of extruded aluminum allows manufacturers more latitude in creating new and unique designs, while incorporating custom aluminum extrusions into their products.

Some of the factors that influence the finished properties of extruded aluminum include:

  • the design of the custom extrusion dies
  • length of the aluminum billets used in manufacturing
  • type of alloy combined with the raw materials
  • temperature of the billet
  • temperature during extrusion and tooling
  • speed of the extrusion process itself

The combination of all of these factors, which can be adjusted and applied as-needed for custom results, along with the endless options available through design of custom aluminum extrusions, makes extruded aluminum the top choice for manufacturing and construction. Add to that the benefits that come from the low weight, strength, sustainability and versatility of aluminum as a material and you will see why it is the number one choice for custom and standard extrusions.

Where to Get Extruded Aluminum?
Silver City Aluminum, which is located in Taunton, Massachusetts, provides custom aluminum extrusions through the use of custom extrusion dies, along with standard extrusions and finished extruded aluminum products to clients within Southeastern Massachusetts and all over the world. To find out more about the custom aluminum extrusions available at Silver City Aluminum, give us a call at 508-542-7200 and discover the difference that our technicians, tools, processes and attention to detail can make.