Standard Aluminum Extrusions: How We Make Rods, Bars & Tubes

standard-extrusionsSilver City Aluminum is known for its high quality custom aluminum extrusions, however we also provide a wide variety of standard aluminum extrusions for our customers. The only real difference between custom and standard aluminum extrusions is that a custom piece uses a custom extrusion die and a standard piece uses a standard extrusion die. Some of the most common types of extrusions that we create using a standard extrusion die include solid and hollow aluminum tubes, square tubes, as well as rod and bar aluminum extrusions.

All of these standard shapes are produced by a number of different processes, however the primary process of choice is extrusion. Once the basic rod and bar aluminum shapes are created, they can then be machined into a lot of different kinds of applications. For example, many of the parts that are used in manufacturing machines and equipment parts, such as bolts, nails, rivets and screws, are all made from a standard extrusion die that is used to create rod and bar aluminum. Larger pieces, such as the framework for chain link fence, can also be created from standard aluminum extrusions for rod and bar aluminum or solid and hollow aluminum tubes.

How It Works
The process for creating standard aluminum extrusions is the same as the process used for creating custom aluminum extrusions. Raw aluminum materials, which are 99.9 percent recycled aluminum, come to Silver City Aluminum in the form of seven inch diameter billets. These billets are very long, so our crew cuts them down to a more manageable size, depending on the sizes that are requested by the client’s order. The billets are pre-heated before they reach the extrusion station and are then heated to a specific temperature according to the recipe or requirements of the standard extrusion die that will be used.

Using over 10,000,000 pounds of pressure, the aluminum materials are then pushed through the standard extrusion die to create rod and bar aluminum, as well as solid and hollow aluminum tubes and angles. The reason why these are called standard aluminum extrusions is that we use a basic standard shape, size and ratio to create these products, which are commonly requested and used by our clients across the board. Custom aluminum extrusions are created in the same way, but using an extrusion die that is created specifically for client based on their unique manufacturing needs.

The extruded rod and bar aluminum or hollow aluminum tubes are then cooled down on extremely large tables, stretched and then cut, according to the order. The aluminum is also hardened with heat to help bring out the inherent qualities of the metal, such as strength, durability and natural corrosion resistance. For detailed information on the standard aluminum extrusions available through Silver City Aluminum, please speak with one of our customer service representatives, technicians or see our Standard Profile Catalog.

What Is Aluminum Tube?
Tubes are a type of rod and bar aluminum that has been hollowed out inside through the use of a standard extrusion die. They come in a variety of shapes, but these hollow aluminum tubes can be used for food processing equipment, as a means of transporting liquids in heat exchangers, in water treatment plants and also in many other unique industrial applications. From the automotive industry to construction, manufacturing and many other different industries, there is a lot of call and use for square, circular, solid and hollow aluminum tubes.

Aluminum is widely used all around the world today because it is very cost-effective and has a natural protection from corrosion through a transparent layer of an alloy called aluminum oxide. This layer can be enhanced through chemical and electrochemical means to provide even greater protection. Aluminum is also the most recycled metal in the world. It doesn’t lose any of its properties during recycling and can be recycled an unlimited number of times. Silver City Aluminum uses billets that are 99.9 percent recycled materials.

Hollow aluminum tubes made with standard aluminum extrusions are both strong and lightweight, making them a great choice for products that benefit from low-weight materials. Our crew can easily bend, form, shape and machine rod and bar aluminum at a high rate of speed according to the design requirements of our clients. Like other metals, aluminum that is pushed through a standard extrusion die can also be brazed, glued, joined, soldered and welded according to a client’s specific needs. Aluminum also has excellent heat conductivity and is the top choice for heat-dissipating devices and for use in heat shields.

The Cost of Standard Aluminum Extrusions
Compare to other types of metal forging and even when compared to custom aluminum extrusions, the use of a standard extrusion die is the most cost-effective solution for manufacturers. When you consider the cost of making a custom extrusion die, it will cost you much less up-front to begin creating standard aluminum extrusions because you don’t have to design and create a custom die. Despite the fact that standard aluminum extrusions are standard, there is still a lot of variance allowed in the areas of wall thickness and the length of the finished product.

Rod and bar aluminum, as well as square, circular, solid and hollow aluminum tubes all require less time for finishing than other types of products and products that use other types of metals. Having the ability to mold and create aluminum products according to a manufacturer’s specifications will help to save time and money in additional fabrication. Silver City Aluminum also offers a wide variety of fabrication and finishing in-house, allowing us to reduce our lead-time considerably over our competitors because we do not send products out of our shop for these extra steps. Silver City is your one-stop shop for creating rod and bar aluminum or solid and hollow aluminum tubes.