One Stop Shop Fabrication: Making Hollow Aluminum Extrusions

hollow-extrusionsThe process of making extruded aluminum involves the creation of unique aluminum shapes that are forced through metal dies with machines with extreme amounts of pressure. It is easier to create quality versions of unique or complex shapes through the use of aluminum extrusion than it is to use other processes of metal formation. One of the benefits of choosing to use extrusion over other methods is that it is possible to create hollow aluminum extrusions and shapes that can be used to make machine parts and pieces that are used in a variety of different ways.

How Extrusions Are Made
When it comes to creating hollow aluminum extrusions, most of the pieces created by manufacturers have a smallish hole in the middle as a means of boosting the exterior strength of the metal. Pieces that have a larger opening are more difficult, as the outside metal could collapse. It can be very difficult to make hollow aluminum extrusions that have very larger interior diameters.

As a result, these types of pieces are more expensive to produce because they are more difficult to manufacture with smaller openings at the interior of the finished product. Many people wonder how extrusions are made with these larger openings. There are two methods that are used in many on stop shop fabrication services. One is known as the bridge and the other is known as the porthole.

  • BRIDGE – Of the two methods, the “bridge” method is the most costly and more skill is required to create wide set hollow aluminum extrusions in this manner. This method is usually only used for what are known as high pressure applications in which the extruded aluminum piece would be damaged if it were cut. Bridge dies contain an internal mandrel that helps the die to “scoop out the inside” of the shape as it is extruded. A well designed bridge die is ideal for creating quality hollow aluminum extrusions.
  • PORTHOLE – Cheaper and easier than the “bridge” method, the “porthole” method works by cutting open the two sides of the metal. A mandrel is then used to scoop out the inside of the metal. The die welds the sides of the metal back together. Hollow aluminum extrusions made in this manner have a seam that is created when the sides are welded back together, but it is nearly impossible to detect due to the way that the mandrel and die work together with the heat of the metal to create the extruded aluminum end product.

Creating Standard Extruded Aluminum
Another step in the process of learning how extrusions are made is the category known as standard extruded aluminum. In addition to creating custom hollow aluminum extrusions, most of your one stop shop fabrication services will also have an array of standard extruded aluminum available to their clients. Silver City Aluminum is no exception, as we have a wide variety of standard shapes available. These simple, standard extrusions can be used in many different ways to the benefit of our clients. To find out more about the stock extruded aluminum profiles available at Silver City Aluminum, see our “Standard Profile Catalog” for details.

The standard extruded aluminum shapes available include:

  • angles
  • bars
  • hollow tubes
  • circular tubes
  • square tubes
  • solid tubes

Creating Custom Extruded Aluminum
Our strength at Silver City Aluminum is in the custom extruded aluminum and other one stop shop fabrication services that we provided to our clients. We purchase our aluminum billet from several different suppliers. Everything we use is 99.9 percent recyclable aluminum, regardless of the aluminum alloys you select for your extruded aluminum.

When it comes to understanding how extrusions are made at Silver City, we use an extruding machines that pushes the heated metal with approximately 10,000,000 pounds of pressure through the custom steel profile, known as a die. Dies are created directly by our customers or created with the help of our knowledgeable and experienced technicians. The aluminum flows through the die to create the exact shape that was designed by our client. Hollow aluminum extrusions, solid extrusions and an unlimited array of custom shapes, sizes and styles can be created using this process.

Every step of the way, the components and methods used to create extruded aluminum at Silver City are top quality. Our machines are fully automated and integrated into the process. We utilize PLC control technology to communicate with our machines remotely, which allows us to monitor the process and make changes from any location in the world. It helps us to monitor the machine itself and to tell the rate of speed, extrusion recipe and other valuables to ensure consistent quality control. We are able to monitor how extrusions are made every single step of the way.

Getting Started With Silver City Aluminum
Providing our clients with the best standards of quality control and customer service with regard to each and every order of extruded aluminum is our top priority. Our goal is to exceed all expectations with a superior custom aluminum product, whether we are creating hollow aluminum extrusions or finishing the product with one stop shop fabrication. Our many years of experience in providing quality products has helped us to understand that the more we are involved with each client to create a custom product, the better the results of the finished design. Give us a call today at 508-542-7200 or use our online form to get a free estimate on our services.