Extrusion 101: How to Design Your Own Custom Aluminum Products

extrusion-design-101For those who are new to the concept of creating their own custom aluminum products through the power of aluminum extrusion design, this article aims to cover the basics that you will need to know to get started. While there are many huge advantages to choosing aluminum for your parts or products, including aluminum’s natural anti-corrosive properties, it is still possible to increase those benefits through intelligent design of profiles or dies. Post extrusion operations, such as deburring, sawing, mitering and more at our one stop shop fabrication facility, can all help to enhance the properties of aluminum, but it is also possible to prevent corrosion through design.

Design Basics: Getting Started
The best place to start when designing custom aluminum products is to work directly with our team of technicians to create a unique profile or die that will give you the desired results. Our team has many years of experience working with aluminum extrusion design and we have found that the more we work with each client as an individual, the more valuable the end product will become. Our goal is to meet or exceed all expectations with regard to customer service and the parts or products that we create.

All you need to do is contact Silver City Aluminum and we can provide you with a free estimate for your next aluminum extrusion, fabrication or finishing order at our one stop shop fabrication facility. We are proud to offer prices that are very competitive and also of our ability to create many custom results that a lot of our competitors are unable to achieve. Just visit our website and fill out our free estimate form or give us a call at 508-542-7200. We can help you to design the best custom aluminum products to suit your needs and assist you in the production every step of the way.

How Aluminum Extrusion Works
While the process involed in creating aluminum extrusion design can be very complicated, the method used to actually manufacture custom aluminum products is not. Silver City Aluminum purchases aluminum billet from several different suppliers. Aluminum is the most recycled and reused metal on the planet, and we purchase billet that is made from 99.9 percent recyclable aluminum. We pre-cut the billets into smaller lengths to reduce the amount of scrap metal for each order. Our crew pre-cuts the seven inch diameter pieces of raw aluminum billet to the required size, based upon the finished length and weight of the customer’s profile.

The billets are then heated to the proper temperature in a long oven. This gets them to the proper temperature by the time they reach the extruder for the extrusion process. The heated metal is then pushed through the client’s steel profile or die at approximately 10 million pounds of pressure. The aluminum then flows through the profile and is shaped into the exact shape that the client has designed for a custom extrusion or chosen for a stock profile. The extruded metal then makes its way to a 160 foot table where it starts the cool down process. We can extruded custom aluminum products up to 30 feet in length, but our 160 foot cooling table allows us to stretch each extrusion according to the client’s specifications to a much larger size.

Once the stretching is complete, the metal is then cut according to the requested length and it is then heat treated to help the aluminum harden to its maximum capacity. The entire extrusion process helps to make aluminum even more beneficial than it was in its natural state. Designing custom aluminum dies helps to increase these abilities and prevent corrosion through design by minimizing areas where moisture could collect or the protective coating could be damaged. All of the components that are used within our extrusion system are top of the line and everything is fully automated and integrated for advanced control through technology. We even have the ability to communicate with our machines via the internet from virtually anywhere in the world to assure top quality every step of the way.

Extrusion Design Tips
When you work with Silver City Aluminum to design your custom aluminum products and set the specifications for secondary operations and finishing at our one stop shop fabrication facility, it is important to take into consideration everything that you need your part to do. Incorporate as many features into the profile or die design that you can to reduce the amount of fabrication or secondary operations that are required.

It is possible to include ports and other elements into your profile design, so if you need a screw hole to assemble your finished product, go ahead and put it into the design rather than drilling a separate hole later. Not only will this reduce your lead time, but it will also save money on secondary operations and prevent corrosion through design that could come from drilling into the aluminum.

Other tips include adding ribs or grooves to the design of your aluminum extrusion to reduce the appearance of any fine lines or scratches. Well placed grooves can also act as stiffeners or provide other functions as well. Aluminum extrusion design should incorporate small radii on the corners whenever possible instead of sharp edges for a cleaner finished product. Speak with a designer or technician at Silver City Aluminum for even more tips and tricks for design.

Contact Silver City Aluminum to Get Started
If you are interested in learning more about custom aluminum products, would like to try your hand at aluminum extrusion design or if you want to know more about our one stop shop fabrication facility, give us a call at 508-542-7200. Our team of highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable customer service agents can help you to achieve your goals. We can also provide you with a free estimate on your next extrusion, fabrication or finishing project.