There are many advantages to using aluminum as the chosen metal for extrusion. Compared to other metals, aluminum is softer before it is formed, making it easier and less costly to be extruded than steel or other “harder” metals. However, during the process itself, the extruded aluminum becomes stronger and more durable. Things like stretching and heating, even the actual pressure extrusion itself, contribute to the finished abilities of this metal after the entire process is complete. Taking into account aluminum’s high strength to weight ratio, ability to be finished and further customized through secondary operations, as well as natural anti-corrosion properties, and you can see why aluminum extrusion design is so important to many different industries.
How Dies Are Created
Custom extrusion dies, or profiles as they are also often called, can be designed by the client alone or through the support and advice of the extrusion facility. For example, the team at Silver City Aluminum prides themselves on working with clients on every step of the process. They have found over the years that the more involved they become, the better the results. It is possible to further prevent corrosion through design, create shapes that can be used in a number of unique ways to overcome specific industry obstacles and create extruded aluminum that is designed to last and last.
Both standard and custom extrusion dies are created out of hard steel, so they can last for multiple extrusions to create many different orders of products. Virtually any shape can be created to meet the specific structural, functional and aesthetic requirements of the designer. The design that is chosen can even help to reduce or eliminate welding operations, reduce the amount of machining that is required or even help to improve assembly. There are three different classifications of aluminum extrusion design, which include solid shapes, semi-hollow shapes and hollow shapes.
Understanding Shape Classifications
The most simple description of a shape classification for extruded aluminum is solid. A solid shape is a shape that is not considered hollow or semi-hollow. Solid bars, solid tubes – there are a lot of standard solid shapes that are used across many different industries. The second classification is semi-hollow. A shape that falls into this classification is part solid and part hollow, where a void is partially closed. Within this classification there are other sub-classifications, such as Class 1, which has voids that are symmetrical about the centerline of the gap; and Class 2, which has voids that are not symmetrical or that have different wall thicknesses on either side of the design.
The hollow shape classification describes standard or custom extrusion dies and shapes where the void is completely enclosed anywhere within the cross-section. Sub-classifications are also provided within this classification, as with the sub-hollow shapes. Class 1 hollow shapes must meet three requirements, which include a round internal void, a void that is one inch or more in diameter, and a shape that is balanced symmetrically around the void by two or more axes. Class 2 hollow shape classification have three requirements as well. The first is that the shape cannot be a Class 1 hollow, the second is that there must be a single void no smaller than 0.375 inches in diameter or 0.110 square inches in area, and the third states that the entire shape must fit within a five inch circle.
There is only one requirement for a Class 3 hollow shape, and that is that the shape cannot be classified as a Class 1 or a Class 2. Speak with the team of highly trained designers and technicians when you contact Silver City Aluminum for standard or custom aluminum extrusion design to learn more about these classifications and sub-classifications for creating custom extrusion dies and profiles. They can help you to include all of the elements you require for the completed extruded aluminum order, as well as to provide you with advice on how to create smart designs for your dies that will help to prevent corrosion through design and reduce the amount of required secondary operations.
Truly Custom Extruded Aluminum at Silver City
If you are interested in learning more about aluminum extrusion design or want to know about the secondary and finishing operations available for extruded aluminum at Silver City Aluminum, just give us a call at 508-542-7200. Our team can help you every step of the way from the design of custom extrusion dies to surface finishing options that can further enhance your product. Call today to start the design process or to get a FREE estimate on any of our services. Find out how Silver City Aluminum can help you to achieve your goals and fulfill your needs for standard or custom aluminum extrusion.