Why Custom Aluminum Extrusion is Good for the Marine Industry

Aluminum and the Marine IndustryAluminum industry solutions are very popular in areas like aerospace, commercial trucking, consumer automotive and various types of architecture, but they have been used in the marine industry for decades. There are many reasons why aluminum is a great choice for marine applications, such as the low density of aluminum and its high strength, durability and natural resistance to corrosion, but that’s just getting started. When it comes to custom aluminum extrusion, it is possible for manufacturers to further prevent corrosion through design compared to materials made with a standard extrusion die or through other fabrication methods.

High Strength to Weight Ratio
The lightweight nature of aluminum allows designers to achieve 15-20 percent weight savings, compared to steel and other commonly used materials. Despite weighing a third less than steel, aluminum still has a very high strength and durability, making it the perfect choice for marine solutions. Similar to findings in the automotive industry, these weight savings help marine vessels to achieve higher speeds and can increase fuel efficiency, making it very attractive for speed boats, race boats and even large vessels, such as patrol boats, military watercraft, passenger and vehicle ferries, fishing vessels and much more.

The extrusion process itself, the act of repeatedly heating and cooling the aluminum while forming it with a custom or standard extrusion die, makes it even more durable by increasing its strength. The ability to design custom aluminum extrusion profiles allows manufacturers to save costs by reducing secondary operations and enables them to create even better products by opting to prevent corrosion through design, in addition to aluminum’s natural anti-corrosion properties. Luxury yachts, cruise ships, and even cargo ships are taking advantage of the lightweight strength of aluminum.

Greater Resistance
Another advantage to choosing aluminum industry solutions for marine products is the ability to provide a greater resistance to damage that might cause a fracture or breach. One example of this is the hull of a boat. An aluminum hull that is designed to have the same strength, durability and stiffness of a steel hull would be 50 percent thicker, but it would also be lighter than the steel option by 50 percent, still working to improve speed and fuel efficiency. That aluminum hull would also have a 30 percent greater resistance to dents and a nearly 15 percent greater resistance to rupturing.

Another type of resistance that aluminum has that is beneficial to the marine industry, is a natural resistance to corrosion. This is one of the many reasons why aluminum industry solutions are used across many different types of industries. The natural resistance to corrosion by aluminum comes from a thin layer of passive oxide coating that forms on aluminum when it exposed to the atmosphere. The aluminum oxide coating is different from the oxide coating that is found on conventional steel, in that it is continuous and can resist further oxidation from forming as well. Its only vulnerability comes from dissolution in media that is highly acidic or alkaline in nature.

Other Marine Solutions
In addition to helping marine vessels go faster, be stronger and increase fuel efficiency, custom aluminum extrusion can also be used in other ways. Once again, it is possible to use custom profiles to prevent corrosion through design, but it is also possible to create strong, yet lightweight, aluminum industry solutions using a standard extrusion die. Perhaps one of the most common products created with aluminum in the marine industry is aluminum extrusion racks. These racks can be used in a number of ways and have a real advantage over steel, which used to be the material of choice for building racks.

Custom aluminum extrusion racks can be shipped disassembled and can then be easily assembled without requiring welds, like were used with the steel materials, that can break. The high strength to weight ratio also enables weightier items to be stored on these racks without having to increase the size of the racks themselves. They are suitable for storage racks used at boat yards for various sizes of vessels and for lighter weight use to store or haul canoes and kayaks. Over all, these aluminum industry solutions provide commercial businesses and consumers with cost-efficient, low-maintenance and lightweight racks for storage of many different uses.

Custom Aluminum Extrusion at Silver City Aluminum
If you are in need of aluminum industry solutions for your marine or transportation industry related business, trust the one stop shop extrusion specialists at Silver City Aluminum. We can help you design custom aluminum extrusion profiles or can suggest the best standard extrusion die available to help you achieve your goals. Our designers can give you tips to help prevent corrosion through design and give you examples on how our aluminum extrusions have helped other clients across many different industries. Call today at 508-824-8631 or use our online contact form to request a FREE estimate for your next project.