Custom Aluminum Extrusion: Design Interlocking Joints & Parts

Interlocking Aluminum ProfileA major advantage associated with designing your own custom aluminum extrusions, is having the ability to add special effects that you would have to add-on in other ways, such as interlocking joints, telescoping parts and other pieces that join together seamlessly. Custom extrusion dies can be designed with these functions in mind, especially at a facility that provides one stop shop fabrication and finishing at a single location. Whether you are designing innovative aluminum doors and windows or something completely new, you can count on the talent, teamwork, knowledge and experience of the engineers, designers and technicians at Silver City Aluminum.

What is an Interlocking Joint?
Before you can know if you need one, you need to know what it does. In the most basic of terms, an interlocking joint is a modified version of a basic tongue-and-groove connection. However, in this case, the two elements that join are curved so that they cannot be assembled or, more importantly, disassembled by a straight-line motion. There must be assembled using a rotating motion and can only be disassembled through the use of a counter-rotating motion. What this means is, that when the parts are kept in their assembled position, the cannot be separated and are able to resist separation, as well.

Depending on the counter-rotation of the assembly, parts that are assembled with interlocking joints can be secured by fastening the parts to structural cross-members, restraining the assembly with channel end-closures or within a rigid frame, providing a folding and locking flange or fastening the joint together in some fashion, such as welding, riveting, adhesives or other fastening methods and devices.

When these parts are designed, the custom extrusion dies must also take into account the amount of rotation that is desired for the creation of the interlocking assembly, which can be altered through the geometry of the design. The design can be within the range of a 45 degree angle, more or less, as long as there is room for the rotation required to assemble and disassemble the parts. Working with a one stop shop fabrication facility, such as Silver City Aluminum, can help you to create these custom aluminum extrusions for industry, providing manufacturers with innovative solutions to common issues found in assembly.

What are Snap-Lock Joints?
Sometimes referred to as “snap-fit” joints in the industry, these joints are self-locking and require absolutely no additional fasteners to help hold them together. Many of our clients choose this method for creating custom extrusion dies to help reduce assembly requirements and lower the costs of finished products, such as aluminum doors and windows. When parts that are designed to snap-lock together are joined, they cannot be accidentally disassembled.

While it does not require it, the joint can also be further increased through the use of adhesives that are applied to the joining surfaces before the parts are assembled. Parts of any size that are joined together in this way, through the use of snap-lock joints and adhesive bonding, will not be easily taken apart. This feature makes snap-lock joints a real asset in many situations, including the design of aluminum doors and windows or other industrial products.

It is important to note that the exact dimensions of each part is critical in the creation of a snap-lock joint. This is where engineering and design on the part of the one stop shop fabrication facility really come into play. The general dimensions of the joint should be referenced in the initial design by the client, while the precision for the final dimensions in the parts as created through the use of custom extrusion dies, should be determined by the experienced designer of the custom aluminum extrusions. It is important to choose a team that has the knowledge, experience and equipment that can all work together to create these precise dimensions and results.

Contact Silver City Aluminum in Taunton, Massachusetts
Located in New England, our team provides top quality one stop shop fabrication and custom aluminum extrusions for clients all around the globe. Because we do everything in-house, from the initial design and extrusion to the fabrication, assembly and shipping, we are able to improve lead times and oversee quality control every step of the way. Give us a call at 508-542-7200 or use our online order form to get started on your standard or custom extrusion order.