When it comes to finding solutions for the New England marine industry, it is important to select materials that will stand up to the environment. Cold and windy weather, salt from the sea air, and of course the water and moisture itself. Many metals will find this environment inhospitable, resulting in premature rust and corrosion to the parts, products, and tools used by marine workers. Aluminum is different from other metals and materials in that it is naturally rust and corrosion resistant, offering great-looking, long-lasting results. This is the reason why you will often see aluminum extrusion and fabrication being used in many different areas of the marine industry. From hollow aluminum tubes used for railings, ladders, and gratings, to custom aluminum extrusion, which can be used to create windows, doors, and much more.
Aluminum Versus Steel
When compared to steel, which is one of the most commonly used metals in construction across multiple industries, aluminum comes out the big winner. In addition to being naturally resistant to corrosion and rust, aluminum also has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, meaning that it can be extremely strong, despite weighing just a third of the weight of steel. This makes the finished product lighter, which can improve energy consumption and fuel economy for personal and commercial marine vessels.
Weight saving for boats of all types can also help to boost payload and expand the overall capacity for equipment. It can also aid in weight distribution to improve the stability of the entire vessel. This makes for much more efficient hull design, making vessels made with aluminum much more cost effective over time. While the initial design may be more costly, the return on investment for all of these advantages associated with using custom aluminum extrusion is much greater than boats made with other materials.
Standard and Custom Aluminum Extrusion
There are basically two types of aluminum extrusion used for the marine industry. Standard aluminum extrusion, which consists of solid and hollow bars, solid and hollow aluminum tools, and other basic profile shapes. Custom aluminum extrusion is designed and engineered by our clients for a specific purpose. Profiles made from aluminum extrusion and fabrication can be customized and designed to eliminate extra steps in manufacturing, improve function, and additional finishing options can even be added to increase the natural anti-corrosive abilities of aluminum.
Accessories, add-ons, and other tools and equipment used in the New England marine industry also benefit from being made with aluminum extrusion and fabrication. Railings, ladders, seating areas, and stairs made from aluminum all help to reduce the overall weight of the vessel and provide long-lasting, great-looking equipment that will stand up to the harsh sea air and moisture. Protective measures, including powder-coating, anodizing, and painting, can help to increase the durability of these parts and products for the New England marine industry and other marine industries around the globe.
What Types of Vessels?
You might be thinking that aluminum is just fine for a personal vessel, such as a small pleasure boat, runabout, outboard cruiser or another boat of up to 20 feet or so. However, custom aluminum extrusion and the use of hollow aluminum tubes have been used on larger vessels with great success for many years. Larger inboard boats, ranging from 20-125 feet in length are often fabricated with aluminum materials and utilize parts and pieces made from custom aluminum extrusion and fabrication. Sailboats and power boats alike have relied on aluminum industry solutions for the New England marine industry and other busy nautical communities.
Commercial craft also utilizes custom aluminum extrusion to take advantage of the lighter weight to increase speed and reduce energy consumption. Crew boats, and other personnel type vessels, that are built using aluminum materials can be completed in about one-third less of the time than it typically takes for steel marine construction. Fishing vessels benefit greatly from the weight-saving properties and corrosion-resistance of aluminum extrusion and fabrication for much of the equipment and functional parts of their boats. The less weight for the vessel, the more weight that can be added for long fishing trips or mass commercial fishing outfits. Even government survey and police boats take advantage of aluminum solutions.
Contact Silver City Aluminum
If you are interested in learning more about how custom aluminum extrusion can benefit the marine industry here in New England and around the globe, give us a call at 508-542-7200. Our team of highly trained and experienced engineers, designers, and technicians can help you achieve all of your goals and create custom solutions for your industry needs. Call today for a FREE estimate on your next project or to speak with one of our knowledgeable experts.