Compared to other types of production, there are many advantages associated with using custom aluminum extrusions to create the parts and products your business requires. Aluminum fabrication shops can create standard shapes through the use of stock profiles or dies, including solid and hollow designs. These are the shapes that we see most often when we think about what it takes to extrude aluminum alloys. They include rectangles, squares, and solid or hollow aluminum tubes. However, there are some situations when custom aluminum extrusions are needed to create a specific shape. When designed with the assistance of an experienced engineer, the extrusion can be made without any loss of tension or cross section within the metal. The ability to extrude aluminum into just about any shape and size has helped it to benefit many different industries here in America and around the globe.
Creating a Custom Profile
Custom aluminum extrusions all start at the same place: the drawing board. Companies express a specific need, such as a part that is based on if another shape but with distinct differences that make the finished product more advantageous to their need. It might be a variation of a stock shape or something entirely different, but the goal should be to create something unique that either simplifies assembly, increases the properties of the aluminum itself, or enhances the product that the company is manufacturing. Engineers can help a client determine whether their idea for a custom profile would work the way that they want it to and make suggestions for better ways to achieve their goals if it is not a workable design.
The actual profile or die that is used to extrude aluminum alloys to make the solid or hollow aluminum tubes, and other shapes is very easy to make. In order to stand up to the pressure of extrusion, the profile is made out of steel. Depending on the shape, the profile will have a long life, allowing many custom aluminum extrusions to be made at the aluminum fabrication shops before having to make another die. The initial return on investment for the design and creation of the first die is appreciated throughout the continued production of the part or product that is being made. Reducing post-extrusion operations, additional fabrication or assembly, along with other steps in the manufacturing process means that it eventually “pays for itself” in cost savings.
Other savings that can come from custom aluminum extrusions include:
- reduced waste associated with secondary operations
- additional costs for welding and fabrication
- shortened lead times due to less extra work being required
- eliminate extra machining to save money and time
How Does Extrusion Work?
Compared to other methods of production, the manufacturing advantages of creating extrusions provides many distinct advantages. If you are not family with the work that is done at aluminum fabrication shops, here is a basic primer. It all starts with a billet of aluminum. At Silver City Aluminum, 99.9 percent of the aluminum that we use is recycled, making this material extremely sustainable and friendly to the environment. This saves our clients in many ways, as recycled aluminum only costs a very small fraction to produce compared to what it costs to produce and refine raw aluminum for manufacturing purposes. The aluminum alloy is heated up to a particular temperature to increase malleability before it is pushed at over a million pounds of pressure through the steel die.
What happens is similar to what you see when you squeeze toothpaste out of a tube or when you pushed play clay through a shape as a child. The pressure causes the material to come out in a certain shape – rounded, squared, star-shaped or whatever it is that you want to make. The extrusion process helps to increase the beneficial properties of aluminum, so when you extrude aluminum alloys you not only create the shapes and designs that you need to manufacture your goods and products, but you also strengthen and enhance this amazing and versatile metal. Aluminum has a natural resistance to corrosion, which makes it ideal for use across many different industries, but it also has many other clear benefits that make it a top choice for some of today’s hottest manufacturing projects.
Choose Silver City Aluminum for Custom Aluminum Extrusions
If you are thinking about designing your own custom profiles to extrude aluminum alloys for your industry, consider the reputation and abilities of our in-house engineers and technicians at Silver City Aluminum. While there are many aluminum fabrication shops across the country, we have the knowledge, experience, and equipment necessary to create custom aluminum extrusions that will meet or exceed your expecations.
We do everything at our one stop aluminum fabrication shop, from the initial design of the profile, extrusion, secondary operations, finishing, quality check, and even shipping to retain complete control over the finishing results. This helps to create a better quality product, but also helps us to reduce lead time. Give us a call at 508-542-7200 to get a FREE estimate on your next project or to learn more about what we do here at Silver City Aluminum.