The process used to create standard and custom aluminum extrusion shapes is the same. The difference is in the initial design. The choice to create your own custom profile or to use a standard extrusion die is what helps the pieces that you create take on all of the features and shapes that you need to achieve your goals. In some situations, a standard shape can be used to create a simple rod and bar aluminum extrusion. That shape can be customized after extrusion to achieve the desired results, either through secondary operations, finishing options, or other services done right at the manufacturing facility. However, the best way to ensure that all of the features you need are included, while also working to simplify assembly, reduce secondary operations and costs, while also reducing the amount of time required to put it all together, is to use custom extrusion and fabrication to more efficiently meet your needs.
Basic Design Tips
When designing a custom profile or tweaking a standard extrusion die, the thickness of the walls for the profile can help to determine the strength of the finished piece, as well as the overall cost of production. Extrusion and fabrication profiles that have a more uniform thickness for the walls will be the most cost-effective and easy to produce. Work closely with an experienced and knowledgeable engineer who specializes in custom and standard extrusion die design to help you make decisions based on your unique requirements and budget. The more production friendly your design, the easier it will be to produce, and the more affordable the entire project will be to create.
Other tips to lower costs for extrusion and secondary operations include:
- design a symmetrical shape
- include lines that are simple and soft
- ensure that walls are uniform in thickness
- avoid channels that are deep or narrow
- select the best alloy for the design
- pay attention to tolerance specifications
- pick the best surface finish to complement the design
What are Soft Lines?
You will hear this term a lot in the aluminum extrusion industry. Soft lines include designs that have rounded corners with a radius of 0.5 to 1 millimeter. The reason is that it is difficult, time-consuming, and thereby more costly, to create razor sharp corners. Additional fabrication can be used to achieve this if the design demands it. You may start off with basic rod and bar aluminum through the use of a standard extrusion die, but secondary operations can be used to enhance extrusion and fabrication can be used to help meet your unique needs. When sharp tips are attempted, the profile can result in edges that are uneven or way. The more rounded your tips can be, the better the results. This is not just in the creation phase, but also in the cooling, to provide a profile that cools evenly and is more structurally sound.
Why Solid Profiles are Best
If cost-effectiveness is very important to the success of your project, then consider using solid profiles instead of hollow or semi-hollow shapes, such as rod and bar aluminum. While there are options for a standard extrusion die that will produce hollow or semi-hollow shapes, it is much easier to produce shapes that are solid. Hollow profiles that feature a lot of cavities and variations will be very complex, resulting in pieces that require a lot of time and money to produce. Other secondary operations and features can be added through extrusion and fabrication, such as telescoping, that can achieve the same results while also being a lot easier to produce. In fact, just by reducing the number of cavities in a hollow die or profile, a client can create a piece that is more stable and durable, providing longer-lasting results and strength.
Trust Design to Silver City Aluminum
If you are in need of custom extrusion and fabrication, secondary operations, or finishing for a particular product and require advice or support from our engineering and design team, just give Silver City Aluminum a call at 508-542-7200. Our team can help you to achieve the desired results beyond basic rod and bar aluminum. If you want to use a stock or standard extrusion die, or if you want to design your own custom aluminum extrusion profile, we can provide you with the advice, consultation services, and support you need to achieve your goals. Give us a call today and see for yourself why so many clients across just about every industry trust Silver City Aluminum for all of their custom and standard aluminum extrusion needs.