Standard extrusion of aluminum materials has been used for many years to create aluminum doors and windows. Today’s companies are moving to custom designs to increase the value and potential of traditional aluminum frames. The aluminum extrusion industry has made it easy for manufacturers to create custom designs that will improve their products and provide better results to consumers. Custom profile or die design helps to create unique shapes that can work to reduce assembly time and improve the quality of the overall product. These sustainable aluminum extrusions can even be designed to include multiple parts into one single piece, eliminating the joining process and lowering overhead costs.
Selecting the Best Alloy
It pays to work with a manufacturer that has many years of experience working in the aluminum extrusion industry. While there are many aluminum alloys to choose from, some alloys are not the best choice for aluminum doors and windows. Aluminum has many beneficial qualities, and some alloys capitalize on those qualities better than others. The high strength-to-weight ratio of aluminum makes it very appealing for construction materials, such as traditional aluminum frames for doors and windows. Some alloys are stronger than others, but they may not be appropriate for some designs. Working closely with engineers and technicians at Silver City Aluminum can help you make smart choices that will pay off and help you avoid common mistakes that can be costly.
We work with the 6000 series of aluminum alloys, particularly 6063, 6005, and 6463. This series is very popular, as they don’t work-harden as quickly as other alloys. What that means for our clients is that the alloy can be extruded more efficiently to create more cost-effective parts, products, and components. We provide our clients with insightful tips that can help to avoid surface defects, design interlocking joints, design proper screw slots, and take advantage of the mechanical properties of each alloy. Our goal is to work with each client from the initial design phase all the way through finishing to ensure top quality results. Whether you are designing frames for aluminum doors and windows or intricate parts for the aerospace industry, our team can help you to achieve your goals.
It is important to know that while the alloy itself will tell you much about the properties of the aluminum materials, it isn’t the only factor that should be considered. Depending on the composition of the alloy that you have chosen, the materials can be increased in strength and hardening using various treatments or tempers. Tempering is the use of heating and cooling techniques to create the desired effect. The temper of an alloy is noted with a hyphenated suffix next to the series number. For example, our 6005 series alloys can be used in either a 6005-T1 or 6005-T5 temper. A T1 temper is cooled from an elevated temperature and then naturally aged, while a T5 temper is cooled from an elevated temperature and then artificially aged. Each temper creates different benefits and results.
Tempering usually involves a three-stage process. The alloy is heated to a specific temperature and is then held at that temperature for a certain amount of time to dissolve the alloying elements. These temperatures and times must be carefully selected and controlled for each aluminum alloy. The solution temperature and melting point of the material will often be very slim, so control is essential. The cooling method is vital to the success of the tempering as well. Alloys are typically cooled using air, water, or a combination of both to drop the temperature within a specific time frame. This cooling helps to achieve the desired hardness requirements. State-of-the-art machines can be used to program any number of cooling variations to deliver consistent results for strength, performance, and surface specifications.
After the extrusion and tempering have been achieved, immediately after the parts are cooled according to the required methods, other operations can be performed. While the aluminum materials are still malleable, stretching and straightening are applied as needed. Some alloys benefit from a natural aging process. What this involves is placing the extrusions in a space where they can sit at room temperature for a specific period of time to continue increasing beneficial properties, such as strength and durability. However, artificial aging is required for some alloys, which involves holding them in a room for a limited period of time at a moderately raised temperature. Aging ovens can also be used to quicken the aging process for all types of alloys to bring out other essential properties.
Custom Aluminum Doors and Windows
Contact our team at Silver City Aluminum to learn more about our sustainable aluminum extrusions. Custom design options and standard profiles are available for the creation of aluminum doors and windows. Custom solutions can help to increase the benefits of traditional aluminum frames, providing better energy ratings and advantages to consumers. Give us a call at 508-542-7200 or use our online contact form to reach our engineers and technicians. The aluminum extrusion industry has provided quality parts, components, and products that have helped to advance modern aluminum doors and windows for many years. Call today and see what we can do for you!