While there are many different materials that can be shaped using extrusion, only one has the ability to replace steel and other metals for use in just about every industry. Transportation, aerospace, consumer vehicles, marine, construction, and architectural design are just some of the industries that take advantage of the benefits of aluminum products. Custom extrusion design is used with certain aluminum alloys to create strong, durable, and valuable parts, components, and products. The benefits of aluminum products, which include affordability, sustainability, and recyclability, just to name a few, make them extremely valuable. When aluminum extrusion solutions are created to overcome specific issues in manufacturing, such as working to prevent corrosion through design in abrasive environments, they become even more advantageous.
The Best Metal Choice for Extrusion
The malleability of aluminum makes it the perfect choice for custom extrusion design. Aluminum can be used to make any shape required by the client, including extremely tight tolerances and specialty designs that can reduce labor and assembly to make the product even more cost-effective. Aluminum alloys can range in tensile strength from 70 to 700 Mpa, providing manufacturers with a wide range of options. However, when it comes to maximizing the benefits of aluminum products through extrusion, the best range sits between 150 and 300 Mpa.
Unlike the common grades of steel used in manufacturing, aluminum does not become brittle at extremely low temperatures. Instead, in contrast, the aluminum extrusion solutions will become even stronger when the temperature drops. The characteristics of aluminum make it very valuable to many different industries. The consumer automotive industry, for example, has used aluminum to replace many traditional steel parts as a means of reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. This helps to improve fuel economy and make the vehicle more eco-friendly due to the increased amount of recycled or recyclable materials.
The Best Aluminum Alloys for Extrusion
At Silver City Aluminum, we stick to the 6000-series of alloys when it comes to our aluminum extrusion solutions. While we can use other alloys to meet the demands of a client for industry requirements or regulations, we find that the best alloys for most projects include 6063, 6005, and 6463. The 6063 alloy is a widely used option that includes magnesium and silicon. It has a much finer grain than other alloys, including 6061, and offers our customers with the best results for aesthetics when used with anodizing and other custom coating solutions. 6063 is highly workable and weldable, offering increased resistance to corrosion. It is frequently used with conductors, industrial tubing, and for the architectural industry.
The 6005 alloy has properties that lie somewhere between the 6061 and 6082 alloys, yet offers even better characteristics. It is marked noticeably by its top quality surface finish and resistance to corrosion. It contains significant amounts of silicon, which reduces the melting temperature and improves the ability of the metal to be extruded. It is easier to machine than the 6061 alloy and offers more exceptional strength properties. The 6463 alloy is commonly heat-treated after extrusion to increase its strength. This process also lowers the ductility of this alloy, providing better results for the manufacture of tubes, rods, bars, and custom profiles.
Benefits of Aluminum Products
Aside from all of the advantages that were already outlined, there are even more reasons to choose aluminum for custom extrusion design. This metal is light in weight, yet has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, which is why it is commonly used to replace heavier steel parts. It is one-third the weight of steel, helping manufacturers to significantly reduce the weight of their finished product. Aluminum is non-corrosive, which means that it does not rust. However, there are certain environments and conditions that can damage the resistance of aluminum and put it at-risk. Our engineers can work with clients to prevent corrosion through design, even in some of the most hostile environments.
Additional benefits can be helpful in certain industries. For example, aluminum extrusion solutions have certain advantages, such as being non-sparking and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Used in heat exchangers and high-voltage applications, custom extrusion design of aluminum can also be used to replace copper. Depending on the alloy that is chosen, aluminum can even be twice as conductive as copper. Resilient, flexible, reflective, recyclable, and non-combustible, there are many reasons to choose custom aluminum extrusion in manufacturing.
Silver City Aluminum has many years of experience serving customers across just about every industry with top quality custom extrusion design and standard aluminum extrusion. If you would like to place an order or speak with one of our engineers about your needs for aluminum extrusion solutions, give us a call at 508-542-7200.