While aluminum on its own is a very versatile and beneficial metal used to create parts, products, and components for nearly every industry in existence, the benefits of aluminum extrusion can be even more significant. Aluminum extrusion profiles are used in everything from delicate electronics to high-value machinery for military and defense contractors. The impressive high strength-to-weight ratio of aluminum alloys makes it perfect for improving fuel consumption in consumer vehicles and creating lightweight products for the aerospace industry. While some of the benefits come from the selection made to extrude aluminum alloys that have higher strength or better corrosion-resistance, others come from the methods used to make the aluminum extrusion profiles in the first place.
How Aluminum Extrusion Works
Raw billets of aluminum materials are cut to order, heated to a specific temperature. They are then squeezed under high pressure through a steel profile or die to create a specific shape. Depending on the needs of the client, the finished products can be cut according to specifications and further manipulated using fabrication techniques, secondary operations, and custom finishing solutions. Aluminum is very easy to work with, and its malleability makes it perfect for maximizing the advantages of aluminum products. The durability, strength, and longevity of this amazing metal make it ideal for use in extreme environments where temperature, abrasion, and exposure might severely damage or weaken other metals.
Custom aluminum extrusion helps businesses who rely on specific parts in manufacturing to decrease lead times, save money by reducing material waste, and ensure that their products are made according to strict specifications. Aluminum extrusion can be customized quickly and easily to eliminate certain types of fabrication, such as welding and soldering, to create a more stable and durable end product. When you take advantage of the benefits of aluminum extrusion, you can open your manufacturing business up to a whole world of savings and opportunity. Aluminum is very plentiful and highly recyclable, making it one of the most cost-effective materials used in construction, product design, and consumer goods.
Long-Lasting Strength & Durability
When compared to other materials that are commonly used in manufacturing – even products that also rely on extrusion – the advantages of aluminum products still exceed their abilities, custom aluminum extrusion profiles are very strong and are designed to last longer than products made from plastic, steel, or other common production and construction materials. Part of this is because of the inherent strength of aluminum, but the other part is because of the methods used to extrude aluminum alloys. For example, heating the aluminum billets helps to increase strength, while making the material more malleable for extrusion. The extrusion process itself also works to increase strength, and the finishing process of cooling, and then heating again helps to maximize strength to its full potential.
Another reason why aluminum is so durable is its natural resistance to corrosion. A natural oxide layer forms on the surface of aluminum extrusion profiles when they come in contact with the air. This can reduce the damage done by scratches, scrapes, and other abrasions, as well as exposure to chemicals and other corrosive conditions. Because the layer forms naturally, it is considered to be self-healing. Even if the material becomes scratched or dented, a new layer is formed to increase protection to prevent further damage. Another benefit of aluminum extrusion is that the material works well in both hot and cold temperatures. Unlike steel, which can become brittle in extremely cold temperatures, aluminum becomes stronger as the temperature drops.
Adaptable Advantages of Aluminum Products
Having the ability to create an unlimited array of shapes and sizes when you extrude aluminum alloys makes it even more advantageous. Tubes, rods, wire, angles, and other shapes are considered standard when it comes to aluminum extrusion profiles. However, the design of custom shapes is quite popular with manufacturers, as it provides results that require very little additional work or fabrication to make them useful. Instead of spending more time and money on secondary operations, many of these unique shapes and connections can be included with the custom design to improve lead times and create parts, components, and products that are stronger than if they had been welded or soldered.
To learn more about the advantages of aluminum products or discuss your ideas for creating custom shapes to extrude aluminum alloys, contact Silver City Aluminum at 508-542-7200. We can answer any questions you might have about the benefits of aluminum extrusion or schedule a consultation with our highly trained and experienced engineers to help you create a custom solution that will meet or exceed your expectations. Call today and get a FREE estimate for any of the professional services we provide.