Characteristics and Quality of Aluminum Alloys for Extrusion

benefits of aluminum extrusionTaking advantage of all the benefits of aluminum extrusion means learning all you can about this amazing metal and how it can be used to create custom aluminum products. The qualities of aluminum alloys can make them extremely attractive to many different industries. In addition, extruded aluminum advantages frequently offer even more reasons to choose this extremely flexible metal, as the process itself can offer even more benefits. Aluminum has many similarities to other commonly used metals in manufacturing, including steel, brass, copper, zinc, lead, and titanium. However, when compared to these materials, aluminum alloys can offer even more advantages, including cost and time savings.

High Strength-to-Weight Ratio

One of the most well-known qualities of aluminum alloys is that they offer engineers and manufacturers a very high strength-to-weight ratio. What that means is that in spite of the lower weight of aluminum, especially compared to heavier metals like steel or iron, it has similar strength abilities. Aluminum is approximately one-third the weight of steel yet has a strength that is nearly equal to the heavier metal material. It is easy to imagine all of the industries that could see these benefits of aluminum extrusion as an advantage, in particular the automotive manufacturing and transportation industries. Increased use of custom aluminum products has allowed carmakers to significantly improve fuel economy while maintaining the design of safe vehicles for consumers.

Resistance to Corrosion

Another incredible advantage of using aluminum alloys in manufacturing is the natural corrosion resistance. When aluminum comes in contact with oxygen, an aluminum-oxide layer is created. This layer protects the metal underneath from damage, such as corrosion caused by rust and other environmental exposures. Abrasives, scratches, chemical contact, and other conditions may cause temporary damage to the aluminum-oxide layer. However, that layer will repair itself almost immediately to prevent further damage and corrosion. It is possible to increase the protective qualities of aluminum alloys by adding a custom coating or finishing solution once the extrusion and fabrication is complete. Anodizing, powder-coating, and painting are just some of the options we provide at Silver City Aluminum.

Electrical and Thermal Conductivity

Some people may be surprised to learn that aluminum is an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity, despite its lower weight. Copper is one of the more well-known metals used for conductivity, but studies show that custom aluminum products are nearly twice as good a conductor. Aluminum has become the primary choice of manufacturers for the design of major power transmission lines. It is significantly cheaper to work with than copper and works even better, making it an excellent investment. The extruded aluminum advantages for conductivity expand to its use in the design and manufacture of heat sinks, which can be used in many different applications, including LED lighting and computer motherboards.

Ductility and Malleability

One of the reasons why aluminum is perfect for the extrusion process is because it is so malleable. It is easy to shape, manipulate, and form, plus it can be hardened to strengths that allow it to be used structurally. Aluminum is also ductile and features a low melting point and density. This allows aluminum to be processed and manufactured in many different ways, whether heat-treated or used with a cold manufacturing method. The flexibility of aluminum helps it be formed close to the end of the product’s design, creating things like tubes, rods, wires, angles, and multi-void, complex shapes.

Non-Magnetic, Non-Toxic, Non-Sparking

Other advantages to choosing custom aluminum products may significantly impact their use within specific industries in addition to extruded aluminum advantages. Some of the qualities of aluminum alloys include being non-toxic, making it perfect for cooking utensils, appliances, and food storage; non-magnetic, which is excellent for electrical shielding, dish antennas, magnetic housings, and computer disks; and non-sparking, even when it comes in contact with non-ferrous metals. Aluminum is also 100 percent recyclable and can be used again and again without losing any of its inherent qualities.

Benefits of Aluminum Extrusion

To truly take advantage of all the benefits of aluminum extrusion, it is best to work with an experienced and reputable manufacturer like Silver City Aluminum. Our team of highly trained and experienced designers, engineers, and technicians can help you create standard and custom aluminum products for your organization that meet or exceed expectations and industry requirements. Give us a call at 508-542-7200 to speak with one of our team members about your needs and discuss extruded aluminum advantages and how they can benefit your manufacturing project.