There are so many different uses for basic rod and bar aluminum extrusion and endless possibilities for custom aluminum extrusion design that it is impossible to make a comprehensive list of all the ways that it can be used. However, the benefits of aluminum products are quite diverse and show the advantages they can provide to nearly every industrial, commercial, and consumer sector they are designed to serve. The New England marine industry, automotive manufacturers, home builders, industrial machine developers, aerospace engineers, military and defense, and many other unique industries depend on quality aluminum alloy extrusion for the products they develop. Some of the benefits are well-known, such as the high strength to weight ratio and recyclability of this fantastic metal, but other natural qualities can be quite surprising to those new to aluminum.
High Strength to Weight Ratio
The primary reason that aluminum has been chosen by the transportation and automotive industries is that it has an extremely high strength to weight ratio. Coming in at about one-third the density of steel, aluminum offers all of the strength, safety, durability, and dependability needed to provide greater fuel economy and cost savings for manufacturers. Used in many different motion-related applications, custom aluminum extrusion can also help to improve lead times, create more valuable parts that do not require secondary operations, and maximize stiffness, while still minimizing weight. Certain grades of aluminum alloy can have as much as four times the strength of stainless steel, making it the perfect choice for aircraft manufacturing.
Natural Corrosion Prevention
Thanks to the development of an aluminum-oxide layer, as soon as the material is exposed to oxygen, aluminum has a natural protective film that covers its surface. This layer helps to protect the metal underneath from corrosives, including rust, to reduce maintenance requirements and increase the life of the finished part or component. This is hailed as one of the best benefits of aluminum products. Even if the aluminum-oxide layer is penetrated and damaged in some way, a new layer forms immediately to prevent rust and other damage from setting in until the piece can be repaired. Additional protection may be added in the form of finishing processes, including anodizing, powder-coating, and painting.
Malleable, Easy to Work With
Compared to steel or iron, aluminum is much easier to work with, especially when it comes to aluminum extrusion. Most grades of aluminum alloy can be extruded and machined easily in spite of their high strength the weight ratio. For extrusion, the aluminum billet is heated to a specific temperature to make it more malleable before it is forced through a steel die to create the desired shape. This is the process for standard rod and bar aluminum, as well as custom aluminum profile designs. After extrusion, the material can also be easily cut according to required specifications, drilled for mounting or used to create framing for doors, windows, and displays. The best part about extrusion is that many of the necessary shapes, holes, and features can be designed in to reduce post-extrusion operations.
Surprising Benefits of Aluminum Products
The automotive manufacturing and New England marine industry, as well as other industries and markets, utilize aluminum products for a variety of reasons. Some of the more surprising benefits of aluminum products include the ability to reflect both light and heat, as well as being non-toxic, non-magnetic, and does not exhibit a substance taste or smell. Aluminum is also an excellent conductor of both electricity and heat. While not as conductive as copper, aluminum is still just one-third the weight and significantly more affordable than this popular material. What this means is that you could use aluminum that is about half the weight of copper and at a fraction of the price to get the same amount of electrical resistance. This is why you will see aluminum used in various applications that can benefit from these qualities, including the design of LED lighting, computer motherboards, and other electrical products.
Silver City Aluminum
Take advantage of our many years of experience working with custom aluminum extrusion to maximize the benefits of aluminum products at Silver City Aluminum. We produce a wide range of services for our clients, including the development of custom profiles and the manufacture of standard rod and bar aluminum. Our team of highly trained and experienced technicians and engineers can help you enjoy the high strength to weight ratio and non-corrosive nature of aluminum alloy extrusion. Call today for a FREE estimate for our services at 508-542-7200.