How Does Aluminum Extrusion Work?
Aluminum extrusion is a fairly straightforward process that allows manufacturers to achieve new levels of efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness in their facilities.
- First, an aluminum billet is heated and transferred to the extruder, usually with some form of lubricant to prevent it from sticking to the machine’s components.
- The aluminum is forced through the die, emerging in an elongated shape the same size as the die opening.
- Custom cutters, such as guillotine cutters, can be used at this point to cut the aluminum into uniform lengths.
- The new piece of extruded aluminum is allowed to cool at the end of the extrusion line.
- If using a cutter is not possible, the aluminum is taken to a sawing table for final cutting.
Advantages of Aluminum Extrusion
Aluminum extrusion is used most predominantly in construction, transportation and commercial industries, among others. Aluminum itself is a frequently used material because it’s more cost-effective and easier to machine than steel, but just as strong. As such, aluminum extrusion offers the following benefits:
- Easier to create complex cross-sections or shapes of varying thicknesses
- Reduced manufacturing costs by eliminating the need for welding and joining
- Simple to create pipe extrusions and other shapes with hollow centers
- Convenient to create interlocking shapes, like tongue and groove or snap/sliding fit
- Custom dies can be created and reused for your specific needs
- If a new shape is needed, simply replace the dies on the same machine
- Using and switching out dies saves time and money
5 Ways Aluminum Extrusion is Used Across Industries
Aluminum has many unique properties that make it the optimal material for applications in the industries listed below. It transfers heat efficiently, has a low weight to strength ratio, is corrosion and rust resistant and is non-magnetic. This wide range of attributes combined with the versatility offered by aluminum extrusion makes it one of the most valuable materials used in manufacturing today. These are just a few of the industries taking advantage of extruded aluminum parts:
- Automobile Industry: condenser tubes, radiators, air conditioners
- Electronics Industry: heating and cooling applications in computers, audio/visual components, coaxial cable tubing
- Pharmaceutical Industry: thawing units
- Transportation Industry: aircrafts, boats, subways, truck chassis
- Mining Industry: waste and material transport