Aluminum has proved to be a building material of choice for a number of years; however, its true potential is achieved with the extrusion process. Its malleability allows it to be machined and cast easily, which complements the extrusion process ideally.
In the aluminum extrusion process, aluminum alloy is transformed, using machines, into construction and design material with a definitive cross-sectional profile and shape, such as aluminum extruded tubing, aluminum angles, and aluminum profiles. The resulting products by the extrusion process offer strength and stability, yet being one-third the density and stiffness of steel. Its strength is supplemented by alloying it with other materials.
The extrusion process
The functional approach to extrusion design uses common sense to create the design. Rather than thinking about what shape the structure needs to be, the first thought is what the piece will need to do. After determining the use of the structure, the engineer should then consider what shapes provide that support, how the elements would relate to one another in a 3D environment, and then create the design.
Thinking of the design process this way eliminates the limitations of current designs and prevents in-the-box thinking that can reduce the effectiveness of new designs.
Different types of Aluminum Extrusions and their uses
Aluminum angles They are standard extruded L-shaped parts composed of two legs that intersect and form a 90-degree angle.
Aluminum beams They are like standard beam but made with extrusion process, they are used are structural and support components of building construction.
Aluminum channels Smooth, linear and fairly narrow channels provide a supportive frame for roll-formed products.
Aluminum extruded tubing A hollow linear aluminum product that is typically cylindrical, however aluminum square tubing and aluminum rectangular tubing is also manufactured for specialty applications such as aluminum downspouts and building supplies.
Aluminum frames They are components of modular framing systems that are constructed out of many different units.
Aluminum profiles They are extruded stock shapes of aluminum.
Aluminum shape Customized shapes for almost any application. Standard shapes include angles, channels and tubing.
Aluminum trim A long, thin and narrow, and can be custom made to fit a specific purpose or space.
Architecutral aluminum It is used as decorative and structural components of building construction.
Extruded aluminum It is molded with dies into specific shapes.
Heatsink A metallic device that absorbs thermal energy, or heat, from another object through thermal compounds.
Metal extrusions They are created using hot extrusion or cold forming, and commonly made of semi-soft metals, such as lead, tin, aluminum alloys, copper, titanium, etc., which are less expensive to extrude then high-strength alloys.
Structural aluminum It is an extruded aluminum alloy that goes through post-forming treatments in order to make it lightweight and durable, and this corrosion resistant metal is used in many different high-strength applications.
T-slotted aluminum extrusions They can be used in building almost anything but are commonly seen in enclosures, cabinets, shelving, machine guarding systems, industrial workstations, office partitions, computer server racks, trade show exhibits, material handling, and robotics.
All these modifications of aluminum makes it a truly super manufacturing material that has application in a wide range of industries.