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A T-slot aluminum extrusion is an aluminum bar that has been shaped, or extruded, into slotted profiles either by using the squeezing method or by making use of a die. A T-shaped T-slot aluminum extrusion can be used for various structural and framing applications. The distinctiveness of a T-slot extrusion lies in the fact that its various components can be put together without using specialized tools or welding. Read More…
T-slot Aluminum ExtrusionT-slot aluminum extrusion is a fabrication that uses a t-shaped die. The unique t-shape allows for versatility of the material while maintaining the strength of aluminum. T-slots are also extremely modular. Making them easy to customize and build with. Because they are a standard shape, production costs are low. Making T-slots the go to for many projects.
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This modular channeled aluminum makes it simple to join and combine with other aluminum components without welding or clamping. T-slot aluminum extrusions don't require polishing; they already have a beautiful aesthetic finish. In addition, aluminum with T-slots is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
Manufacturing Processes of T-Slot Aluminum Extrusions
There are two methods used to create T-slot aluminum extrusions. One method uses a die and the other involves more of a “squeezing” process. We examine these processes below in further detail.
A huge hydraulic ram, a massive aluminum rod, and a die are needed for this process. The hydraulic ram subjects the aluminum rod to enormous pressure as it forces the rod through the die. The most crucial step in the extrusion process is likely in the die’s design. Dies must keep their dimensional stability while withstanding powerful forces at high temperatures. Extrusion dies are round forms of steel- usually around a foot (30 centimeters), but sometimes up to a yard (meter), in diameter.
Dies are often rather thin in profile compared to their diameter since the longer the distance the aluminum takes passing through the die, the more force required to press the material through, and the more friction it experiences. Any increase in friction creates more die wear, and generally higher costs.
The Squeeze Casting Method
When employing the squeeze method, a sizable length of aluminum, also known as a billet, is heated using an induction heater or a gas furnace. It's vital to remember that this billet is not melted, only softened and that the heater’s temperature will fluctuate depending on the particular alloy and the complexity of the die. The die and a large portion of the hydraulic press are also heated to avoid thermal stresses from damaging any of the equipment and to stop the aluminum from cooling too quickly and sticking to the die.
Most horizontally-oriented aluminum extrusion presses have a large hydraulic ram with a small gap between it and the die. After inserting the heated billet into that opening, the hydraulic ram begins pressing it into the die (or, in indirect extrusion, moves the die over the material). As the metal exits the die, it starts to flow into the die's gaps, and narrows down into its final T-slot shape.
Applications of T-Slot Aluminum Extrusions
Machine bases and enclosures: Aluminum T-slots can be used for machine bases and enclosures because they are easy to assemble, and they have light weight.
Carts for moving various materials: The T-slot can offer a stronger and more durable design when compared to other materials such as painted steel, wood, or plastic. Depending on the design, aluminum utility carts can be either stationary or equipped with caster or swivel wheels.
Ladder making: Aluminum T-slots are used in the making of ladders because their lightweight and T-slotted legs offer stability.
Architectural elements like roofs, sign frames, and window and door frames: T-slot aluminum extrusions provide several advantages when used as window framing. They provide excellent strength and weight support. Additionally, these extrusions are simple to convert into window frames, which saves time and money. Serving as window frames, T-slot aluminum extrusions provide flexibility that is unmatched by similar materials.
Advantages of T-Slot Aluminum Extrusions
Aluminum T-slot extrusions are adaptable and can be used to make numerous items and a welder and welding equipment are typically not required during conversion.
Aluminum T-slot extrusions are robust and long-lasting.
T-slot aluminum extrusions are easy to assemble.
T-slot aluminum is corrosion-resistant and low in weight.
The versatility of T-slot aluminum extrusions provides a less expensive solution for creating items.
According to the ergonomic safety inspectors' advice, the product is safe to use.
T-slot aluminum extrusions feature a nice finish.
In summary, work can be done more quickly, adjustments can be made more easily, and production costs can be reduced by using T-slot aluminum extrusions.
Disadvantages of T-Slot Aluminum Extrusions
T-slot aluminum extrusions provide inconsistent performance. The surface layer, center, head, and tail of these extruded products are not uniform because the flow of metal is not uniform during the extrusion process. This is particularly serious when there is no lubricating forward extrusion.
The extrusion die's operating environment is demanding and prone to wear and tear. The aluminum blank that undergoes extrusion is under strong three-way pressure and nearly closed during extrusion. The strength and service life of the molds used to create T-slot aluminum extrusions are significantly impacted by the high temperature, and high friction often applied to them during the hot extrusion process used to create them.
The extrusion process can be time-consuming and cannot provide a consistent production rate. Extrusion speeds are often significantly slower than other processes used to create aluminum items, such as rolling. Rolling is a process where a metal block is passed through one or more pairs of rolls during the rolling process in order to reduce thickness, make thickness uniform, and/or impart a desired mechanical quality.
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