The fact that aluminum is very malleable and ductile makes it an important material in construction today. It can be crafted into various shapes and sizes very easily which is why it is widely used in the engineering of aircraft and construction of its domestic parts and materials. The process through which aluminum can be crafted into different shapes is called aluminum extrusions. It is the practice used to make objects of fixed cross-sectional profiles. In this method, the aluminum is forced through a section known as a die that has the shape of a desired cross-section. This process is able to produce aluminum sections that have complex cross-sections and can be used for various purposes. Some extruded aluminums come with hollow cavities that can not be produced by using simple flat die. These are manufactured by a special sort of die that is able to create structures with complex cross-sections. The extrusion process can not only be transported out on aluminum metals but also on other metals, ceramics and even food.
To create aluminum extrusions, the aluminum is heated and forced through a die with the aid of a hydraulic ram under high pressure. These extrusions have a lot of advantages that make them ideal to be used for various purposes. Despite being ductile and flexible, aluminum extrusions are very light in weight. The fact that aluminum only weighs 1/3 of that copper makes it an ideal choice in construction of vehicles.
Some other advantages of using aluminum include:
- Resistant to corrosion allows it to be used in buildings and construction that experiences frequent corrosion.
- Good electric conductor makes it suitable to use in building power transmission cables.
- Great strength makes it ideal for applications where light weight and strength is required.
- Cost effective
The process that aluminum extrusions go through can either be hot or cold. In the hot process, the aluminum has to be between 350 to 500 degrees Celsius. The cold process can be done at room temperature. The best quality aluminum extrusions are manufactured at accurate temperature. As when the metal is heated, it becomes softer and easily malleable, and the finishing provides the metal with more durability and strength. Also, manufacturers are able to make extrusions according to the preference of the customers and the applications that they would be used for.
Some products where aluminum extrusions are applied include production of frames, heat sinks and profiles for tracks along with several other applications.