Aluminum is the second most common metal on Earth, which is fortunate since it is one of the most useful materials for a range of industries and sectors. The reason for aluminum’s popularity is its characteristics. It is a highly malleable, ductile metal that is both dense and lightweight. Furthermore, it is a natural conductor of electricity, making it an ideal choice for power lines and other uses in the electronics sector.
Due to the versatility that the metal offers and its relatively abundant sources, many industries have adopted it as a primary raw material for their goods. From smartphones to saucepans, almost everything today includes aluminum. However, the metal is rarely used in its natural state. Instead, extrusions are the most popular form of aluminum in use today.
What are aluminum extrusions?
Aluminum extrusions are solid, hollow or semi-hollow shapes that are used to construct a number of goods and products. To create aluminum extrusions, a solid block of the metal is heated until it softens. At this stage, the block of metal is passed through die-shaped steel to give the extrusions its shape.
Extrusions can be of two types, namely, direct and indirect. In the direct form, the billet remains stationary. A hydraulic ram pushes the aluminum through the die opening, as the metal moves in the same direction as the ram. On the other hand, indirect extrusions refer to a system where both the billet and the ram moves. The aluminum in this process moves in the opposite direction to the billet.
Here are some benefits of using aluminum extrusions instead of the natural form of the metal.
No worries about corrosion - Rusting and corrosion are two of the primary concerns when it comes to using metals for building products. Corrosion can degrade the normal lifespan for any product. However, aluminum extrusions, just like the metal itself, do not corrode over time. Due to the anti-corrosive nature, expensive treatments, such as painting or coating with other materials are not necessary when dealing with extrusions of aluminum. Therefore, the material reduces the hassle for both the producer and the consumer.
Aluminum extrusions are lighter than aluminum - Aluminum is already quite light, to begin with, compared to steel, which is three times the density of the former. However, extruding the aluminum allows companies to use only as much of the metal as is required in a certain product or project. This ability to use the metal only where needed further reduces the weight of the product in question. The reduction in weight is often linked to better performance, especially in the case of automobiles.
Superior strength - As stated previously, the metal is surprisingly strong when compared to its weight. Some forms of the metal are more than four times as strong as stainless steel. Aluminum extrusions increase the strength to weight ratio further, offering denser forms of the metal at even lighter weights. This is why extrusions are so popular in the design of smartphones, where the aluminum needs to be light as well as strong.
No need to waste time welding - Welding pieces of metal is tricky and requires expertise. Additionally, an additional support structure is often required for welding jobs. However, one piece of aluminum extrusion can effectively replace several pieces of other metals welded together. Additionally, professionals can even create aluminum frames with separate interlocking sections to avoid welding completely. Cleverly assembling these interlocking sections provide the same strength as metals welded together, without the hassle involved in the latter
Designing is now convenient - Aluminum extrusions are easy to handle, and you can prepare it as per requirement. For instance, you can easily cut it into smaller pieces using the hacksaw. If you want, you may drill holes into the material as well. Therefore, the extrusions offer a great deal of freedom to companies and builders for constructing or devise a project as per their preferences.
Reusing saves money - Unlike many other metals in use today, aluminum extrusions offer plenty of opportunities for recycling and reuse. The metal’s anti-corrosive nature means that its quality remains intact even when the product itself may be beyond repair. The aluminum in the said product is still valuable and suitable for repurposing and reuse. Therefore, the material can reduce production cost due to its long-lasting nature. This property makes the metal eco-friendly in nature and a good choice for those worried about the long-term effects of human activity on the world.
Tooling for added shapes - Aluminum is an exceptionally malleable material, which can take on any shape or form. The same is true for extrusions as well. While many designers opt for the extrusion shapes mentioned in the catalogue, you can easily custom modify the extrusions as per your requirements. This means that you can acquire the extruded aluminum in any shape that you want and these individual tooling & moulds are quite inexpensive.
Make your designs more eye-catching - Aluminum extrusions can carry off a number of looks. For instance, you can paint the metal, polish it, plate it or even give it a texture. Anodizing the extruded parts offer another interesting style for the metal. This property is exceptionally useful to designers looking to set their projects apart from others in the market. The greater option that these extrusions provide in terms of aesthetics is an advantageous feature of the same.
Aluminum has become an element of choice for construction and electronics. As the demand for such products is about to increase, aluminum extrusion usage will also go up. In fact, according to a recent survey, among all extruded products, aluminum and the aluminum alloy was found across 70% of them. This is a testament to the value and versatility offered by the metal. If you have never considered using the metal for one of your projects, it is high time to do so today. You may effectively reduce your production cost, and in the process, increase the overall revenue. You can easily find several suppliers of aluminum extrusions to propel your business to new heights.