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ALUMINIUM - The Designers Choice

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by - 11/26/2015 3531 Views

Aluminium Extrusion

WHAT IS ALUMINUM?

Aluminum was first produced in 1825 by Hans Christian Orsted, a physicist. Although he didn’t create a pure form of aluminum, his achievement led to further advances aluminum manufacturing. After commercial electrical generation began in the early 1880s, aluminum became more and more common in industries such as construction and manufacturing. Aluminum took on even more importance during World War I. Because aluminum is lighter than most metals, it’s perfect for airplanes, which were in high demand during the First World War. Nowadays, aluminum is available globally. It is used for manufacturing electrical products such as light bulbs, phone lines, astringents, candy wrappers, drinking containers, siding, and much more. (Source: http://www.tslots.com/aluminum-benefits/)

Aluminum extrusion is a process by which aluminum alloy is transformed into objects with a pre-designed cross-sectional profile for a wide range of uses. This process makes the most of aluminum’s unique combination of physical characteristics. Its malleability allows it to be machined and cast with lot of ease, and yet aluminum is one third the density and stiffness of steel so the resultant products offer strength and stability, particularly when alloyed with other metals.

The process of aluminum extrusion is done by using the following steps:

After designing and creating the shape of the die, a cylindrical billet of aluminum alloy is heated to 800°F-925°F.

  • The aluminum billet is then transferred to a loader, where a lubricant is added to prevent it from sticking to the extrusion machine, the ram or the handle.
  • Substantial pressure is applied to a dummy block using a ram, which pushes the aluminum billet into the container, forcing it through the die.
  • To avoid the formation of oxides, nitrogen in liquid or gaseous form is introduced and allowed to flow through the sections of the die. This creates an inert atmosphere and increases the life of the die.
  • The extruded part passes onto a run-out table as an elongated piece that is now the same shape as the die opening. It is then pulled to the cooling table where fans cool the newly created aluminum extrusion.
  • When the cooling is completed, the extruded aluminum is moved to a stretcher, for straightening and work hardening.
  • The hardened extrusions are brought to the saw table and cut according to the required lengths.
  • The final step is to treat the extrusions with heat in age ovens, which hardens the aluminum by speeding the aging process.

(Source: http://www.spectraaluminum.com/what-is-aluminum-extrusion)

Other materials may be added to this process to further customize the extruded parts. For example, to create hollow sections, pins or piercing mandrels are placed inside the die. After this process, a panorama of options is available inorder to adjust the colour, texture and brightness to provide a finishing look to the aluminium. This may include anodizing the aluminium and / or painting.

Interestingly, aluminum extrusion has got multipurpose and is even used for manufacturing important components of the International Space Station (ISS). These diverse applications are made possible only because of the special advantageous attributes of aluminum, from its particular mixture of strength and ductility to its conductivity, especially its non-magnetic properties and its ability to be recycled repeatedly without loss of its substance. All of these capabilities in turn make aluminum extrusion a viable and adaptable solution for a growing number of manufacturing needs.

Benefits of Aluminium Extrusion:

Have you ever tried to stick a magnet to a can of soda? Yes, by now you know that that aluminum is different from many other metals. In fact, it is available readily in the earth’s crust but not found easily in pure form. It was used sparingly until aluminum electrolysis was developed in 1940. Today, aluminum has become an inseparable element as it is used in everything from cooking utensils to building of airplanes, trains and automobiles. Once it reaches its after life, aluminium scrap can be again recycled.

But what are the benefits of aluminum? Read below to learn more and to find out its nature and for this matter alone aluminum extrusion plays a vital role.

It is lightweight—Aluminum is weightless by volume than most other metals. In fact, it is about one-third the weight of iron, steel, copper, or brass. This makes it easier to handle and less expensive to ship.

It is strong—Aluminum profiles can be made as strong as needed for most applications. Cold-weather applications are particularly well-served by aluminum because, as temperatures fall, aluminum actually becomes stronger.

It is non-corrosive—Aluminum does not corrode. It is self-protected by its natural oxide film coating, a protection that can be further enhanced by anodizing or other finishing techniques.

It is a good conductor of heat—Depending on the weight and overall cost, aluminum conducts heat (and cold) better than other common metals. These factors make it ideal for applications requiring heat exchangers.

It is non-sparking—Aluminum doesn’t produce sparks. This makes it a great choice in applications that involve explosive materials or that are used in highly flammable environments.

It is a good conductor of electricity—Heavy power transmissions generally take place via aluminum because, pound-for-pound, aluminum is twice as conductive as copper.

It is nonmagnetic—Due to its non-magnetic charge, it is useful for high-voltage applications, as well as for electronics, especially where magnetic fields come into play or where sensitive magnetic devices are employed.

It is resilient—Aluminum combines strength with flexibility and can flex under loads or spring back from the shock of impact.

It is reflective—High reflective aluminum can be used to protect products or areas from light, radio waves, or infrared radiation.

It is non-combustible—Aluminum does not burn and, even at extremely high temperatures, it does not produce toxic fumes.

It is easily recyclableAluminum scrap retains a high value. It can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its superior characteristics.

It accepts finishes—Aluminum can be given finishing looks with a variety of common techniques, including liquid paint, powder coatings, anodizing, or electroplating.

It can be shaped— Complex shapes can be realized in one-piece extruded sections without having to use mechanical joining methods with aluminium. This makes the parts stronger and less likely to leak or loosen over time.

Advantages of using Aluminium Extrusions:

The Engineering Designers of the modern world, demand materials that are light, strong and corrosion resistant. In order to achieve the perfect structural, thermal, aesthetic and acoustic challenges with vision & creativity they are seeking materials like aluminium extrusions to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. The obvious choice for catering to the needs of engineering designers is nothing else other than aluminium with its unique properties, making it a natural partner for many applications. Over the years, due to its exceptional characteristics of strength, durability, corrosion resistance and lightness, it is being used, in its extruded form, in a wide range of applications. The design engineer has the maximum flexibility to bring out the best design he has in his mind while he uses extruded aluminium

In conclusion, the extrusion process makes the most of aluminium’s unique combination of physical characteristics, that is, it can be bent or molded into different forms and the ability to be drawn out into a thin wire. The thin aluminium wires allows it to be easily extruded while its bending & molding allows it to be pressed and formed into complex shapes even after extrusion. Also at one third the density and stiffness of steel the resultant products offer a great strength, durability and stability making it a popular choice for many designers.

Category : Metal

Tags : Aluminium Scrap, Aluminium Scrap Extrusion, Aluminium Scrap Extrusion Benefits, Aluminium Scrap Market Trend, Aluminium Scrap Extrusion Advantages


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About Georgy Abraham

As the bright morning of 28th May dawned in the year 1972, in the fulfillment of time according to the plan & will of Almighty Godbrought me forth into this world and I was brought up & educated in Orissa. My parents provided me with the best of education in an English medium school with high standa .... more info

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