Aluminum Extrusion Explained
Aluminum extrusion is a process used by companies in Malaysia and the rest of world to shape aluminum alloy into objects with a wide range of purposes. Aluminum offers an excellent blend of strength, stability, and high corrosion resistance. The process provides designers and engineers with a cost-effective production method that can be used in the manufacturing of various building structures, supporting frames, vehicle parts, or everyday household products.
How Does Aluminum Extrusion Work?
All aluminum extrusion companies in Malaysia use a very similar process that differs only in small details.
- The process starts with a die being loaded into a press. The die is the heart of the entire process, as it creates the profile when the aluminum is pushed through. Dies have to be preheated to prevent aluminum from sticking to their walls and jeopardizing the extrusion.
- The raw alloy is brought to the press in a form of billets or aluminum logs, which are solid cylinders of aluminum alloy that can be up to 22 feet long and weight more than 22,000 pounds. These logs are available in many different diameters and alloys.
- The billet or log is then placed into a heating furnace, which heats the aluminum to around 900°F. This temperature softens the metal until it reaches a malleable state, while still retaining its solid shape.
- After the log or billet exits the oven, it gets loaded into the press and is then crushed against the die by a large ram. Using as much as 3000 tons of pressure, the ram forces the aluminum though a small opening in the die to emerge as a fully formed profile. The entire process is carefully monitored to ensure the best possible results.
- The extruded profile is cooled with either air or water to facilitate adequate hardening.
- The next step is to stretch the aluminum approximately 3% to bring all dimensions into their specified values and tolerances.
- A saw is used to cut the profile into an appropriate length before it gets loaded onto a rack, where it undergoes an aging process. This process helps the extruded aluminum reach its maximum strength, hardness, and elasticity.
- All dies have to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected before they can be used for another bath. Even the smallest imperfection could result in a very costly defect.
Note: The process described above refers to a so-called hot extrusion method. Aluminum can also be extruded at room or above room temperature.
source: Aluminium Design
Use of Aluminum Extruded Products
Aluminum extrusion manufacturers in Malaysia supply their products to many different industries. The great strength-to-weight ratio makes aluminum extruded products highly suitable for the automotive application, boats, aircrafts, and even parts of space stations.
It has also great thermoconductive properties, which make it perfect for use in refrigerators, car heaters, ventilation, and solar systems.
Aluminum foil is used everywhere from packaging, pharmaceutical application, or electrical industry. Modern electronic devices use aluminum foil for shielding against radio waves and infrared radiation.