What are structural aluminum extrusions?
According to Thomas Net:
Aluminum extrusions are often an essential application for manufacturers looking to transform or upgrade assembly lines quickly and affordably. Used in custom-built structures, machine guards, workstations, and material handling systems, they are easy to install and disassemble. Modular aluminum extrusions can be adapted to enhance almost any machine, from enabling manufacturers to gradually add automation, to forming key components of systems integrators.
The extrusion process itself is responsible for enhancing aluminum’s strength properties—the resulting products are much more durable and reliable, vary in size and shape, and are easily adaptable. The construction industry in particular relies on aluminum extrusion products, but structural aluminum components can be found in marine applications, the automotive industry, and aiding in industrial machining processes themselves.
Aluminum Extrusion Process and Benefits
In order to create a structural aluminum extrusion product, aluminum billets must be heated between 700 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit—once soft, the metal can be fed through a die. This process is most helpful when manufacturing parts need a uniform cross-sectional area. Structural aluminum applications have many benefits, including:
- Cost effectiveness
- Resistance to corrosion
- High strength-to-weight ratio
- Variety of size and shapes
- Thermal adaptability
- Electrical and thermal conductivity
Although structural aluminum extrusion applications can be more expensive than other alternatives such as steel tubes, they are quicker to manufacture and ultimately more cost-effective because of the money saved on labor-costs. The final product can be used alone, or easily interlocked with another metal part. Because aluminum is naturally coated with surface oxide layer it doesn’t corrode, and extrusion further enhances this property. Aluminum is extremely light-weight, yet its strength isn’t compromised by its density—it can also tolerate high temperatures without producing toxic fumes, and is a good conductor of heat and electricity.