High Performance Aluminum Extrusions Technology
Aluminum Extrusions a growing viable and adaptable solution for many manufacturing needs. Used in a wide range of uses, like the international Space Station. Popular for its non-magnetic properties with endless wide range of possibilities from it's particular blend of strength and ductility to its conductivity, Perfect for the ability to be recycled over and over with out loss of integrity.
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The process of aluminum extrusion is used in order to shape aluminum into various shapes, forms and sizes. Heating the aluminum to approximately 350-500�C [650-900�F] it becomes malleable in the form of a soft solid. In this state, it is then pressed in a shaped opening in a die (which is a specialized tool) via a hydraulic ram. The material which is extruded, is essentially viewed a large piece of the die opening!
Think of it as squeezing toothpaste from a tube. Just as the toothpaste takes a continuous stream of the round tip, so does the aluminum take shape of the die. By changing the die, you can change the shape of the material produced! For instance, if you squeeze the tip of the toothpaste so that the opening becomes flat, the toothpaste will come out flattened. The difference between toothpaste and the extruder being the amount of force exerted onto the material! The powerful hydraulic press can exert from 100,000 lbs to 15,000,000 lbs of pressure which helps extrude the aluminum into just about any desired shape.A step by step understanding:
There are two types of extrusion processes. Direct and indirect extrusion. Direct extrusion is characterized by the die's head being held stationary with a moving ram forcing the metal through it!
Indirect extrusion is characterized by the billets of aluminum being held stationary while the die located on the end of the ram, is pressed against the billet, creating sufficient pressure needed for metal to flow through the die.
Shape is a major factor in the determination of costs and the level of ease with which the aluminum can be extruded!Process of hot extrusion:
A die is cast through the cross section of a shape you want! Aluminum slabs are then heated to between 350-500�C [650-900�F], at which point the aluminum becomes a soft solid. Once the slab is lubricated, in order to make sure none of the parts will stick together, it is transferred to a steel extrusion press container. The ram applies pressure, forcing the aluminum through the die, where it comes out the other end in shape. Slabs are welded onto one another, so that the process continues. More complex shapes take a greater time to come through the die, against simple shapes which move through them fast! When the shape reaches a desired length, it is sheared off and transferred to a cooling area, where it gets quickly air cooled, sprayed with water, water bathed and misted. Once cooled, the aluminum is transferred, where it is stretched where it gets straightened, hardened and released of stresses. When it is ready, extrusions are cut with a saw to desired lengths. When cut, the extruded shapes can be cooled down or aged in aging ovens, where heat treatments age the aluminum faster. Once aged sufficiently, the extrusions can be finished (through painting, for example) fabricated (cut, bent, welded) or prepared for the delivery to the customer. Aluminum extrusions enhance the material, making it more resilient than before. Aluminum oxide, which was created as a thin layer on the surface of the metal during extrusion, gives the metal weather resistance and a natural finish that doesn't need to be changed unless the customer wants a different kind! Aluminum 's natural characteristics allow it to be molded into various shapes, be they intricate and complex or standard aluminum bars. The possibilities for aluminum uses are endless due to these characteristics, making it a go to for engineers and designers!Process of cold extrusion:
There is also a process of cold extrusion, where aluminum at room or slightly elevated temperatures are worked. Due to the cold extrusion process there are great advantages such as lack of oxidation, higher strength (due to cold working), better surface finish and fast extrusion speeds. The cold extrusion process uses a closed die to create a seamless nozzle as part of the main header. The uninterrupted branch outlet achieved by this improves the flow characteristics. This helps by eliminating the welding process on one of the more important sections of piping, which could cause larger issues further on due to the weld not being properly inspected. Cold extrusions are good for reducing any concentrated stress to a minimum, aiding in fatigue resistance and improving the length of service life.