General information on aluminium extrusions
Aluminium extrusions are suitable for a wide range of applications - from aircraft parts to conservatories. Because: aluminium extrusions offer all the positive properties of the material, such as corrosion and weather resistance as well as almost unlimited formability. This explains the increasing popularity of aluminium extrusions. There are many different shapes of aluminum extrusions that are available, as the aluminum can be shaped into almost any cross-sectional profile. Some common shapes of aluminum extrusions include:
- Angles: These are L-shaped extrusions that are commonly used as structural support members.
- Channels: These are U-shaped extrusions that are often used as framing members or as a means of attaching other components.
- Rounds: These are circular-shaped extrusions that are often used in the construction of poles or other structural support members.
- Flat bars: These are flat, rectangular extrusions that are often used as a means of attaching other components or as a decorative element.
- Squares: These are square-shaped extrusions that are often used in applications where a high level of strength and stiffness is required.
Manufacture of aluminium extrusions
These profiles are produced by extrusion. The aluminium billet used as the starting material must first be heated to the forming temperature of approx. 500°C. The billet is then pressed through a die. This determines the final outer shape of the profile. Afterwards, the resulting aluminium extrusion have to be cut to the desired length. Finally, the aluminium extrusions are left to cool and harden.
After the extrusion process, a surface treatment can be applied. On the one hand, the aluminium extrusion can be anodised. In this method, the surface is given the desired properties, such as a certain colour or hardness, through electrolytic oxidation. Secondly, powder coating is possible. For this, an oxide layer must first be removed. Then the aluminium extrusion is sanded to slightly roughen the surface for the actual coating. In the next step, the colour powder is electrostatically charged and applied to the aluminium extrusion with a powder gun. At temperatures between 140 and 200°C, the coating is baked on. Powder coating can be used to create different colours as well as surface effects - for example matt, glossy or metallic.
Applications of aluminium extrusions
Aluminium extrusions are used in the following areas, for example:
- Automotive industry: Because of their low weight, aluminium extrusions are often installed in the car body. They are also used as guide rails in windows.
- Aircraft construction: Aluminium extrusions are primarily processed into chassis parts, wheel rims and guide rails for windows.
- Mechanical engineering: Aluminium extrusions are used as guide rails, for example.
- Building industry: Aluminium extrusions are used in the building industry as substructures or in window construction.
- Household: In the sanitary and kitchen sector as well as in furniture manufacturing, aluminium extrusions are used as end strips, butt edges or guide rails. Aluminium extrusions can also be used to make shower cubicles or shelves. In the outdoor sector, the extrusions are mainly used to build conservatories and greenhouses.
- Trade fair construction: Aluminium extrusions are very popular with trade fair constructors. Stands made of aluminium extrusions are easy to transport due to their low weight. With the comparatively light individual parts, the stand can be set up quickly and easily.
Advantages of aluminium extrusions
There are several advantages to using aluminum extrusions in various applications. Some of the main benefits of aluminum extrusions include:
- Lightweight: Aluminum is much lighter than other metals such as steel, making it easier to handle and transport. This can be especially useful in applications where weight is a critical factor, such as in the construction of aircraft or in the design of consumer products.
- Strength and durability: Aluminum extrusions are strong and durable, making them suitable for use in a wide range of applications. They are resistant to corrosion and can withstand harsh environments, making them a long-lasting and reliable choice for many projects.
- Versatility: Aluminum extrusions can be easily shaped and formed into a wide range of cross-sectional profiles and shapes, making them very versatile. They can be cut, drilled, and welded to create a wide range of structures and components.
- Low maintenance: Aluminum extrusions require minimal maintenance, as they do not rust and do not require regular painting or other types of protective coatings.
Overall, aluminum extrusions offer a combination of strength, durability, versatility, and low maintenance, making them a popular choice for a wide range of applications.