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Advantages of extruded aluminum

The aluminum extrusion process, which involves forcing hot aluminum through a precision die to create a length of constant cross-section is a perfect match for the inherent advantages of aluminum to the precision and high volume capacity of the extrusion process. Aluminum extrusions are ideal for a wide range of uses, which can be seen in industries from aerospace to advertising. Read on to learn some of the specific advantages of using aluminum extrusions.

High strength-to-weight ratio
Because the extrusion process "puts the metal where it is needed," the result is a very strong part with relatively low weight.

Light weight
The weight of aluminum is approximately one-third that of copper or brass or steel.

Corrosion resistance
Aluminum has exceptionally good corrosion-resistance properties. It is self-protected by its own thin, transparent oxide film. Aluminum's natural protective properties and color can be enhanced by chemical or electrochemical means.

Machines at high speed
Aluminum is normally machined at speeds of 600 to 700 surfaces per minute and can usually be machined on standard equipment. Special lubricants, cutters and tools have been developed for aluminum to permit machining at even higher speeds.

Easily joined
Aluminum alloys can be joined by welding, brazing, soldering, adhesive bonding, mechanical fastening by stakin, as well as by the use of nuts, bolts, rivets, etc.

Formed easily
Extruded shapes can be formed or bent using conventional equipment. Minimum radii and other specific points depend on a number of considerations: alloy, wall thickness, temper and shape.

High electrical conductivity
On a weight-to-weight basis, aluminum carries twice the current of copper. On a size-to-size basis, aluminum carries two-thirds the current of copper at considerably lower cost.

Excellent thermal properties
Aluminum is both a good heat conductor and a good heat reflector. Its ability to conduct heat is almost equal to that of the best conductors: silver, copper, and gold. Because of its ability to conduct heat, aluminum is used in heat transfer applications. And, because aluminum is also highly light reflective, it is used as a heat shield.

Other Advantages:

Aluminum is one of the most versatile materials on the planet.

The natural choice for a wide variety of applications, aluminum possesses a unique combination of desirable properties. Here is a significant advantage over other materials:

Low cost
Because it is one of the most abundant metals on Earth, aluminum is among the least expensive metals from which to choose.

The extrusion process is both economical and versatile.

Often the most economical way to make parts with a constant cross section, the extrusion process takes the advantages inherent in aluminum and expands upon them.

Compared with machining, extruding is often much more economical. Unlike machining, where the cost of producing each piece is additive, extrusion can reproduce a shape indefinitely with no additional preparation costs.

Extruding is almost always less expensive than fabricating shapes by welding. Sometimes the cost of a welding jig is significantly higher than an extrusion die for the same shape.

Extrusion dies cost much less than roll-forming dies. And unlike roll forming, extrusions allow a variance in
wall thickness.

Parts made with sand and permanent-mold casting often require extensive finishing before use. Aluminum extruding produces a wrought structure with relatively close dimensional control. Also, as parts get more complex, casting mold costs rise far more rapidly than extrusion dies. Generally, extrusion dies are rather inexpensive. Further, extrusion dies can be finished with less lead time than forming dies and casting molds.

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