If you repeatedly machine the same parts from standard aluminum bar sizes, perhaps it’s time to consider custom aluminum extrusions.
Not sure what a custom aluminum extrusion is or how it gets made? Let’s answer five of the most commonly asked questions on aluminum extrusions.
1. What is an aluminum extrusion?
An extrusion is defined as the process of shaping material, such as aluminum, by forcing it to flow through a shaped opening in a die. This often results in faster manufacturing with less material waste.
2. What grades can be used when creating a custom aluminum extrusion?
Custom extrusions can be created with a variety of aluminum grades. They can be designed and produced to close tolerances with a wide range of finishes. Some of the most common are 6061 and 6063 in round, square, hex, flat, structural, tube and pipe.
3. What are some of the common end uses for custom aluminum extrusions?
Custom aluminum extrusions are used in a wide variety of applications, ranging from framing to automotive. In many instances, these applications are created by putting the aluminum extrusion through second-stage processing like machining, joining, drilling, punching, bending, assembly, welding, notching, miter cutting, and cut-to-length.
4. How is the process of aluminum extrusion done?
A custom die is designed and created with a cross-sectional profile based on the needs of the project. Next, the material is shaped as it is pushed through the shaped opening in the die, taking on the same profile as the die opening. Custom aluminum extrusions can be fabricated with holes and other features to benefit the manufacturing process. Extrusion mills operate extrusions presses where dies are fabricated to produce extruded parts. Typically, these dies are typically not able to be transferred from one press to another. It's good to know press lead times prior to beginning your project. Press lead-times are a function of the demand of the dies that are tooled on a given press.
5. What is the difference between drawing and extrusion?
Drawing is a form of cold finishing by which the product is pulled through a draw die. Overall, cold finishing is a process performed to an extrusion at room temperature that produces extremely close outer diameter tolerances while cold finishing the microstructure and is only done to long products.
Ready to take the next step with your custom aluminum extrusion? Find the right partner who understands your needs and can work with you on the right solution.