History of Aluminum Extrusions

Posted By: Tony | Date: 27-06-2015

Aluminum extrusions have a long history. For more than 200 years, this method of shaping aluminum into desired shapes has been use in a variety of innovative ways. Early on, extrusions were used for the creation of pipes but today, there are many additional applications to include wiring used in the construction of space stations.

The process of extrusion was actually patented back in 1797 specific to manufacturing lead pipes. At that time, work had to be completed by hand but then in 1820, the hydraulic powered press was introduced. Toward the latter part of the 19th century, different methods of extrusion were also developed not only for aluminum but brass alloys and copper as well. Even so, it was aluminum extrusions that became so popular.

Although aluminum has been a type of metal used for thousands of years it was not until 1807 that it was officially identified as an elemental type of metal. In 1825, aluminum was first refined but because the price was greater than gold, it was considered a luxurious option. In the late 1880s, Hall and Heroult developed the smelting process.

Once people began smelting aluminum, commercial production became more affordable. Initially, the process of extrusion involved forging, casting, and rolling. However, the modern hot extrusion process was invented in 1894 by Alexander Dick although at that time, the process was most applicable to non-ferrous alloys.

In today’s world, aluminum extrusions are the most common, which can be used in both cold and hot processes. The first aluminum extrusion press was invented in 1904 in Pennsylvania and with this, the need for aluminum skyrocketed although the most common application was automotive parts manufacturing.

During World War I and World War II, demand for aluminum extrusions in aircraft manufacturing and various military applications exploded. This pattern continued after the Second World War was over, at which time different applications benefits to include the housing sector.

Since that time, aluminum extrusions have broadened to include window and door manufacturing, electronics, furniture, highways, bridges, and the list goes on. At Offshore Direct Metals, the team of professionals has years of experience with aluminum extrusions using highly affordable materials with savings passed on to the customer.

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