The Process of Working with Aluminum Extrusions

Posted By: Tony | Date: 22-06-2016

When making extrusions, a material is shaped using a die. For instance, aluminum extrusions are made by forcing aluminum through the preferred shaped opening of a die. The same process is used for making plastic extrusions. Both aluminum and plastic extrusions emerge from the die opening as an elongated piece with the identical profile.

When working with aluminum extrusions or plastic injection molding, the shape of the die is first determined, as well as the color, meaning alloy or temper. The size of aluminum and plastic extrusions is determined by the size of the press.

Throughout the entire process, the most important aspect is temperature, which gives an aluminum extrusion its specific characteristics, such as finish and hardness. Of course, the quality of the material is also important, which is why working with top aluminum extrusion suppliers is essential.

Making Aluminum Extrusions

To make aluminum extrusions, the billet must reach the desired temperature of between 800 and 925 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, the billet is transferred into the loader and a lubricant is added to both the aluminum billet and ram to prevent the two from adhering. Next, the billet goes to the cradle, where the ram applies pressure to the dummy block.

Crushed under pressure against the die, the billet becomes shorter and wider, expanding against the walls of the container. As the aluminum extrusion pushes through the die, certain sections are cooled with liquid nitrogen. In addition to extending the life of aluminum extrusions, this prevents oxides from forming on the finished pieces.

As pressure is applied, the soft aluminum extrusion is forced through the die opening, exiting in the same shape. At that point, the temperature of the press plate is taken so that the maximum press speed can be maintained. As aluminum extrusions are pulled, fans going the full length of both the run-out and the cooling table are used to cool the finished piece. Each extrusion is carefully inspected. If it does not meet customer specifications, as well as high company and industry standards, the appropriate changes are made and new extrusions are processed.

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