The Process of Aluminum Extrusion
Extrusion molding companies are responsible for manufacturing both aluminum extrusions stock shapes and custom shapes. While the process for traditional and custom aluminum extrusion companies are similar, there are some slight differences.
For both options, the aluminum extrusion manufacturer uses a process whereby the alloy is shaped by being forced through a shaped die opening. No matter what the shape of the die opening is, the aluminum will emerge in that shape, but as an elongated piece of material. The aluminum material that goes through the die of a pressing machine is a solid billet.
If you want aluminum extrusions manufactured, you first need to determine the shape required. From there, you can begin looking at different extrusion molding companies, choosing one with a trusted and reliable history of serving customers. You also want to consider manufacturers that can produce the required shape using only a high-quality aluminum billet.
The Extrusion Process
- ✯ Making aluminum extrusion stock shapes begins with billets that are heated between 800 to 925 degrees Fahrenheit. After reaching the desired temperature, the billet is moved to a loader. A small amount of lubricant is added to the billet, as well as the ram, which is what forces the aluminum through the die. This prevents the two from sticking together.
- ✯ The billet goes to the cradle, where the ram applies extreme pressure. This pushes the billet into the container and against the die. To keep the die cool throughout this step of the process, but also to extend the life of the die and make the aluminum more pliable, nitrogen is introduced into the container.
- ✯ While exiting the press, the temperature of the aluminum extrusion is taken to help determine the appropriate press speed.
- ✯ To aid in the cooling process, many standard and custom aluminum extrusion companies will pull on the extrusion as it exits the die.
- ✯ A special saw is used to cut the long extrusion into lengths required by the customer.
- ✯ Using a “stretcher”, the extrusion is further stretched.
- ✯ Once stretched to the length based on the customer’s specifications, the extrusions are moved to a saw table and cut.
- ✯ Before being shipped to suppliers, extrusion molding companies heat-treat and age the extrusions.
Obviously, well-qualified extrusion molding companies play a critical role in the quality of finished aluminum extrusions. However, it is just as critical that you choose the right aluminum extrusion supplier. At Offshore Direct Metals, we offer a variety of products and services that will meet, if not exceed, your expectations. Please contact us today to learn more.Back to Blog ...