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Aluminum Extrusion: Effective Use Of An Abundant Metal

Nov 4, 2007
Aluminum extrusion marries the abundance of aluminum to manufacturing methods that take into account the metal's special features. Guided by the aluminum extrusion process, the designer feels free to coordinate his or her design with five considerations. Those are the five factors that determine the specifics of each extrusion process.

Before commencing an aluminum extrusion process, the designer must first ascertain the function of the aluminum part that needs to be made. Then the designer must define the size and shape of an aluminum part that could perform that specific function.

Often the designer chooses at this point to make a sketch of the proposed part. The designer normally includes in a drawing his or her visualization of the various elements in the proposed part. The drawing shows how the part would be situated in some pre-determined space. The drawing gives the precise dimensions for each section of whatever needs to be created by the extrusion process.

The designer then examines the drawing, and ponders the degree to which it agrees with the factors desired by the part requestor. Does the designer's proposed part have the eye appeal or functionality that the requestor demands? Has the part been shaped so as to fit well into the total of assembled parts?

Aluminum excursion yields a part in which the cross section is a constant diameter. Does the part suggested by the design concept agree with the known tolerance of aluminum? Does the proposed design call for any finish on the aluminum? Does it require that the aluminum be alloyed with another metal? What is the circumference of the area that would surround the proposed design?

Those are the factors that a good designer must take into consideration. Those are the factors that guide the specifics of the aluminum extrusion process. During that process, an extrusion die lets a molten metal flow through a shaped aperture.

Aluminum extrusion bears a strong resemblance to the process used by the baker when he or she uses a special cone to put icing on a cake. The baker applies force to the icing. The cone must hold back the icing that is at the edges of the cone's aperture. In the same way, the extrusion die must prevent leakage of molten aluminum from the sides of the die opening.

Aluminum extrusion gives the manufacturer a low cost and easy way to create multiple parts with the same design. At times some of those parts need to be joined to other metal parts. Aluminum extrusion can aid the uniting of two metal parts.

Aluminum extrusion can be used to put engraved "guides" into the extruded aluminum. Those guides can show where rivets should be placed, if the aluminum piece is to be joined to another metal piece. Aluminum extrusion also gives a manufacturer a way to put a vee groove in the extruded metal. Such a vee groove can assist the welder, the worker who must prepare the equipment that can bond the aluminum to another metal piece.
About the Author
Alfiniti provides aluminum tubing and aluminum extrusion and aluminum tube. Visit http://www.alfiniti.com
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