Aluminum Extrusions - Lightweight, Strong and Versatile
Billets of aluminum (Series 6000-soft type or Series 2000 and 7000-harder types) are heated to 950°F, placed into large presses and pushed through steel dies with cut cavities. The billets used are usually made from 97% pure aluminum with different alloying elements to give strength and finishing properties.
These extrusions are lightweight, strong (yield strengths to 76,000 psi), resilient, corrosion-resistant (oxide film inherent to aluminum seals itself if scratched), heat conductive, nontoxic (suited for food processing, chemical processing and packaging), reflective, electrically conductive, nonsparking and nonmagnetic. Advantages of products made from extruded aluminum are attractive appearance, seamlessness, easy fabrication, joinability (to other aluminum products or different materials), close tolerances, complex shapes, uniform quality and recyclability.
The natural metallic surface of aluminum is esthetically pleasing in many product designs and does not require any additional finishing. Aluminum also accepts a variety of finishes. Surface textures can be created from rough to matte to mirror-smooth. The metallic hue can be colored by appropriate chemical or anodizing processes. Paint, lacquer, enamel, electroplating or laminates can also be applied. As many as 22 standard anodizing colors are offered along with 53 powder coats and five (two-step) hard coats. Finishing processes include dip polishing, brushing, sanding, etching, polishing, buffing and tumbling.
Extruded aluminum can be joined to other aluminum products and different materials by welding, soldering, brazing, bolting, riveting, clips, adhesives, clinching, slide-ons, snaps or interlocking joints.
These products can be used in appliances, automotive parts, furniture, electronics, woodworking, shower enclosures, fireplace surrounds, lighting and decorative applications. Solid aluminum does not burn, making it safe for use in buildings, vehicles and other places where fire is a potential hazard.
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