Designing is a bit like coaching a football team: everyone else has an opinion about your work. Today’s engineering designers demand materials that are light, strong and corrosion resistant. An obvious choice for engineering designers is aluminum with its unique properties, making it a natural partner for many applications.

Extruded aluminum is the metal blank placed in the mold cavity to exert strong pressure, to produce directional plastic deformation by force, and extruded from the die hole to obtain the aluminum profile with the desired appearance. Extrusion is the “toothpaste tube” process.A length of uniform cross-section material is created by forcing a metal billet through a die.

Extrusion can be divided into the following categories:

• Positive extrusion: During production, direction of metal flow is the same as that of the punch
• Radial extrusion: During production, the direction of metal flow is 90 degrees to the direction of movement of the punch
• Composite extrusion: Part of the metal flow direction of the blank is the same as the direction of movement of the punch, and the other part is opposite to the movement of the punch during production.
• Reverse extrusion: In the production, the direction of metal flow is opposite to that of the punch

Extruded aluminum offers the design engineer the optimum design flexibility. Display cabinets, window frames, lighting fixtures and heat sinks are just a few. When so many designers are using extrusion, it’s worth asking why. Let’s see the reason why.

The aluminum extrusion process offers benefits other than weight savings. Less weight means less inertia. Aluminum is an excellent choice in any motion-related application. The benefit of extruded section is that it puts material only where it’s needed, potentially reducing weight further.

Product quality is high. The longitudinal mechanical properties are much higher than those produced by other processing methods. The extruded products have high dimensional accuracy and good surface quality compared with the rolling, forging and other processing methods.

Reuse and recycle the environmentally friendly metal. Recycled aluminum retains all the properties of the original metal. It takes only 5% of the energy that was required to produce the original metal to recycle scrap aluminum. Don’t overlook the option of just disassembling a product made from extruded section and putting pieces to work in a different way.
The use of aluminum extrusions in combination with novel fabrication techniques can be a low-cost tooling solution. Designers will often restrict themselves to the shapes available in catalogs of standard products when they think about using extruded aluminum. Design optimization through manufacturing improvements can ultimately provide the best solution for a particular application.

Extrusion molding has a great deal of flexibility. To produce products with different shapes, sizes, and varieties on the same equipment, it is only necessary to change the mold. The replacement of molds is simple, convenient, time-consuming, and efficient.

Extruded aluminum can be painted, plated, polished and even textured. Designers have a broader pallet of finishes to choose from than is possible with other materials.