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Aluminum Extrusion Industry

Aluminum is a popular metal for various manufacturing processes. Lightweight and durable, aluminum is used in multiple applications throughout many industries, and aluminum extrusion has grown popular among manufacturers. With HARBOR Aluminum Intelligence, your operation can make more informed supply chain decisions for your extrusion process.

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What Are Aluminum Extrusions? 

Aluminum extrusions are solid, semi-hollow or hollow shapes used for construction, including vehicle construction. To create an extrusion, a heated up block of aluminum is forced through a steel die. The result is a sturdy, corrosion-resistant aluminum part in the shape of the die. 

Extrusions can be either direct or indirect, which describes their creation process. 

Direct Extrusions 

The direct aluminum extrusion process is the most popular method. An aluminum block sits in a stationary container while a hydraulic ram pushes it through the die opening. The aluminum moves along with the ram. 

Indirect Extrusions 

For an indirect extrusion, also called backward intrusion, the ram pushes into a stationary aluminum block, forcing out the extruded product in the opposite direction. Both methods create aluminum pieces of the desired shape. 

Shape Capabilities 

Creating an extrusion is almost like pushing toothpaste through a tube — as the paste emerges, it takes on the round shape of the tube's opening. In the same way, the aluminum will take on the shape of the die it's pushed through. You can use this principle to create almost any conceivable shape. The resulting parts can be mere millimeters to several feet long. Because aluminum is easy to work with, thanks to its lightweight and malleability, extrusions can take on complex shapes. 

The Impact of the Alloy Used

In addition to the extrusion shape, the initial alloy impacts the final product. Various alloys offer different levels of durability, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity and behavior. Some vehicle manufacturers use proprietary alloys in their extrusion parts. 

What Are The Uses of Aluminum in the Extrusion Industry?

Aluminum extrusion is valuable to various industries for its flexible design, low cost and fast development. It's difficult to go one day without seeing at least one item constructed from extruded aluminum. This process is used for architecture, electrical systems, industrial applications and transportation. 

These industries appreciate aluminum because it's lightweight without sacrificing durability. With its recyclability, aluminum is also valuable for meeting increasing environmental regulations in many applications.

With a presence in both consumer and industrial goods, the aluminum extrusion industry is actively growing. As extruded products become more common across sectors, manufacturers need to consider the prices of aluminum and how these compare to the cost of the process.

How Does the Aluminum Extrusion Process? 

Known for its low cost and quick development, aluminum extrusion is a simple process. The primary requirements are an aluminum cylinder or billet and a custom dye for the project.

The process starts with heating the billet, which gives the material the flexibility it needs to pass through the dye. A ram or hammer applies pressure to the billet to push it through the dye and the material then molds to the dye's shape. Once the metal is extruded, it is cooled and treated for hardening and straightening. Finally, the extruded pieces are cut to the appropriate sizes and aged for durability. They are then ready to be shipped to their destination.

How Does Aluminum Extrusion Consulting Work?

With the influx in demand for extruded aluminum, manufacturers need to work around the clock managing supply chains and keeping up with process times and costs. The size of the aluminum market makes it challenging to stay on top of changes while working with your company's individual demands.

At HARBOR, we are market experts in the aluminum industry, and we can help you navigate the difficulties of supply chain management. We guide you through purchasing decisions and find suppliers that reflect your operation's needs with forecasting abilities and submarket intelligence. While extrusion can be a low-cost process, you can achieve an even greater return on your products by understanding the market. Our consulting services also guide you to the right clients, giving you a competitive advantage over other extruded aluminum manufacturers. 

The aluminum industry is constantly growing and changing. You need professional guidance to make informed decisions, and our global market intelligence makes supply chain management simple.

Contact HARBOR for Aluminum Extrusion Consulting

With continuous market price listings and extensive coverage of regions worldwide, HARBOR Aluminum is your trusted source for aluminum extrusion consulting. We'll help you manage your supply chain, identify buyers and optimize your extrusion process. Contact us today for more information about our services.

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