Aluminum Rolling Mills
Aluminum rolling mills shape raw aluminum into finished plates, sheets and coils for countless applications. Aluminum is incredibly popular for manufacturing across many industries, including packaging, technology, consumer goods and more. This metal offers naturally beneficial characteristics, including:
- Corrosion resistance
- Highly ductile and malleable
- High tensile strength
- One-third the weight of steel
Aluminum Mill Products
Aluminum can be rolled into different sizes and lengths. From heavy plates several inches thick to paper-thin foils, rolling mills produce a wide array of aluminum products. Completed aluminum coils are cold-pressed to achieve a smooth surface. Plates and sheets are available in a sleek finish, and can be manufactured with perforated, expanded or diamond plate patterns.
Aluminum products can be heat-treated, painted and alloyed for added functions and features. The primary difference between plates, sheets and foil is thickness:
Foil: Up to .0079" thick
Sheets: From .0079" to 1/4" thick
Plates: 1/4" thick and up
An aluminum plate is produced from a thick slab of aluminum shaped to the desired size. Large ingots of aluminum are heated to a workable temperature and machine-rolled to the desired thickness. Completed aluminum plates typically measure several inches in length. Large rolling mills can produce aluminum plates of enormous size, with raw ingots exceeding 20 tons. Aluminum plates can be heat treated or cold-rolled, improving the final product.
Aluminum plates are best suited for rigorous use. Plates are common in the military, maritime, transportation and aerospace industries. Aluminum performs exceptionally well in cold temperatures, making it ideal for use in extreme conditions or with hazardous materials.
Shaping an aluminum sheet begins with the same process as an aluminum plate. Aluminum plates pass through a continuous rolling mill to further reduce plate thickness. The final step for the aluminum sheet is cold rolling, where aluminum sheets are compressed between two rollers, reducing material thickness up to 50%. Cold rolling eliminates surface imperfections, enhances flexibility and improves plate strength. Aluminum sheets can be heat treated.
Aluminum sheets are the most common form of rolled aluminum products. Aluminum sheets are used for products ranging in size and application, from automobile frames to household rolls of aluminum foil. The construction, automotive, packaging industries and other manufacturers all depend on aluminum.
Aluminum coils are continuous sheets of aluminum. Both hot and cold rolled aluminum products are available. In hot-rolled production, molten aluminum is fed continuously through the roller to create a long sheet and coiled at completion. Cold rolling produces coils by compressing sheets and plates of aluminum, spreading material and reducing thickness.
Aluminum coils come in all sizes for many uses. Aluminum coils keep food fresh in the kitchen and a ship's hull watertight. Coils are used in electronics manufacturing, packaging pharmaceuticals and building automobiles.
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