A Guide to Extruded Aluminum

Discovered by Hans Christian Oersted in 1825 as being the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, Aluminum is the most widely used metal in the world after iron. Aluminum is also the most ideal metal for beverage cans and foil as it can be melted down, and then reused or recycled. Aluminum extrusions are used in the manufacture of cars, packaging materials, electrical equipment, industrial machinery, household appliances, building construction, and a wide variety of other objects.

Extruded aluminum is formed from alloys which are classified into the following series: 1000, 6000, and 7000. The first series, the 1000 series, is not heat treatable. These alloys are often used in products which require high thermal and/or electrical conductivity. They do, however, have lower strength.

Moving on, the 6000 and 7000 are heat treatable. They are the most commonly used extruded aluminum types, as they have a wide range of applications. The former of the series can be heat-treated at the extrusion temperature, which gives it a medium to high strength. As a result, they are easy to weld and offer good resistance to corrosion, which makes them perfect for load bearing construction on land and in marine environments. The latter series has the highest strength of the commonly-used extruded aluminum types. They are very easy to weld, and obtain lower reduction of strength when heat is an issue. Their corrosion resistance is not as good as that of the 6000 series, but small amounts of other elements can be added to improve on this weakness. This extruded aluminum series, with its high strength and good fatigue strength, is typically used in the automotive industry, aircraft industry, and for bicycles and boats.

The manufacturing and production of extruded aluminum begins with the extruded design. This is the process in which the extrusion takes shape and features are built in to cut down on weight, simplify assembly, add to the functionality, and reduce finishing costs. A good distributor or manufacturer will take advantage of the benefits aluminum has to offer (in combination with the extrusion process) in order to best produce a cost-effective product with optimal functionality, attractive appearance, and noteworthy quality. Aerotech Alloys is one such distributor.

They are a full-line metals distributor with an extensive range of rod and bar. With competitive pricing, unbeatable customer service, and a large inventory, Aerotech Alloys serves customer needs down to the minutest detail. They offer in-house precision cutting, value-added services (such as heat treatment), and offer free local delivery. They seek to exceed the deadlines and expectations set by their clients, and treat “quality” as a philosophy to live (and work) by.

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