We can define Extrusion as the process of shaping material, such as aluminum, by forcing it through a shaped opening in a die. The extruded material emerges as a long piece with the same profile as the opening in the die. The process is the same as forcing tooth paste out from a tube or decorating a cake using an icing bag and shaped nozzle. When extruding aluminium we use a steel die instead of a plastic nozzle, softened aluminium instead of cream and a mechanical ram (press) instead of hand pressure. For more information on the Extrusion process visit our Extrusion Process Page which includes a video of aluminium being extruded.
Using the extrusion process aluminium profiles can be produced in almost any shape required. This is a godsend for designers who can use this flexibility to design out post production machining and further fabrication normally required with other materials. Other benefits of using aluminum extrusion for your product can be reduced weight, easier jointing, greater conductivity, corrosion resistance, non-toxicity and non-magnetic properties. At Custom Profiles we can offer help and advice on your aluminium extrusion design, ensuring the full range of benefits from using extrusions are fully utilised.
The naturally attractive appearance of aluminium and its corrosion resistance can be enhanced even further by Anodising, an electrochemical process which increases the naturally occurring anodic layer on the surface of aluminium. As part of the process this layer can be tinted to a variety of colours although the natural “satin silver” finish is by far the most popular. Alternatively powder coating is also a popular finishing choice which can be supplied in a spectrum of colours and gloss levels. For more information visit our Aluminium Finishing pages.
As mentioned above aluminium extrusions can be designed so that they require the minimum of machining or fabrication after extrusion. However further processing is often required. Machining can take place before or after surface treatment depending on the product requirements. Machining aluminium extrusions is relatively inexpensive. Cutting speeds attainable with aluminium are much higher than for steel. Custom Profiles can offer a full further fabrication service including, machining, drilling, cutting, tapping and bending. For further details visit our Aluminium Fabrication pages.