Aluminum extrusion is a process that shapes aluminum into an elongated piece by forcing it through a shaped opening. The final piece ends up looking like the shape of the opening. In understanding how the process works, manufacturers can devise different ways to effectively carry out the process. Here is a step-by-step process to show how aluminum is extruded.
Before the process starts, the die must be prepped and ready for use. What this involves is heating the die before the process. If you do not have an already made die, you might need to prepare one immediately. Ensure the dimensions are right, as this will go a long way in ensuring you have the right extruded profiles. The die is heated at about 450-500 degrees to maximize its effectiveness. These temperatures will be maintained for as long as the extrusion process happens.
Once the die is ready, the aluminum block, or billet, is heated up. Most industries have an oven that reaches 450- 500 degrees, just like the die. Heating helps get it into a malleable state that can flow through the heated die. Once the billet reaches the right temperature, it moves to the next step.
With both the billet and ide heated up, what is left is for the extrusion process to start. The billet will be moved mechanically to the die so it can be pushed through it with a ram. To ensure the process is smooth, a lubricant will be applied to the die and the billet. It makes the entire process run smoothly. The ram applies much pressure to the heated-up billet to go through the die. As this happens, the material will expand and fit the entire die as it moves.
The material will slowly move to the other end as it fills the container. Often it comes out in the shape of a die. The time taken depends on the amount of pressure the ram applies on one end. Often the material coming out through the other end will be continuous but into the shape you wanted.
Once the extrusion is out, it is taken to a run-out table and cooled down by a process known as quenching. The process involves using a water bath and fans above the table. It helps reduce the heat and sets the extrusion to room temperature.
The extrusions will be cut according to the quenching table length as they go through the quenching process. A hot saw cuts the extrusion since it has started cooling down, and not many materials can cut through it easily. The extrusion must be cut before it gets too cold and needs more powerful tools to cut into it.
Once the extrusion has been cut to length, it is left to cool to room temperature. Allowing this to happen ensures that if there are any deformities, they can be easily spotted before the next process. The extrusions will be left in the cooling area until completely and uniformly cooled.
The heating and cooling process often leads to many deformities, which might not look good with the final piece. As such, they need to be realigned before they can be shipped. Often the extrusion will be gripped and mechanically stretched on both ends. That way, the final piece is the right size.
The final step of the extrusion process is when the pieces are finally cut to the right length by a hot saw. Since there are no twists or deformities to the extrusion, all that is left is to ensure they are a size clients can use. Once they have been cut, they can then be shipped off.
The aluminum extrusion process is necessary to make so many profiles in the market. For this reason, one must ensure one gets it right. The steps above are details so any industry looking into aluminum extrusion can do it. It helps cover all the bases so one does not have issues with their final profiles.
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