Through the metal extrusion process, items with complex cross-sections can be created. From the user’s perspective, this results in sturdy, versatile extruded products with good finishes that can be coated or decorated in various ways.
Good for manufacturers, great for users
Metal extrusion involves pushing blanks made from various metals, through dies of various shapes, to produce a range of items that have many industrial, commercial and domestic uses. The blanks, usually round or square in profile, are also known as billets. Before they can be pushed through the dies, both dies and billets are usually heated.
Extrusion methods and profiles
In fact, there are several extrusion processes, including hot, cold and friction extrusion. Extrusion creates metal products with standard cross sections known as “profiles”, which have many uses. A walk around a local hardware or DIY store will reveal plenty of these – aluminium greenhouse framing, for instance. The versatility doesn’t end there. Specialist companies such as Edmo produce bespoke extruded aluminium products that can then be strengthened by anodising before being powder coated in one of a huge selection of colours.
The extrusion process isn’t limited to metals, of course. It can even be used to create pasta, snacks and pet foods, by pushing the raw materials through dies. However, keeping the focus on metals, aluminium is a prime candidate for extrusion since it has so many other valuable qualities. It has high tensile strength and is a ductile metal – in other words, it retains its strength when it’s shaped or deformed.
A smooth and seamless, practical option
Once extruded, aluminium has a smooth, seamless surface which is ideal for further finishes. This adaptable metal isn’t rare, either. As it’s derived from bauxite it is the most abundant metal on the planet. As if that weren’t enough, aluminium is corrosion resistant – in fact, exposure to the air results in the creation of aluminium oxide, which creates a corrosion-resistant layer that is particularly protective against acids.
That’s not all, though. Its light weight and non-toxic nature means it’s ideal for industries such as food production and in the creation of items for domestic kitchens and bathrooms, such as shower screens. And best of all, aluminium can be used again and again. There’s no limit to the number of times aluminium products can be recycled, a great boon for both individuals and the planet.