The popularity of aluminum
Despite being a relatively new construction material, aluminum is now one of the most commonly used metals. One of the most malleable metals, aluminum is perfect for machining or for casting. Aluminum extrusion is a process that has also only been with us for just over 100 years, but it is used to great effect and takes advantages of the material’s unique qualities. While malleable, it’s also far less dense than steel, making it the perfect material where durability, stability and light weight materials are required. Since the beginning of the aerospace and motor industries the material has proved the perfect match for a number of applications.
Simple methods and low costs
From simple aluminum round bar designs to complex objects, aluminum extrusion is a simple process that is also low cost. There are several stages in the process and these include heating aluminum to a high temperature – up to 920 degrees Fahrenheit – which is then placed in a custom built die. While many aluminum extrusions are available in standard shapes and designs, the simplicity of the extrusion process means that custom designs are not costly to create or manufacture. Once the extrusion has been cooled and hardens, these can then be cut to required sizes and are normally heat-aged, in ovens, a process which further hardens the finished products. The simplicity of the process and the speed with which casts and dies can be created mean that this incredibly flexible metal can be designed for a huge range of purposes. The speed and ease of creating bespoke designs is also one reason that it continues to be a popular choice for many industries.
Space-age building materials
Once rarer than gold (and more expensive), aluminum smelting and the extrusion process have meant that this durable, lightweight and non-magnetic material has made it to many corners of the globe and beyond. Aluminum round bar and extruded parts have been used in construction of planes and rockets and are also being used in the construction of the International Space Station. One of its attributes – the fact that it is eminently recyclable – make it one of the fit for purpose construction materials of the twenty first century and it will continue to be popular in years to come.
Howard Precision is one of the Midwest’s largest distributors of aluminum. In addition to Aluminum Plate and aluminum round bar, they stock a huge range of sawing equipment; you won’t find a better aluminum distributor in the area.