Most aluminum products in today’s market are formed through a process called aluminum extrusion. This process can be used to form simple items, but it can also be used to form more complex parts such as those used in aircraft. While some products will require a custom aluminum extrusion company, the theory and process doesn’t change regardless of the complexity involved.
Aluminum extrusion is actually a fairly simple process. First, a blank (a bar of aluminum material) is heated until it becomes malleable. Once that happens the blank is forced through a die. A die in this case is a sheet that has a hole cut in the shape the aluminum is supposed to take. So a heated bar might be forced through a circular die, which will result in a column of aluminum.
That’s the basis of the extrusion process that all aluminum extrusion manufacturers use to get their final products. The aluminum is pushed through a die, and the pressure forces the aluminum into a certain shape. It’s not unlike how play dough works. The only difference is that instead of a snake of dough what comes out of the die is aluminum that’s still fairly malleable, but which is quickly hardening back to its original strength and rigidity.
Aluminum extrusion can be used for simple shapes or complex ones, depending on the machinery and techniques used. A thermal management solutions company can take stock blanks of aluminum, and cut them into a huge array of parts. It’s the variety that can be achieved through the simple process of using dies to re-shape heated aluminum (or really any material which can be made more malleable with a little bit of heat) that makes extrusion such a necessary part of the manufacturing industry.