Aluminum profiles are extruded stock shapes of aluminum. These profiles are the shapes that the extruded aluminum products take the form of. For example, a t-shaped aluminum profile is used to fabricate an extruded aluminum beam or extruded aluminum trim. Additional aluminum profiles include different aluminum shapes, such as trim caps, rods, angles, bars, and channels. This is just a small sample of the wide range of configurations and sizes that aluminum profiles are available in.
Quick links to Aluminum Profiles Information
Applications of Aluminum Profiles
Aluminum profiles can be custom-designed for many applications, such as:
- Fitness Machines
- Wall Siding
- Structural Applications
- Car Bumpers
- Window Frames
- Electronic Components
- Hardware Joints
- Light Building Frames
Aluminum profiles are lightweight while maintaining a high strength-to-weight ratio. Many industries use these profiles, including construction, medical, office furniture, industrial manufacturing, and transportation.
Manufacturing Process of Aluminum Profiles
Aluminum profiles are formed during the extrusion process, in which round aluminum stock called "billets" or "logs" are pressed by a ram through a die (i.e., a hollow profile that shapes the aluminum into a specific extruded shape as the billet is squeezed through). Some of the more common alloys used in the fabrication of aluminum profiles include 6061 aluminum, 6063 aluminum, and aluminum 1100.
Aluminum profiles can be made using two different types of extrusion processes: indirect extrusion and direct extrusion. Direct extrusion holds the die stationary while the ram forces the aluminum alloy through the die opening. Indirect extrusion holds the die stationary as the hollow ram moves into the stationary billet from one end, forcing the metal to flow through the die.
In addition, extrusion processes include hot extrusion, cold extrusion, and warm extrusion. In cold extruding, an aluminum billet is pressed through the die at room temperature or near room temperature. Warm extruding, or forging, is done on billets brought to temperature ranges between 800 and 1800 degrees F. Hot extrusions are performed on aluminum that has been fully plasticized by heat and is often performed in a vacuum to avoid oxidation. After an aluminum profile has been extruded, it is straightened by a stretcher.