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Extruded Aluminum Shapes

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Custom Aluminum Extrusions
Custom Aluminum Extrusions

Extrusion is a manufacturing process that transforms raw materials—such as aluminum—into parts and products with a distinct cross-sectional profile. These parts can vary greatly in regard to both shape and size, depending on the needs of the customer, and find application throughout industry in a wide range of different use cases.

As a precision aluminum service provider with almost four decades of industry experience, Richardson Metals can produce aluminum extrusions in virtually any shape or size. Whether a customer requires a prototype of a close tolerance extruded part or full-scale production of a custom extruded product, our team can deliver.

How to Create Extruded Parts

Aluminum extrusion operations begin with the creation of a die, which determines the cross-sectional shape of the extruded parts. Once the die is ready, the manufacture of the desired extruded part can begin. A typical operation typically includes the following steps:

  • Heating the heat aluminum billets to 800–925° F. This stage softens the metal without turning it completely molten. Once the heated billet is put onto a loader, it’s also coated in lubricant to prevent the surface from sticking to the extrusion machine or the mold.
  • Pushing the heated billets through the die. The machinery generates enough force to push the aluminum through the die’s hole to produce long or short extrusions. At the same time, the aluminum is exposed to nitrogen, displacing the surrounding oxygen and preventing oxides from forming.
  • Cooling the extruded part. Once the billet passes entirely through the die, it is allowed to cool and harden.
  • Cutting the part to length. Once it is sufficiently cool, the part can be cut to the final length.

Depending on the complexity of the part, the production process may also include secondary machining operations, such as drilling. In which case, the operations would occur after the extrusion stage but before finishing.

Typical Extruded Aluminum Shapes

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Typical Extruded Aluminum Shapes

Aluminum extrusions can take on almost any shape or size. Some of the most common extruded aluminum shapes and their use cases include:

  • Angles for structural and architectural applications
  • Bars for constructing product or lightweight structural framework
  • Beams for use as supports in building and construction operations
  • Channels for functional and aesthetic purposes in construction and architecture
  • Edges/trim for placement along product and structure edges to protect individuals from cuts and create a more polished look
  • Pipes for use in thermal exchange equipment such as heat exchangers or solar water heaters
  • Slides for door/window openings and collapsible frames
  • Tubes and tubing for use in gates/fences, railings, and supports columns

Our Aluminum Extrusion Capabilities

For over 40 years, Richardson Metals has specialized in custom aluminum extrusion. Our 14,400 square foot facility equipped with a 550-ton RAM press and 4 ½-diameter press provides us with the equipment needed to accommodate the following project specifications:

  • Part material: 6061 aluminum and 6063 aluminum
  • Part shape: hollow, semi-hollow, or solid components in bar, profile, rod, tube, and custom shapes
  • Part diameter: up to 4 inches
  • Part weight: less than 2.5 pounds per foot
  • Part thickness: as low as .040 inches to tolerances of +/- .005 inches
  • Production volume: prototype to production

In addition to our extrusion capabilities, we also offer value-added services, including CNC machining, cutting, deburring, drilling, surface preparation and finishing, punching, and tapping, to ensure the delivery of a fully finished part.

We offer nearly infinite design potential for parts used in a diverse set of industries, including:

  • Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Electronics
  • Medical
  • Sports and recreation
  • Telecommunications

Contact Us today to learn more about our custom aluminum extrusion services or request a quote for your project.

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