Aluminum Extrusions  •  Fabrications  •   Finishing

Aluminum Extrusion

Aluminum extrusion is a process in which aluminum billet is pushed through a steel die to produce a part that has a uniform cross-section. The extrusion process can produce aluminum extrusions that have a very complex cross section. The process begins with the billet which is the aluminum alloy that is heated to 700 degrees Fahrenheit for soft alloy or 930 degrees Fahrenheit for hard alloy. Since the melting point of aluminum is 1220 degrees Fahrenheit, the billet is still a solid but has been softened by high temperature.

The most common type of aluminum extrusion is direct extrusion in which the heated billet is forced through a stationary die by a dummy block that is driven by a hydraulic ram. In indirect extrusion, the die is contained within a hollow ram. The ram and die move through the stationary billet forcing the aluminum into the ram as the aluminum takes the shape of the die.

Aluminum extruders use powerful hydraulic pressures which vary from 100 to 15,000 tons. The rate at which an aluminum extrusion can be produced depends on the exact composition of the aluminum alloy. For a soft alloy, aluminum extruders can produce extrusions at the rate of 180 feet per minute if the cross section is a simple shape. For harder alloy and more complex cross sections, the rate can be as slow two feet per minute.

The aluminum extruder is capable of producing continuous sections as long as 200 feet on each pass. The extrusion is cooled either naturally or using air/water cooling. After the cooling process, the extrusion is loaded onto buggies and placed into ovens for the final phase. In this phase, the temperature is brought to approximately 400 degrees and heat treated for 8-10 hours. This heat treating process is what gives the aluminum it’s full hardness properties.

As one of the largest value-added aluminum extruders in the country, Unique Extrusions, Inc. offers high-quality aluminum products and services nationwide.

One Of America’s Top-Rated Extruders Providing World-Class Service

"Our company builds industrial machinery, and we rely on Unique Extrusions to supply one of the most critical parts on our machine. They have always been completely professional and reliable, and their quality has been excellent. Additionally they are very good at reacting to our needs. A few years ago, our weekly demand increased to a level that was greater than what they could produce on the machine that ran our parts. In order to help us, they worked out a way to move our parts to a larger machine that could handle our demand. When our demand increased again, they came up with a way to run our parts at a higher speed while still keeping the same quality level. Whenever we have a problem, Frank is always there to help, and I know that he exhausts all possible options in working to meet our needs.

Overall, Unique is an excellent company, and we consider them to be one of our most valuable suppliers."

- Kimberley Riffe, Vanguard Pailung

"Safe Conveyor Inc. manufactures modular plastic belted lightweight conveyors using custom extruded aluminum sections supplied by Unique Extrusions Inc. Since the initial concept and design of our conveyor system, Unique has been most helpful in providing their expertise in extruding aluminum to meet our requirements. With our goal of maintaining low inventory, their quick response and fast delivery has allowed us to operate “just-in-time”. We have been very pleased with the quality of finished goods that have been carefully packed for shipment. We hope to continue purchasing from Unique Extrusions Inc. for many years to come."

- Gregory A. Ferguson - President of Safe Conveyor, Inc.

*The reviews listed are from actual Unique Extrusions customers. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.