Reasons Why Engineers Love Aluminum Extrusion Profiles

Reasons Why Engineers Love Aluminum Extrusion Profiles

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Across numerous industries, Bosch aluminum extrusion profiles have become widespread and preferable to materials like stainless steel. Why is that? Well, aluminum possesses many traits that make it practical and aesthetically viable in a way other metals can’t compete with. To help you understand why, let’s dive into the reasons why engineers love aluminum extrusion profiles and how they’ve managed to improve so many industries.

Corrosion Resistance

For industries like pharmaceuticals or food and beverage, aluminum extrusions are one of the only choices for engineers. These industries prioritize sanitation and sterility to prevent serious harm to their customers and patients. Aluminum, then, answers this need by being incredibly resistant to corrosion – rust and decay that would not only affect the production and efficiency of a facility but could also potentially ruin or contaminate the final product of their manufacturing sectors.

While corrosion resistance is not the same as being immune to corrosion, aluminum extrusions demand much less maintenance. The aluminum is easy to clean and doesn’t take much time to complete. As a result, with good consistent care, that corrosion resistance makes it very unlikely for the aluminum to corrode for a long time.

It’s worth noting that this attribute is comparable to stainless steel. We’ll touch upon why aluminum extrusions are not just interchangeable with or as a substitute for stainless steel but an entire upgrade.

Weight-to-Strength Ratio

Another major reason engineers love aluminum extrusion profiles is because of their unique and incredible weight-to-strength ratio. While steel may be stronger than aluminum overall, aluminum’s strength is nothing to scoff at. Combine this with the fact that aluminum extrusions weigh a third of what steel weighs, and you’ve got an incredibly useful material that is dependable for construction but doesn’t add tons of weight.

For example, the automotive industry was practically revolutionized by aluminum extrusions. By using aluminum in the construction of vehicles instead of steel, cars became much lighter. In turn, less weight means the vehicles' engines don’t have to work as hard to maintain the same speeds and thus consume less fuel. Furthermore, cars have gained better control and handling with a lighter chassis because far less weight gets thrown around whenever the vehicle turns or stops.

Similarly, aluminum extrusions and materials are great for industries like construction because they’re much less costly to transport. The trucks and other vehicles moving the materials expend far fewer resources because the aluminum doesn’t place as much weight and burden on the trucks.

Design Flexibility

The third biggest attribute of aluminum extrusions is that they’re incredibly flexible. This allows manufacturers to shape and form them in any way necessary to fulfill any application. In comparison, metals like steel are not nearly as adaptable and have a limited range of applications they can perform because of that – not to mention they’re just more difficult to shape in other forms.

With the flexibility of aluminum, manufacturers can make extrusions as complex as needed to gain optimal strength while still minimizing fabrication costs.

Low Tooling Costs

We must also note that the dies necessary to create aluminum extrusions are inexpensive compared to other forms of tooling equipment. Your typical die will only cost between $500-$1300 depending on the specifications, with the most exotic and specialized dies only going up to around $3500 – though we must state that these exotic dies aren’t common. In producing the die, the lead times are typically two to four weeks, so it’s cheap and quick for engineers to get their hands on the necessary equipment to create aluminum extrusions.

Colors and Coatings

While aluminum extrusions are already impressive, you can enhance them further by anodizing them. Anodizing aluminum improves its appearance, its wear resistance and even extends the life of the extrusion. This particular coating is clear if you want the aluminum extrusion to retain its natural color. Still, by combining the coating with organic dyes, you can achieve any desired color.

Another treatment available is a chemical conversion coating. This coating further bolsters the natural corrosion resistance by minimizing oxidation - you’ll see this coating used in the aerospace industry.

Both anodized and chemical conversion coatings are bio-compatible and safe to use for disposable medical equipment.

Sustainability

A particular quality that is becoming more important to customers is sustainability and minimizing the impact we have on our environment. Aluminum provides once more by being endlessly recyclable. Unlike other metals, aluminum never loses its integrity no matter how often it’s reused and recycled, meaning the supply chain continues without expending resources to mine and create new aluminum. Recycling aluminum also only uses a fraction of the energy required to manufacture new materials.

By embracing aluminum extrusions, engineers have made a sizable dent in the carbon footprint of the industries that use them.

Comparing Stainless Steel

If all these benefits have not convinced you that aluminum extrusions are superior to stainless steel, then let's talk more practically. Everyone must consider costs, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, engineers love that aluminum extrusions are significantly cheaper than relying on stainless steel materials – approximately 70 percent cheaper! Furthermore, many machined parts have become more affordable over time as aluminum extrusions have allowed engineers to improve their designs and made them much more efficient to produce.

With so many benefits, both in attributes and cost, it’s no wonder why engineers adore aluminum extrusions so much over more traditional materials. As one of the premier online retailers for aluminum extrusions, A-Line Automation has a wide array of products and experts on our team that can help you further understand the value of aluminum extrusions. Contact us today for more information and to have any questions answered!

Reasons Why Engineers Love Aluminum Extrusion Profiles

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