Top Reasons Why Aluminium is the Most Commonly Extruded Metal

  • Aluminium is one of the most common as well as effective metals used in our daily lives and it is used in various industries around the world for its numerous beneficial properties. Aluminium extrusion is a technique that is used to manufacture certain objects with a fixed cross sectional area. The principal advantage of this process is that it is open to creativity and products of different and unique cross sectional design can be made. This flexibility allows the designers to manufacture tubes and various other extruded structures with relatively complex but effective designs. (Information credit: Eurosteel)

    Although metals like brass, copper, lead, titanium, etc are sometimes used for extrusion, aluminium is the most popular and commonly used metal for this process. Mainly, the intrinsic properties of this metal are responsible for this phenomenon. Some of these advantageous properties are –

    1. Present everywhere: This metal is present everywhere on the surface of earth. It is usually found in the form of bauxite which can be processed to extract pure aluminium rather easily. Therefore, unlike metals like palladium or beryllium, aluminium can be procured and extracted in a fairly low cost.


    2. Ductility: Aluminium belongs to the group of metals that includes steel, brass, copper, lead, zinc, and titanium. Hence, aluminium can be easily melted, cast, and formed quite easily like all of these ductile metals.


    3. Lightness: The density of aluminium is relatively lower than the other metals (2.7 gm/cc) and as a result, it is fairly lightweight. Because of this property, aluminium is capable of reducing the dead weight and the energy consumption during the increase of load capacity.


    4. Strength: Because of its elasticity and flexibility, aluminium is almost unbreakable and incredibly strong and more importantly its strength increases significantly with the decrease of temperature. The strength can be further increased by slightly interchanging the composition of aluminium alloys.


    5. Resistance against corrosion: By reacting with the oxygen present in the air, aluminium forms an oxide that acts as a protective layer. This layer enables this metal to become naturally corrosion resistant. For further protection, methods like anodising, lacquering, and painting are also used.


    6. Conductivity: Aluminium is a very good conductor of heat. In the extrusion process, this property plays a vital role in the shaping of tubes with specific cross sections. Furthermore, for the bulk power transmission in extrusion, aluminium is used because it is an incredible conductor of electricity as well.


    7. Non-sparking property: Aluminium never emits sparks and as a result it is a safe choice of metal for an environment containing explosive or flammable objects. Also, aluminium is non-combustible itself.


    8. Non-magnetic property and recyclability: The non-magnetic property of this metal allows it to be used in high voltage applications with the presence of electromagnetic fields. As a result, various products manufactured through aluminium extrusion are used in electronics and electrical applications. Furthermore, this metal is recyclable and can be used ad infinitum.


    Besides these features, the reflective and seamless nature of this metal also makes it one of the most sought after metals in the world for the extrusion process.