The highly complex cross-section design and size of aluminum profiles is thanks to the best aluminum extrusion machines. These are the main gear used to manufacture aluminum profiles, and they impact the quality, size, and appearance of the product extruded.
A reliable extrusion machine can provide businesses numerous economic advantages for both small and large-scale production facilities. However, the larger production facilities will require a larger and more capable machine than small-scale enterprises.
But, how do you choose the right aluminum extrusion machine? There are a handful of variables and features to consider because this is a huge investment. Fortunately, the following guide has everything you need to know about aluminum extrusion machines and the factors you need to consider when choosing one.
Read on to find out more!
Since this article is about aluminum extrusion machines, it’s only right that we elaborate on what aluminum extrusion is all about.
This is the process through which an aluminum alloy is pushed through a die based on a precise cross-sectional design. You can compare aluminum extrusion to expelling toothpaste from its tube. The ram drives the aluminum via the die, after which it protrudes from the die opening. As it comes out, it features the same shape as the die. Also, it is extruded on a run table.
So, how is this the same as expelling toothpaste from a tube? When you squeeze toothpaste from the tube, it comes out in the shape of the tube opening.
The tube’s opening works the same way as the extrusion die. Because the opening is circular, the toothpaste will have the same shape as long as you are squeezing the toothpaste out.
Extrusion machines push unformed aluminum material through regularly shaped dies and alignment guides to create stock form lengths and cross-sectional designs. They are primarily used in the metal, plastic, and composite-fashioning sectors.
Additionally, extrusion machines are employed in the construction, aerospace, and automotive industries.
The main parts of an aluminum extrusion machine are the revolving screw, tubular barrel, and a plunger or ram in the barrel. What’s more, an aluminum extrusion machine also features a hopper on one side, where the aluminum material is supplied to the plunger, ram, or screw. The die, on the other side, comes in handy in shaping the final product.
That said, you can also find extrusion machines that can cut extruded aluminum into long or short intervals.
Choosing the right aluminum extrusion machine is essential if you want your production facility to be operational. These machines are basically the backbone of your production facility, which is why selecting the right machine is crucial.
Aluminum extrusion machinery can be categorized into a few different types based on structure, how they function, and transmission mode. Also, under these classifications, you can sub-categorize aluminum extrusion machines according to reverse, forward, horizontal & vertical extrusion, oil, and water pressure.
So, while selecting an extrusion machine, you can utilize aluminum alloy as a point of reference. For example, you can select a forward single-action horizontal machine for producing 6063-T5 aluminum profile or the forward dual-action horizontal machine for the production of delicate alloy pipes.
To make the selection process easier, here are the main types of aluminum extrusion machines:
These presses function at room temperature, making them perfect for delivering basic shapes with a quality finish.
These types of extrusion presses are designed to produce aluminum profiles that need high temperatures. Additionally, they are ideal for large and complicated cross-sectional aluminum profiles.
Hybrid aluminum extrusion machines provide versatility by facilitating cold and hot extrusion. Nonetheless, due to this flexibility, they may need extra tooling.
For indirect presses, the die and container move correspondingly with the billet. This is a better-suited procedure for extruding complex profiles.
These machines have a billet that moves proportionately to the die and container. Generally, they are most suitable for simple profiles.
As a serious entrepreneur, you should select the most suitable aluminum extrusion machine according to the product you are extruding. This is because if you choose a machine that’s incapable of delivering the right final product, it will be a waste of your funds, and you will have to buy another machine to replace it.
Once you determine the right type of extrusion machine, the next vital factor to consider is the extrusion machine’s capacity.
Aluminum extrusion machines are classified into small, medium, large, and heavy-capacity presses. The specific capacity is attained after calculations based on production conditions, sales conditions, equipment conditions, and technical level.
These variables help calculate the yearly production capacity because the output and section sizes dictate the type of extrusion machine that’s most suitable for a specific production facility. Also, the extrusion capabilities needed for various alloys are not similar.
Specifically, the extrusion pressure needed for standard aluminum profiles’ production is 250 to 400 Mpa. What’s more, the pressure called for to produce hollow profiles is 450 to 1000 Mpa. On the other hand, for those extruding pure aluminum, the pressure needed is low at 150-250 Mpa.
Finally, extrusion techniques vary significantly, with reverse extrusion requiring 1/3 less pressure than forward extrusion.
The next thing to consider is the extruder’s grade. To find the grade, based on the production facility’s budget and product classification of the aluminum material, if the final product is medium-sized, you can select a domestic extrusion machine. On the other hand, if it is classified as a high-end profile, it would be best to go for an imported extrusion machine.
Regardless of the extrusion machine’s grade, your choice should be picked according to what it has to offer. For example, if you work with mid-range materials only, you will not have to select a high-end machine. However, if your production facility is busy and works with large workpieces, then an imported high-end machine might be the best option.
Like most products on the market, it is wise to consider the brand you are purchasing from. This is especially because aluminum extrusion machines are expensive, and you won’t want to go wrong with the manufacturer.
When choosing an aluminum extrusion machine manufacturer, there are several main factors to weigh in, including experience and reliability. You have to be sure that the manufacturer you want to invest in will be available and willing to take care of the machine throughout its lifespan.
This doesn’t mean that every time you have a technical problem, you should call them, but when the need arises, it would be best if the manufacturer was available to help you out. The most reliable proof that a manufacturer has quality products and offers excellent customer care is through their reputation.
You can only know their reputation by researching. So, find a few production facility owners and get recommendations, or search on the internet for the best aluminum extrusion machine manufacturers.
Something just as important when looking for a reliable aluminum extrusion machine manufacturer is experience and product quality. Globally, there are a handful of manufacturers who have built a good reputation for themselves in the industry over time. These are the best brands to go for.
Also, consider the manufacturer’s experience in the industry. It might be a good idea to choose a manufacturer who has been in the business for a decade or more. This shows they have ample experience to sell you a product that best fits your production needs. Also, 10 years is sufficient time to have built a reputation for themselves.
The new players in the market might have enough knowledge and good products, but there isn’t much to go on in terms of reputation.
You can find aluminum alloys in a wide range of versions. The most common alloy models are 7xxx, 6xxx, 5xxx, 3xxx, 2xxx, and 1xxx, among other series. Every one of these series features varying properties and characteristics, including workability, strength, and corrosion resistance.
Therefore, it would be best if you choose the most suitable aluminum extrusion machine according to your production needs. For instance, an aluminum extrusion press that works with a 1xxx aluminum alloy series might not be suitable for the 7xxx.
Another thing you need to consider is the strength needed to produce the right final product. Different aluminum materials have varying strength properties.
This means that high-strength aluminum material will need a different machine than low-strength material. The former is usually used for tasks needing high compression and load capabilities, while the latter materials are ideal for jobs with less strength needs.
While these six are the main factors to consider when selecting aluminum extrusion presses, you will also benefit from the following additional tips:
The size of the aluminum extrusion machine should be compatible with your production quantity and should fit the space available. Additionally, you should consider the weight and size of the aluminum profiles you’ll be producing and make sure the press you choose can extrude them efficiently.
If the production process calls for high precision and tolerance, go for an aluminum extrusion machine with precision tooling and progressive control systems. These types of machines will be more expensive than other less feature-filled options.
Considering how expensive an aluminum extrusion press is, it might be a good idea to choose one that’s energy efficient. This helps minimize operational expenses and decrease your facility’s carbon footprint.
This one touches on the manufacturer. Partnering with a manufacturer with a good reputation will guarantee you have great customer care experience, which includes maintenance when the need arises. This, in turn, ensures great performance and incredible longevity of the press.
Your safety should always be a priority, which is why you should select an aluminum extrusion press with reliable safety features. Also, this reduces the susceptibility to work-related accidents.
Make sure the aluminum extrusion machine you purchase is compatible with the right tooling, such as mandrels and dies, for your specific end product.
Machines with advanced technology usually have incredible control and automation systems, which boost efficiency and lessen the necessity for skilled workers.
This should be a key factor with every purchase you make, even an aluminum extrusion machine. After finding the right manufacturer and making a list of the necessary features you will need for the right final product, you have to consider your budget.
You must also consider the value this machine will present in the future and the asking price. A more expensive machine might present fewer operating expenses and top-quality output than the cheaper models.
This step is vital to finding the right aluminum extrusion machine according to your needs. You have to do a lot of research and consider the factors mentioned above. Here is a multi-step approach that will lead you to the best aluminum extrusion machine:
Begin by compiling a list of reliable aluminum extrusion machine manufacturers. This list should be based on reputation and experience. Now, companies don’t have that much of a reputation, so the reviews you get might not be good enough to make a conclusion.
Next, contact each manufacturer on your list and ask for information about their presses, like price, features, and specs.
This is the part where you ask the manufacturer about their previous clients, along with their contact information. This will give you a clear picture of what the manufacturer has to offer beyond the machine itself.
You can also make time to visit the manufacturers’ showrooms or attend their illustrations to view the aluminum extrusion presses as they work.
Ask about the maintenance, warranty, and spare parts availability from the manufacturer.
Many. An extrusion aluminum machine can extrude many shapes, though they are normally categorized in these four groups:
These shapes comprise bars and rods with different cross-sections like squares, rectangles, and circles.
Hollow shapes come in different forms and sizes, and they include tubes or aluminum profiles with differing cross-sections like squares, circles, and rectangles.
These include channels and angles with partially open designs like the letter ‘c’.
Custom Extrusion Shapes
These profile shapes are usually formed by interlocking several different-shaped aluminum profiles, sometimes they even have different colors. Most of the time, such shapes are formed at the request of a client.
There are many aluminum alloys that can be extruded, but the most common ones are:
1100 – This is a soft aluminum ally, and it has close to no extra ingredients. Nonetheless, it is not heat-treatable, but may produce numerous complex shapes with a magnificent finish. The 1100 alloy is utilized most in heat exchange tubes and decorative items.
3003 – This is part of the 3000 aluminum alloy series. It is usually extruded to create heat exchanger tubes.
6061 – This alloy is among the much stronger models and is used in the construction, machined parts, and transportation industries. Fortunately, it is simple to weld and extrude. Thanks to its increased fracture robustness and excellent fatigue tolerance, this aluminum alloy is an excellent choice for welded structural parts like trailers, vehicle and truck frames, and even pipelines.
6063- This one is not as robust as the 6061 alloy, but it is ideal for ornamental uses as it has a decent finish. It is somewhat easy to extrude and comes in different tempers. Also, it is corrosion-resistant yet presents reduced weld strength, and welding it is easy.
7004 – Finally, this is an aluminum alloy that’s heat-treatable, easy to extrude, and rather expensive compared to the 6061. The 7000 series is widely used in the motorcycle and bicycle industries.
Does your production facility have a project in progress that needs an aluminum extrusion machine? If so, trust us to sell you the most suitable extrusion press on the market. We are an aluminum extrusion equipment manufacturer with two decades of experience. Additionally, we are a fully-serviced organization that provides our clientele with high-quality aluminum extrusion machines and impeccable after-sale services.
Our team of experts are aptly skilled and experienced to handle any questions or tasks you might have for them.
Feel free to contact us, and find out more about our product line of aluminum extrusion machines. We have presses for small, medium, large, and even heavy workload production facilities.
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