Extrusion: A Brief Comparison Between Materials
Extrusions revolutionized manufacturing, enabling precise, complex shape creation, heightened efficiency, and versatility across materials like plastics, wood, and metals such as aluminum, steel, and copper. With a wide range of materials available, form and function must go hand in hand, and a great designer, engineer, or builder understands the value of knowing and choosing the right tools and materials for a successful build. Here are brief material comparisons.
Among these materials, aluminum, and aluminum alloys offer several advantages over alternative materials. Its properties provide a compelling combination of strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, formability, electrical and thermal conductivity, sustainability, and energy efficiency. When compared to roll-formed steel, aluminum extrusion provides similar strength with significantly reduced weight, making it a preferred choice for applications that require structural integrity while prioritizing weight reduction.
Copper extrusions, although strong —are much denser than aluminum, resulting in lower strength-to-weight ratios. Molded plastic materials, while lightweight, generally have lower strength and thermal conductivity compared to aluminum.
Although it is a natural and versatile material, wood is not as strong or lightweight as aluminum. Vinyl extrusions, on the other hand, are resistant to corrosion —but lack the strength and thermal conductivity of aluminum.
With the necessity of sustainable products, aluminum is the perfect choice. Known as the “Green Metal,” aluminum is one of the most environmentally friendly metals and can be recycled infinitely.
Overall, aluminum extrusion offers a more compelling set of properties that make it the preferred choice for various applications when compared to alternative materials utilized in the extrusion process.