Over the last two decades, friction stir-welding has emerged and been established as an extremely effective alternative to traditional MIG welding for use in marine applications, particularly as the industry moves towards increased use of aluminum. The powerful combination of reduced weight from aluminum and increased strength of FSW welds can yield spectacular benefits for marine designs.
Aluminum can help you obtain weight and production savings and improve the quality and efficiency of your vessels and structures. Aluminum reduces weight without sacrificing structural strength. The unique qualities of extruded aluminum component design provides you with exceptionally high torsion strength resistance.
If you’re looking to cut costs of construction for your cruise ships, mega-yachts, defense vessels, passenger ferries, leisure craft, as well as offshore platforms and rigs, read on!
FSW is Well Suited For Marine Applications Because of The Nature of The Welds
The friction stir welding process is best utilized on long straight welds, as this allows for a more cost-effective and efficient process. Unsurprisingly, this happens to cover a significant portion of the flat structures that are used in the marine industry, such as floors, decks, bulkheads, and more parts that don’t require complex curves. Many of the structures that are welded in this process are alloyed aluminum extrusions.
Friction-stir welding is a great compliment to alloyed aluminum as it can successfully weld any of the normal range of aluminum alloys – whether that be the plate, extruded sections, forging, or castings – including high strength alloys such as 7xxx and 2xxx series aluminum. The ability to weld dissimilar materials effectively (for example, steel to aluminum) is an additional benefit of FSW.
Benefits of FSW For Marine Vessels
For projects both large and small, the FSW process stands to speed up the construction process and save money. The cost savings comes from the elimination of the required man-hours of traditional MIG welding, and also provides a stronger, higher quality weld, which cuts down on secondary repair costs down the line. Also, using complete components such as Modular FSW panels reduces the time and labor costs of measurement and cutting on the construction site.
Minimal distortion on the weld, and better aesthetics
More environmentally friendly (no UV radiation or fumes) as well more user-friendly
Removes flaws that are inherent to conditional welding methods – no porosity, no hot cracking, stronger fusion of the constituent elements
FSW is becoming more widely adopted and is less susceptible to errors due to the automated process
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS., in 1995 which houses a cast house and two additional presses, and multiple expansions of value added fabrication services. Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, including 7″billet molds, and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys. In 2018, Taber added ultra-precision extrusions to their capabilities allowing them to further serve customers in electronics, computer, and medical industries. Today Taber is proud to announce yet another exciting launch into Friction Stir Welding.
Exciting opportunity for a Friction Stir Welding Engineer to join our team as we expand into the Friction Stir Welding arena! The successful candidate will be responsible for:
Developing specific welding recipes, procedures, and application of welding equipment to problems involving fabrication of metals, utilizing knowledge of production specifications, properties and characteristics of metals and metal alloys, and engineering principles: Conducting research and development investigations to develop and test new fabrication processes and procedures, improve existing or develop new welding equipment, developing new or modifying current welding methods, techniques, and procedures, discovering new patterns of welding phenomena, or to correlate and substantiate hypotheses.
Preparing technical reports as result of research and development, preventive maintenance investigations and customer verification reports.
Establishing welding procedures to guide production and welding personnel relating to specification restrictions, material processes, pre- and post-heating requirements which involve use of complex alloys, unusual fabrication methods, welding of critical joints, and complex postheating requirements.
Evaluating new developments in welding field for possible application to current welding problems or production processes.
Execute, direct and coordinate technical personnel in performing inspections to ensure workers’ compliance with established welding procedures, restrictions, and standards; in testing welds for conformance with national code requirements; or testing welding personnel for certification.
Contact personnel of other agencies, engineering personnel, or clients to exchange ideas, information, or offer technical advice concerning welding matters.
May perform experimental welding to evaluate new equipment, techniques, and materials
Minimum Qualifications, Education and Experience:
BS in Welding or Material Engineering required
Minimum of 3 years’ experience required; student with formal welding engineer degree may be considered
Industrial engineering experience
Quality control experience
Continuous improvement experience
Program/Project Management preferred
Ability to be learn specific new technology welding techniques
Taber Extrusions LLC. is an Equal Opportunity Employer EEO-M/F/D/V and encourages Diverse Candidates to Apply
We are currently looking to fill a Continuous Improvement Engineer position. The successful candidate will be responsible for initiating and directing continuous improvement projects that: reduce material waste, improve quality of product and processes, increase productivity of production lines and other cost improvement efforts in order to improve profitability.
This position provides individuals a unique opportunity to develop a well-rounded knowledge of aluminum manufacturing. Individuals will routinely interact with all levels of plant and division staff through events, meetings, reviews, and daily improvement activities. This position requires a hands-on, on the production floor, daily commitment mentality driven to implement and sustain systematic improvement. One of the expectations of this position is for the individual to develop skill sets that lead to potential opportunities with division and plant leadership as part of the organization’s succession planning.
• Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related discipline or equivalent combination of experience and education, 10 years manufacturing experience
• Ten (10) years manufacturing experience in process/manufacturing engineering is preferred. Specific technical knowledge may be required as applicable.
• Safety and quality minded.
• Organized and detail oriented. Self-motivated and team oriented.
• Knowledge of Lean Manufacturing concepts.
• Knowledge of MS Office applications required.
• Ability to work as a team
Taber Extrusions LLC. is an Equal Opportunity Employer EEO-M/F/D/V and encourages Diverse Candidates to Apply
Recent advancements in extrusion have allowed for aluminum microtubing products to be used in medicine and surgical applications. Specifically, microextrusions have allowed for OEM’s to request microtubing with dimensions previously thought impossible.
With continued advancements in several industries, aluminum microtubing has become increasingly more complex and smaller in size. New and advanced processes have placed an urgency on manufacturers to produce smaller and smaller microtubing with safer and more durable materials.
OEMs are primarily focused on miniaturizing their devices and providing new features, but reducing cost is also a large concern. Before, these OEMs relied on traditional injecting molding to complete these projects. However, with the increasing popularity of microextrusions, OEMs now have much more flexibility in cost and design.
The use of aluminum microtubing is useful in this regard. Aluminum can provide three times as much volume per pound as other metal products – so when weight is a factor, it is an obvious choice.
Aluminum’s natural corrosion resistance makes it suitable to many types of environments and its ability to transmit heat rapidly make it ideal for heat transfer processes. On top of this all, aluminum tubing is readily bent, formed, and welded.
“From a challenge standpoint, material is a key factor… running products on a micro level requires materials to be processed at extremely low output levels, thus creating the potential for high shear and material degradation.
Unlike traditional extrusion, which processes a large amount of material quickly, microextrusion processes a small amount of material slowly to get the desired physical and performance attributes.
In addition to the benefits provided by the reduction in size, another plus is to have the ability to build in advanced steerable capabilities, enhanced with… features to aid in complex procedures. This type of structure can be produced in multilayer size, with enhanced performance in many areas. Depending on the application and device, you can modify configurations to aid the designers even further.”
TABER’S MICROEXTRUSION PROCESS
Taber’s aluminum ultra-precise extrusions are produced through a proprietary technique that delivers features, tolerances, and surface finishes previously considered to be impossible. This unique extrusion process continues to excite design engineers, offering an additional design alternative for the production of precision aluminum components. Industries most commonly using microextrusions include computer, electronics, aerospace, medical, industrial, and military.
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billets which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS. in 1995 which houses a casthouse and two additional presses, with a fabrication area that has been expanded multiple times. Today, Taber Extrusions is proud to announce the launch of expanded capabilities to include microextrusions and 7” billet molds.
Aluminum. It’s light. It’s strong. It’s highly recyclable. And it’s leading the charge in our planet-wide quest for a more renewable, sustainable future… and aluminum extrusions are definetly part of the conservation puzzle..
Strides in aluminum alloy technology have allowed aluminum products to lower energy and carbon emissions in countless applications. From the automotive and aerospace industry, to construction and marine, consumer products, and beyond, aluminum is no doubt the sustainable solution for the modern world.
The facts don’t lie. The energy required to create new aluminum has decreased by 26% in the last two and a half decades, and the entire industry’s global warming potential has decreased by 37% (source: aluminum.org). This is due in large part to robust aluminum recycling programs that manufacturers have adopted.
Let’s dig deeper into the different facets of aluminum that is making it the material of the future.
Implementing lightweight aluminum into manufacturing designs presents a great opportunity to increase the sustainable use of energy. Aluminum’s light weight contributes to increased fuel efficiency in transport vehicles, from consumer automobiles to military vehicles and airplanes. Aluminum’s 95% reflectivity property can be used in building materials to reduce heating costs within green buildings, and improves the efficiency of solar panels and solar cells.
We will go over the sustainability aluminum provides due to recycling further below, but it is important to note that the greatest environmental benefit comes from the day to day use of vehicles and buildings that are built with aluminum.
For buildings, the use of aluminum in extrusion-based building components (such as windows, sunshades, facades, etc.) can massively decrease the operating costs and energy usage over the lifetime of a building.
Aluminum extrusions’ combination of low weight and high strength provides immense benefits to pretty much anything with a motor and wheels. In using this material, you are reducing the mass that must be moved by the transportation system. Mass reductions in this way can lead to further downsizing elsewhere in the design, which results in reduced carbon emissions and energy consumption.
Each pound of aluminum used in place of high-strength steel provides the following benefits:
saves the equivalent of 3.1 gallons of crude oil over the life of the vehicle (source: org)
saves CO2 from day one, using recycled aluminum (source: org)
The sustainability benefits that come from recycling aluminum are unmatched. As with any recyclable material, recycling aluminum conserves energy and our natural resources, as well as reduces water and air pollution.
Aluminum is INFINITELY recyclable. That means that it can be recycled over and over with virtually no limit.
Since 1884, billions of metric tons of aluminum have been produced, and today, roughly 74% of that amount is still in use today.
Yes, aluminum is truly unparalleled when it comes to recycling.. In fact, all aspects of products made from aluminum can be reused. That means that a simple act like tossing your aluminum cans into the recycling bin, instead of the general trash, can conserve 95% of the energy that it takes to create a new aluminum can.
For every 1 ton of aluminum recycled, the planet is spared 9 tons of CO2 emissions.
Members of the Aluminum Extrusion Council are deeply involved in scrap collection and secondary smelting programs. (source: AEC.org).
Although modern technology is making the world much smaller, it’s also introducing a lot of design challenges as we work towards creating a better, more sustainable future. Taber Extrusions is proud to be a prominent member of the aluminum extrusion industry, as it gives us the opportunity to assist manufacturers in reducing their carbon footprint in their designs, and work towards a better tomorrow.
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The shipbuilding industry has always been relevant, evolving from days of wooden vessels to the metal age, including the use of aluminum alloys. Vessels used both above and below the water’s surface have been vital for construction, trade, exploration, and military endeavors since humanity first grasped the concept of buoyancy.
Despite the long history of naval development, the biggest strides in naval technology have taken place within the last 200 years. Specifically, naval technology as we know it, took a huge leap in 1862 when two ironclad warships traded blows for the first time during the American Civil War. The outcome of the battle may have been ambiguous (neither vessel was sunk, yet both sides claimed victory), but the effect on naval technology was crystal clear.
Several Union wood-hulled vessels had been sunk by the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia, which escaped the battle in pristine condition. It was not until the intervention of the Union ironclad USS Monitor that the attack on the Union fleet was stopped. Ironclad warships had increased survivability compared to their wooden hulled predecessors, and so the war on the seas would, from then on, be governed by whoever had the best materials and the construction techniques to properly apply them.
This trend continued with increasingly strong steel alloys being used to create armor of incredible durability. This brings us to the modern day, where the battlefield is evolving quicker than ever. There will always be a place in the Navy for destroyers and cruisers, but the need has arisen for a new breed of warship with increased speed, agility, and stealth. Fortunately, there is a material to match this need.
Just as the development of iron and steel allowed vessels to be made tougher than before, now aluminum alloys and fabrication processes will allow the development of the new class of vessels centered around evading the enemy’s strikes before retaliating.
At one-third the density of steel, aluminum allows vessels to be made lighter and therefore faster. The corrosion resistance and strength of new alloys, specifically the 5xxx series of aluminum alloys, make it an ideal choice for the construction of sea-going vessels. In addition, the development of new metal forming processes such as CNC machining, extrusion, and new welding processes (friction stir welding chief among them) have made aluminum one of the most versatile materials, able to be formed to shapes impossible for other materials. Already in use with the littoral combat ships, aluminum construction of the decks, superstructure, and even hull sections are key to making the vessels lighter, faster, and more maneuverable. In fact, these vessels are capable of speeds of more than 45 knots (51 mph), an impressive speed for vessels which weigh 3500 tons.
Now, the Navy is considering designs for the FFG(X) program, developing a new fast warship to complement their current fleet. The vessel must be able to support carrier groups at speeds in excess of 30 knots (34 mph), hunt submarines, add an additional layer of security to carrier groups and convoys through networked sensors, engage enemy surface ships at both long ranges and short ranges, and operate with the fleet or independently depending on the situation. Speed and flexibility will be necessary to accomplish this mixture of hunter and guardian in a single vessel. No matter what design is selected, it will rely on aluminum construction and fabrication techniques to obtain the performance necessary to neutralize whatever situation it faces.
MORE ON TABER EXTRUSIONS – FROM SEA TO SPACE
Taber Extrusions LLC, a pioneering manufacturer of complex aluminum extrusions, has earned the distinction as the only U.S. domestic aluminum extruder using a rectangular container and billet configuration to produce wide aluminum extrusions with superior tolerances for military and marine applications.
This distinction has garnered Taber Extrusions the position as the preferred supplier for custom defense-related applications using ultra-wide multi-void hollow extrusions in thicknesses from .75 up to 3.4 inches and widths up to 29 inches. Our customers include the U.S. military as well as various government prime defense contractors.
Our ultra-wide aluminum extrusions typically result in a considerable reduction in fabrication cost of the end product, plus we process materials domestically to ensure adherence to the “Buy American” requirements for U.S. military applications. In many cases, multiple-part assemblies can be replaced by a one-piece extrusion that is mechanically superior. Wide multi-void extrusions are ideal for platforms and structure constructions that need to be lightweight yet strong.
Taber is the largest supplier of 5xxx series extrusions in the USA. Our extrusions can be used in a wide variety of applications from armor-grade paneling to oil rig crew boats and equipment. Taber’s 5xxx high corrosion resistant and weldable extrusions can also be found on US Naval vessels in flight decking, superstructure supports and hull stiffeners.
In response to the growing need in the domestic market for aluminum billet products, Taber Extrusions, LLC is announcing the planned addition of 7” billet molds to our existing extrusion billet casting facility in Gulfport, MS.
Our recently upgraded, state-of-the-art billet casting facility, unveiled late last year (as announced in our article with Light Metal Age), allows Taber to manufacture aluminum billets for defense, marine and other specialized industries. By combining our advanced, specialized systems with experienced metallurgists and engineers, Taber is proud of our ability to produce an aluminum billet of superior quality.
The new addition of the 7” billet molds to our collection complements the existing 8”, 9”, 11”, 16”, and 20” diameter molds. Aluminum billets will be available in 6063 and 6061 alloy chemistries as well as specialized chemistries upon request.
“Taber is excited to now offer 7” extrusion logs to our fellow extruders, in addition to our previous offerings,” says Jason Weber – VP Sales and Marketing at Taber.
Our casthouse is uniquely situated in Gulfport, MS with port access as well as easy access to industrial scrap. These input factors coupled with the recently refurbished casting equipment with the LARS® in-line degassing and purification system supplies billet chemistries and consistencies which rival those of larger billet producers.
Since 1973, Taber Extrusions LLC has pioneered the extrusion of large, heavy, and wide complex shapes to differentiate itself in the aluminum extrusion industry. Since its inception, the brand name Taber Extrusions has been synonymous with innovation, service, and quality—all of which serve to make Taber Extrusions the premiere aluminum extrusion company. All of our extrusions have been, and will continue to be engineered, manufactured, and tested in the United States. Taber Extrusions maintains its headquarters at the Russellville, Arkansas facility, with a regional sales office at its Gulfport, Mississippi facility.
After all this time, why do our customers continue to return to Taber? It’s because we’re dedicated to innovation. We’re dedicated to finding intricate solutions for even the most complex extrusion request. While other aluminum extrusion companies continue to focus on standard products and techniques, Taber’s work ethic and attention to the needs of the market allow Taber to create customized, versatile, high quality, and market-oriented products that can satisfy a wide range of applications.
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Just look around you,aluminum extrusions are used in almost every facet of your daily life. From cars to office building structures, to the rail of a staircase, extruded aluminum is all around us. But what is the history of aluminum extrusions? How did this extrusion process start? How has it changed over time and how will it shape the future? Read on to find out.
Origins of extrusion process
Joseph Bramah, the father of aluminum extrusions. Image source
In 1797, Joseph Bramah patented the extrusion process which was first created for manufacturing lead pipes. His process involved preheating metal and manually forcing it through a die with a hand-driven plunger. This manually-powered process, known as ‘squirting’ at the time, was the standard until the invention of the first hydraulic press by Thomas Burr. By the late 19th century, the extrusion process was also used with brass and copper alloys; aluminum would come into the picture in the 20th century.
Aluminum and the extrusion process
First found in 1807, aluminum was not refined successfully until 1825. In the beginning, it was considered a precious metal and even more valuable than gold. At the end of the 19th century, the smelting process was invented by Charles Martin Hall and Paul Héroult which allowed for commercial production to develop.
Not until 1894 would aluminum be used for extrusion when Alexander Dick developed the hot extrusion process. The process allowed non-ferrous alloys to be extruded and the first aluminum extrusion press was in production by 1904. Immediately, the applications for aluminum in automotive and construction arose. Especially during the two world wars, the demand for extruded aluminum was high. After World War II, the process expanded into the growing residential housing market.
Since then, extruded aluminum has continued to grow in applications and is a part of almost every aspect of life. From subway cars to our own personal cars, construction to medical devices, the material has revolutionized the way we live.
How will aluminum shape the future?
Aluminum extrusion has continued to break new ground. The extrusion process has seen improvements in materials, and through the use of modern testing, expanding and implementing means they can shape the future. With the introduction of the computer, aluminum extrusions can be more precise and accurate, making safer and longer lasting products.
The U.S. aluminum industry is the largest in the world, producing 22 billion pounds of metal annually. Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, strong, lightweight, and recyclable which means it is ideal as the planet moves towards a ‘greener’ future. In order to compete with a globally competitive aluminum market, U.S. producers are seeking ways to reduce waste, lower costs, and enhance overall products.
Due to ongoing pricing volatility in the overall metal market, Taber Extrusions, LLC of Russellville, Arkansas and Gulfport, Mississippi, is changing its metal pricing policy. Effective with Orders on and after April 16, 2018, and Shipments on and after May 1, 2018, all invoices will be updated to reflect the Prior Months Midwest Transaction Average at the time of shipment.
Company History: Taber Extrusions, LLC.
Taber Extrusions was founded in 1973, when the Taber family acquired an aluminum extrusion plant in Russellville, AR, from Dow Chemical (which had originally built the plant in 1970). National Material Company L.P. (NMLP) later purchased the company in 1976. The Arkansas facility was originally dedicated to the production of specific military related large, wide, and long extrusions for the U.S. Government, for which the company pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet (or slab). The use of rectangular billet enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches.
In 1995, Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS, which houses a cast house and two additional presses. Fabrication capabilities were added to the Russellville facility in 2014, which already houses the company’s large 8,600 MT press with three container sizes (a container for the extrusion of rectangular billet, as well as two round containers, a 16 inch and a 20 inch). The fabrication area has been expanded several times since it was constructed, with the addition of B-800 series and Marvel band saws for precision cutting, horizontal and vertical machining centers, and coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for quality control.
To this day, the company continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, including for the same military program, which remains one of the company’s biggest customers. However, Taber has diversified its markets since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys. (Sourced from Light Metal Age Magazine)
Thank you for your continued support of Taber Extrusions, LLC. If you have any questions concerning this policy change please contact one of Taber’s Regional Sales Managers.