Taber Extrusions has extrusions in the name, but it’s really a full-service aluminum extrusion company. Taber controls it all, from the casting of the billet, the extrusion process, fabrication, and finally, the logistics.
Taber possesses a commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations by providing both products and customer service levels that are of the highest quality. This commitment is at the core of their operating philosophy.
Taber Extrusions History
Taber Extrusions was founded in 1973, when the Taber family acquired an aluminum extrusion plant in Russellville, Arkansas 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.
Taber’s Russellville facility houses the largest rectangular aluminum extrusion press in North America, which uniquely positions Taber to extrude super-wide shapes – much more comprehensively than is possible with traditional round containers. This rectangular container allows them to supply some of the industry’s widest, most complex, multi-void hollows.
In 1995, the Gulfport, Mississippi facility was acquired in response to the growing need in the domestic market for aluminum billet products. Taber added 7″ billet molds to their existing extrusion billet casting profile.
With the intention to expand even further, in 2015, Taber upgraded the Russellville fabrication facility even more. By 2017, Taber’s aluminum cast house expansion was completed and acquired 7″, 9″, 11″, 16″, 20″, and 10″ x 20″ rectangular billet molds.
Taber completed the relocation and start-up of its micro-extrusion press lines in 2018. This greatly expanded their supply possibilities with extrusion solutions, programs, and services. Taber’s newest ultra-precision extrusion manufacturing lines have a product envelope with a circle size of 3 inches or less and a weight per foot of 1 lb. or less. The micro-extrusion presses differ from traditional extrusion presses in that they can produce extrusions with a wall thickness of 0.010 inches and tolerances of +/- 0.001 inches. Designers and engineers can use these micro-extrusion production centers to develop profiles that would otherwise be impossible to extrude using conventional presses.
“The expansion of an existing company such as Taber Extrusions means a lot more than the location of a new company. It means that Taber is in the right place and has what it needs to succeed. Taber plays an important role in the defense of our nation with products that are an asset to our defense capabilities.”
“This was an obvious next-step for Taber,” said Jason Weber, V.P. of Sales and Marketing, in an article by Light Metal Age Magazine. “The company was founded in 1973, and never stopped diversifying, adding new capabilities, and technologies. We are known for aluminum extrusions, fabrication, billet casting, ultra-precision extrusions. Friction stir welding was going to happen eventually.”
As for the most recent addition to Taber’s extrusion capabilities, they announced the Haas VF-12 CNC. This one-of-a-kind machine allows Taber’s top engineers to design optimal extrusion shapes using specialized software to have them made within this “self-contained factory,” all in one precise and effective process.
“We will continue to invest in technologies that provide the widest scope of services in the aluminum extrusion industry. The Haas VF-12 CNC machine is yet another example of our willingness to invest and deliver the widest scope of services across the aluminum extrusion continuum.”
Taber cares about the communities in which their employees live and work. Their goal is to provide their employees with a safe and secure workplace that has an emphasis on personal and professional development, as well as cultivating an attitude focused on delivering genuine and reliable service. Excellent customer service will always stand out, and Taber enjoys the many long-term relationships which have developed over the years because of the personal accountability that they give to their customers.
Forming and shaping the identity of a community is one of the greatest things about Taber’s position. Not only are local businesses like Taber a crucial element in creating a culture for the community, but they also build connections and relationships with the people.
Work at Taber Extrusions
As an aluminum extruder with extremely broad and unique capabilities there is no question that Taber’s employees have been the foundation of their success. They have developed an atmosphere where people are respected and appreciated. The Taber family plans to continue to foster careers that are right for their people, and right for their business. There is no question: Taber’s employees power their success.
Taber is growing fast, and we are seeking talent in engineering, operations, sales, and more! You may be exactly what we’re looking for in our vision for future growth. Feel free to apply and place your resume in our database. We have an extensive community of career opportunities, and we are always on the hunt for great talent and professionals. You can also apply to an open position which will either match you to your next career move or place you in our network to receive job updates.
Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. With in-house casting solutions, ultra-precision extrusion manufacturing, friction stir welding capacities, and a full range of hard and soft aluminum alloys, Taber continues to align itself as an industry leader in having the broadest available capabilities.
Today, Taber Extrusions is proud of its recently added VF-12 CNC machining line and a full offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw material supply to the North American market. Adding these capabilities to a growing portfolio propels Taber into the future in a quest to continuously improve the quality and service we provide to our customers.
Taber Extrusions, located in Russellville, AR and Gulfport, MS, is a highly regarded provider of aluminum extrusions to a wide variety of industries including aerospace, infrastructure, transportation, defense, and thermal management. A minority-owned business enterprise which is ISO 9001, AS 9100, NADCAP, and ABS certified, Taber’s present and future customers can expect to see increased supply opportunities with the expanded set of extrusion solutions, programs, and services.
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 which houses a new state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses, micro-extrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area has since been expanded multiple times. Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception and supplies cast and extruded aluminum products in a variety of soft and hard alloys.
Today, Taber Extrusions is proud of its added friction stir welding capabilities, full offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services and raw material supply to the North American market. The addition of in-house FSW capabilities makes Taber Extrusions a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never seen before in North America.
Known as a leading aluminum extruder, Taber offers a full range of aluminum alloys including hard, soft, marine, and armor grade. Choose from 2000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 grades with custom chemistries available for specific metal fabrication needs. Taber’s aluminum extrusions range spans from less than 1 lb./ft. to over 140 lbs./ft., making Taber the broadest extruders of aluminum profiles in the industry. Their multi-void hollow capability is up to 29” wide, and they can produce solid extrusions up to 31” wide. As part of Taber’s value-added approach, they offer design assistance for custom and specialty aluminum profiles.
Taber also offers the only 28” x 10” rectangular container size in North America.
In a rectangular container, uniform metal flow in width and thickness of wider bars and profiles, the following is achieved in contrast to round container of similar geometry:
The flatness can be controlled to within 75% of AA specification on wide panel, multivoid hollow profiles of up to 29” width.
Contour on most profiles can be controlled as per the spec without secondary operations.
Superior dimension control and consistency throughout the length of the extruded profile.
Taber’s aluminum fabrication capabilities include precision sawing, horizontal machining and manufacturing, extra-large CNC machining, 5-axis CNC machining, multi-axis machining, and a vertical machining center. Taber’s cut tolerances cover length and squareness of cut (up to +/- .050″) across a maximum 36″ width (minimum cut length of .75″). These precision saw-cutting capabilities for rod & bar/standard extruded shapes and customized aluminum extrusion profiles saw cut with greater accuracy, providing their customers with a product precise enough to be loaded directly into their machining centers. The precision cut blanks save customers time and money compared to having to cut mill lengths in-house.
Machinery — Aluminum CNC machining services:
Haas VF-12… COMING SOON!! (Link to latest blog on this topic)
With the completion of a 2017 cast house modernization, Taber has increased its billet capacity by over 30%, expanded its range of high quality aluminum alloys (hard, soft, marine, aerospace, and defense), and enabled the use of more diverse scrap material in its process, allowing for the production of billet with high recycled content. “We have evolved into a fully integrated supplier with control over our raw materials by casting the alloys and diameters necessary to feed our extrusion presses,” says Eric Angermeier, President of Taber Extrusions.
“Our recent cast house modernization has significantly increased the billet quality that will flow through all aspects of our business. Our capabilities to serve diverse markets are greatly enhanced and we now have capacity for third party sales of extrusion billet and large forging stock,” Angermeier adds. (Read full article in Light Metal Age magazine here.)
Taber launched their “Billets Straight to You” (aluminum billets for immediate sale) campaign in 2020, which includes aluminum alloys 6061 and 6063, with 6005, 6005A, 6082 available upon request.
Taber’s micro-extrusion manufacturing lines have a production envelope with a circle size of 3 inches or less and a weight per foot of 1 lb. or less. For comparison, the 8,600 ton press in Taber’s Russellville facility produces profiles with a minimum weight of 4 lbs. per foot.
Unlike traditional extrusion presses, these micro-extrusion presses are built to allow for the production of extrusions with wall thicknesses of 0.010 inches and tolerance capabilities of +/- 0.001 inches. These miniature extrusion production centers allow designers and engineers the freedom to create profiles that are un-extrudable through conventional presses.
Taber’s FSW capabilities include simultaneous two-side welding, double wall hollow extrusions up to 6.25 inches tall, 32 inches wide, and accepts lengths up to 65 feet long. Taber’s friction stir welding production cell is capable of creating panel assemblies 200 inches wide by 65 feet long, with integrated pre-joining profile trimming. With profile widths up to 31 inches, lengths up to 65 feet, and ability to weld up to 3/4 of an inch in a single pass, Taber has an operational envelope that is unmatched within the industry.
Friction stir welding is commonly used in the rail, automotive, marine & shipbuilding industries, military & defense, commercial & industrial construction, infrastructure, and in aviation & aerospace.
The addition of in-house FSW capabilities makes Taber Extrusions a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never seen before in North America.
“This was an obvious next-step for Taber,” said Jason Weber, V.P. of Sales and Marketing, in a 2019 article by Light Metal Age Magazine, “the company was founded in 1973, and never stopped diversifying, adding new capabilities, and technologies. We are known for aluminum extrusions, fabrication, billet casting, ultra-precision extrusions. Friction stir welding was going to happen eventually.”
LEADING ALUMINUM EXTRUDER TABER
Custom shapes for most any application
Taber Extrusions is a full-service partner with an unwavering commitment to consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations by providing both products and service of the highest quality. This commitment is at the core of everything they do… making certain that whatever you can dream, they can give it shape.
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. Taber recently announced yet another exciting launch into friction stir welding, positioning them as a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America.
Here at Taber, we’ve listened to market demands by updating our Gulfport, MS. casthouse, and we are now proud to offer top quality aluminum alloys made in the U.S.A. delivered to you within a short lead time.
From Aluminum Alloy to End Use
Aluminum billets (also referred to as “logs” or “ingots”) are not of practical use until they have been formed into more functional shapes and sizes. While they have already been put in the furnace, they still require a series of shaping and molding procedures such as hot and cold working, milling, and cutting.
Aluminum billets are considered fresh and raw, and they must undergo a series of manufacturing processes before they can be used for various purposes. Billets are made by means of freezing molten liquid and are later exposed to extremely low temperatures in order to allow the metal to take shape and solidify in chemical structure. The temperature manipulates the metal’s physical properties and tones its strength and durability. The subsequent processes provide the metal’s curved mold design, so it can fit inside the allotted spaces provided by other machines, which complete finishing procedures.
Proper casting is important, as it determines the quality of the product upon going through the final processing stages. These stages influence the billet’s strength and flexibility. The billets undergo a number of tests before they are sold.
Taber’s “Alloys Made in The U.S.A. For Immediate Sale” Chemical Composition Chart
If you are looking for top quality aluminum alloys made in the U.S.A. delivered to you within a short lead time, look no further than Taber Extrusions.
Taber is proud to announce their “Aluminum Alloys Made in The U.S.A. For Immediate Sale” initiative – featuring short lead times and less than truckload quantities.
General specifications include aluminum alloys 6061 and 6063.* Diameters offered include 7”, 9”, 11” and 16” (actual diameter 15 5/8”) and log lengths of 191” (+.125” -0). Specific chemical composition for alloys can be viewed on Taber’s website. Freight Terms: Freight on Board – Gulfport, Mississippi.
Anticipating a successful aluminum alloy sale, Taber recommends that customers call for availability. “When our casthouse was upgraded in 2017, we were thrilled to be able to offer extrusion logs to our fellow extruders. Now, in 2020 we are excited to add stock and speed to the equation.” says Jason Weber – VP Sales and Marketing at Taber. The Gulfport Casthouse is uniquely situated 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 chemistries and consistencies which rival those of larger producers.
About Taber Extrusions
Taber Extrusions is a full-service partner with an unwavering commitment to consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations by providing both products and services of the highest quality. This commitment is at the core of Taber’s value-added philosophy.
Unique, customized capabilities are key. Taber’s specialty is the manufacturing of complex and intricate extrusions which competitors consider difficult or even impossible. Taber’s full range of extrusion presses give them unmatched flexibility and profile capabilities. Their value-added philosophy, along with their impressive portfolio of custom capabilities and top-tier customer service is why Taber Extrusions has been a leader in the extrusion industry for over four decades.
Become a customer today! Visit us at https://taberextrusions.com/. You can also contact us/request a quote on our website, or call us at (888) 985-5319.
As Taber Extrusions launches into 2020, we thought we’d take a look back at the last several years and the many ways Taber has progressed within the aluminum extrusion industry. Among many changes, Taber added an upgraded casthouse, expanded into micro extrusions; received various awards, began friction stir welding, and brought on a new business director. This has been a very exciting time, and we invite you to learn more about the innovations that are shaping endless possibilities in 2020 and beyond.
Not long ago in 2017, Taber upgraded to their aluminum casthouse in Gulfport, MS. which integrates casting, extrusion, and in-house fabrication services. With this upgrade, Taber opened up opportunities in a variety of markets, with the sale of cast billet to outside extruders. With this casthouse, Taber is targeting aerospace, automotive, and defense industries, all of which utilize aluminum at an accelerated rate. Taber’s new products are suitable for current and future U.S. infrastructure projects, such as the construction and improvement of bridges, decking, flooring, and railing for mass transportation projects.
Partnering with Almex USA, Taber developed a customized solution to meet Taber’s unique requirements and specifications. Almex supplied new equipment, including a casting line with a degassing and melt purification system, billet and slab tooling, automation technology, and a complete homogenizing line, as well as a new cooling water system.
Benefits to Taber’s aluminum casthouse upgrade:
Increased Production. The CASTRIGHT II™ casting machine and new billet and slab tooling stations were adapted to fit the circular pit, and the casting tables were modified to have an oval shape with unique headbase configurations. Excel™ and Optima™ billet mold systems were installed for various sized billets. The quantity of billet produced with each cast has been enlarged, allowing increased production per drop.
Quality Control. A large part of Taber’s consideration during this upgrade was quality control. Taber now has a level pour (or, hot-top) mold table distribution system and a way to optimize mold lengths for consistent billet quality. Taber’s goal was safety and alloy versatility for high performance and yield, from conventional to the most demanding alloys. For the larger diameter aerospace grade products, Almex installed specialized water wiping technology in order to manufacture difficult to cast materials without the formation of stresses or cracks. With the new casting line, Taber increased monitoring and automation, and now has computer control of all critical casting and degassing parameters. Operators now interact with the system through an integrated SCADA control panel installed on the plant floor in order to monitor the correct mixture of several ingredients that make up the casting recipe. At the end of each cast, the system automatically generates a complete report of the heat number for reference and archival by quality control personnel. With this new system, Taber has not only achieved a greater level of quality control, but process transparency and product traceability.
Accuracy and Precision. An internally guided and double acting platen cylinder was installed, which has more loading capacity, guiding accuracy, and precision speed control (needed for hard alloys).
Consistency and Strength. The new casting line also includes a LARS® in-line degassing and purification system that refines and cleans the melt prior to casting. The LARS system mixes inert argon gas and a halogen gas into the molten aluminum through Almex’s patented in-situ gas preheating disperser system. This significantly reduces hydrogen and other impurities commonly found in liquid aluminum, including inclusions, nitrides, oxides, and alkali metals and also increases recovery through a minimal amount of dross creation. This high quality of the molten metal is, thus, dependably strong and consistent.
Environmentally Friendly. Taber rebuilt and integrated its water management system, which provides increased visibility of the water flow, temperature, quality, and maintenance. Water is discharged in a safe and controlled manner.
Ultra Precision® Extrusions
In 2018, Taber added micro extrusion capabilities into their portfolio. Micro-extrusions are used in a number of industries, such as electronics, aerospace, medical, industrial, and military. The addition of small precision profiles will allow Taber to better serve existing customers and future partners such as – defense contractors, commercial aerospace engineers, and electronics designers.
The micro-extrusion manufacturing lines have a production envelope with a circle size of 3 inches or less and a weight per foot of 1 lb. or less. Unlike traditional extrusion presses, these micro-extrusion presses are built in such a way to allow for the production of extrusions with wall thicknesses of 0.010 inches and tolerance capabilities of +/- 0.001 inches. This allows designers and engineers the freedom to engineer profiles that are impossible to extrude through conventional presses.
The addition of ultra precision® extrusions allows the company to enhance its business to provide a wider range of profile sizes and competencies which blend beautifully with the various sectors already being served by Taber.
Perpetual assessment & evaluation of existing safety policies
Process & workflow analysis
Establishment of safety work procedures
Safety training & meetings
Maintenance regimens of plants, equipment, and processes
Identification of hazards & hazard analysis
Facilitation of occupational health programs
Documentation control & management reviews
2019 Taber Extrusions Recognized by Russellville for Energy Savings Excellence
Taber Extrusions created a plan to reduce power consumption by implementing energy efficient measures while participating in the Entergy Arkansas Energy Solutions Program assisted by CLEAResult consulting company.
Taber’s commitment to energy savings still holds strong as they push forward into the future, making environmental accountability part of their company culture.
Friction Stir Welding Technology
In 2019, Taber installed a new friction stir welding (FSW) line at its Russellville, Arkansas, manufacturing facility. Sometimes described as more of a forging process than actual welding – FSWis a solid-state joining technique used to join metals not easily fused with traditional welding. It is used in the aerospace, rail, automotive, marine, transportation, and other industries that use metals such as aluminum, copper and other metal alloys. The new FSW line that welds large, double-sided thick profiles, uses minimal cycles of the machine, which make it both efficient and precise. FSW also makes possible very high-quality welds with minimal distortion.
Already known for their wide range of capabilities, both broad and unique, the mayor of Russellville, Richard Harris, thanked Taber for choosing Russellville as their location, “The fact that you chose to expand and add new technology here is the highest compliment you can give the city and citizens where you live and work. Economic development and job creation is one of our top priorities. We congratulate Taber on this advancement.”
Jeffrey Bladow: Director of New Business Development
Taber’s rapid growth initiated the presence of Jeffrey Bladow, the company’s recently appointed Director of New Business Development. Hired to help lead business growth and assist in building strategy, Bladow has spent over 25 years in automotive design and manufacturing. He also has experience in structure design, high strength steel applications, and the launch of large capital projects. Like Taber, Bladow is comfortable solving multi-faceted problems. In his management style, Bladow encourages “critical thinking, continuous improvement, and a no-fear approach to growing and entering new markets.” Taber feels lucky to have Jeffrey Bladow ushering us into a new decade.
At Taber we believe the possibilities are endless. We believe in the future.
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. Call us at (888) 984-9866, or request a quote today!
Friction stir welding is the method of joining two pieces of metal with no extra filler or material by subjecting the components to heavy plastic deformation, at elevated temperatures, that are still lower than the melting point. A rotating tool is thrusted between the components and, as friction heat is generated, the tool produces a severe plastic deformation under high pressure, at which time the weld interfaces are stirred together, and a homogenous structure is formed, creating a defect-free bond.
Why Friction Stir Welding?
FSW is a method of welding that is being used as an alternative method to fusion welding and other types of arc welding.
FSW vs. Fusion Welding – FSW offers three key benefits over fusion welding: metallurgical, environmental, and energy. The metallurgical benefits include: low distortion of workpiece (fine microstructure, absence of cracking), good dimensional stability, and no loss of alloying elements. The environmental benefits include: no shielding gas required, no surface cleaning required, elimination of solvents required for degreasing, and consumable materials savings. The energy benefits include: improved material use (joining different thickness), only 2.5% of energy needed for a laser weld, and decreased fuel consumption in light weight, automotive, and ship applications. FSW is then, specifically because of its environmental and energy benefits, a more cost-effective method of welding. It is also a more economical choice due to low set up and training costs.
FSW vs. Other Types of Arc Welding – The joining of aluminum extrusions in friction stir welding is a process that can be easily automated, making it an ideal solution for industrial use in manufacturing services such as the marine, aerospace, automotive, transportation, and rail industries. FSW welds have effectively been used in the marine industries in the fish freezer panels of ships, on the deck panels of helicopter landing platforms on ships, and it has been used in various amphibious assault ships. In aerospace, FSW has been used for structures such as the fuselage, fins, and wings that require high-strength aluminum alloys. In the automotive industries, FSW is used for aluminum engine cradles and suspension struts, as well as rear seats and exhaust gas recirculation coolers. The railway industry has utilized FSW to make roof and floor panels, as well as heat sinks for cooling the high-power electronics of locomotives.
In military and defense, aluminum alloys are used as armor due to the combination of high ballistic performance and static strength that traditionally use MIG, gas metal arc, and tungsten arc welding. The reasons for the transition to FSW over the aforementioned arc welds are many — MIG welds cause stress corrosion at the weld toe, exfoliation occurring in the solution treatment, low ductility in butt welds, and liquidation due to the formation of low-melting point grain boundary. FSW welds are also more likely to pass the ballistic shock test.
Why FSW at Taber? New Aluminum Joining Techniques at Taber
In April of 2019, Taber Extrusions of Russellville, AR and Gulfport, MS announced the addition of Friction Stir Welding, “FSW,” capabilities to our existing portfolio which currently includes aluminum extrusions, fabrication, billet casting, and micro-extrusions. With the addition of in-house FSW capabilities, Taber is now a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies.
Taber’s engineering and manufacturing teams collaborated with Bond Technologies to create a custom Linear Seam machine. Taber’s new FSW machine is capable of welding large, double-sided thick profiles with minimal cycles of the machine; less cycles means greater efficiency and more precise results.
Taber offers quality custom extrusion design and advanced microextrusion capabilities and we are committed to providing our clients durable products that are both ecologically sound and cost effective. We chose FSW as a high-tech, alternative method to ensure a fast turn-around time, thereby reducing time to market.
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.
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.
It is estimated that 56,000+ bridges are structurally deficient in America with an estimated $123 billion in rehab needed. The solution? The 6xxx Series Aluminum Alloys. Not only can they be used for emergency repairs but they can provide a long-term solution to this infrastructure problem with minimal maintenance required.Let us review what sets this alloy apart, its advantages, and the types of projects the alloy is best suited for.
What is an aluminum alloy?
Aluminum alloys are created by taking aluminum and adding elements, creating chemical compositions with enhanced properties. Once created, these compositions receive a 4-digit number with the first digit signifying a general series that characterizes its main alloying elements.
What does it mean when an alloy is a part of the 6xxx series
The main agents in the 6xxx series are silicon and magnesium in order to form magnesium silicide within the alloy. Alloy 6061 is the most commonly used of the series, typically used in truck and marine frames.
What are the advantages of the 6xxx aluminum alloys?
High Corrosion Resistance – 6xxx series aluminums can withstand abrasion, keeping their strength and durability in a variety of environments. This is one of the appeals to using it in infrastructure and architectural projects that hope to create structures with the intent of lasting decades. Whether its receiving harsh sunlight in the Nevada desert or nearly year round rain in Seattle, the alloy is able to hold up.
Extrudablitity – A unique feature of the 6xxx series is its extrudability. The ability to make specific, extruded parts from the alloy is another factor in why architectural and infrastructure members use this alloy. They typically require unusual, high-strength components and the power of extruded of 6xxx series is its ‘place-metal-where-you-need-it’ flexibility.
Heat treatable, weldable, flexible – 6061 is a highly weldable alloy, using tungsten insert gas welding or metal inert gas welding. After welding, the properties near the weld are those of 6061-O (a loss of strength of around 80%). However, MIG and TIG welded material can be heat treated again to bring the material back to the pre-welding temper. Another option may be Friction Stir Welding (FSW). With FSW, the profiles are joined together through the use of a specialized rotary machine tool. Although the material is heated and joined together through friction, the overall heat applied to the material is much lower and of shorter duration than MIG or TIG welding and the heat affected zone is much less and retains most of the original strength.
What are the applications of the 6xxx Series Aluminum Alloys?
It is this combination of advantages that make 6xxx Series Aluminum Alloys prime candidates for architectural and infrastructure projects. Such projects include:
Bridges or aluminum bridge decking: Extruded aluminums can be used to build traditional bridges or bridge decks can be pre-built in a modular fashion and moved to bridge sites. This method can limit the amount of time that bridges are under construction and save money in the long run.
Roof Structures: Typically implemented for arenas and gymnasiums, the 6063 or 6061 extruded tubes are used in large scale roofs with 5xxx alloy sheets covering them.
Pipelines: Because of their high corrosion resistance the 6xxx series is great for pipeline systems that have possibly acidic or dangerous materials flowing through them.
Automotive: Whether for a car, motorcycle, bus, or train, the 6xxx series is often used in the automotive industry for its high dent resistance and durability.
Taber Extrusions recognizes the hard work and precise engineering required for large-scale infrastructure projects. Capable of producing very large aluminum shapes with our exclusive 10” x 28” rectangular container along with our 16” and 20” round containers, we canconsistentlysupply our customers with some of the widest, most complex multi-void hollows in the industry. Taber produces their 6xxx series alloys in-house, and our recent investments in our casting and fabrication capabilities have poised Taber to be a great fit for any of your architectural and infrastructure needs… and a reliable partner for all aspects of your project.
The applications of the 5xxx series aluminum alloys range from shipping containers to their most prolific application, boats. Whether building a recreational boat, commercial ship, or naval vessel, the advantages that the 5xxx series of aluminum alloy have, make it the premier building material for anything marine related. Before we ‘dive’ into the specific advantages of the 5xxx series and it applications, lets break down what aluminum alloys are and what sets the 5xxx series apart.
What is an aluminum alloy and what does it mean when an alloy is considered part of the 5xxx series?
Simply, an aluminum alloy is created by adding elements to pure aluminum, creating a chemical composition that has enhanced properties (typically to increase strength). Once these compositions are created they are assigned a 4-digit number where the first digit signifies a general series that characterizes its main alloying elements. For the 5xxx series, its main agent is magnesium which gives the alloy high strength as well as good weld ability amongst other things.
What are the advantages of 5xxx aluminum alloys?
Weight Saving: By using 5xxx aluminum alloy, structures save an average of 55 to 67% of their weight. With comparable strength to mild steel, the alloy’s ability to decrease a structures weight can be hugely beneficial, especially for marine vessels. By saving weight the boats can increase payload, haul more equipment, and lower the amount of power required to power the boat.
Weld ability: With weld yield strengths of 100 to 200 MPa, the 5xxx series have good weld ductility without post weld heat treatments.
Corrosion resistance: The 5xxx series has lower resistance to corrosion making it ideal for any structure that will be coming in contact with water or chemicals. Through a 10-year seawater test, the tensile strength of the alloy showed reductions of only 2 to 5%.
What are the marine applications of 5xxx Series Aluminum Alloys?
Pleasure Boats: Made from both 5xxx and 6xxx series aluminum alloys, pleasure boats utilize the alloys ease of fabrication, corrosion resistance, and cost effectiveness for building their hull or other equipment.
Commercial ships: Many passenger vessels utilize the 5xxx series for both superstructures and equipment; ranging from 1000 to 2000 tons per ship. Since for many ocean liners appearance is important, the structures are painted but aluminum allows for a 50% longer time frame till repainting.
Naval Vessels: Each year, 6000 tons of aluminum is used on destroyers. Within the past decade, 5456 plate and extrusions have become the standard for the welded deckhouse structures of destroyers. The weight saving ability of the 5xxx series allows the ship to maintain stability with its narrow hull that is needed to reach high speeds. Beyond the main structure, the alloy can also be employed for a variety of equipment including doors, windows, gratings, lockers, bunks, etc.
It is the use of the aluminum alloys that has allowed the marine industry to undergo a technological revolution. While the aluminum may have an initial cost premium, its ability to create lighter ships with lower maintenance costs means that the ship will be a worthwhile investment over the course of its life. And though boats may not be the first thing you think of when discussing the application of an aluminum alloy, the 5xxx series aluminum alloy has transformed the marine industry for the better.
The most predominant alloy used for aluminum extrusions is the 6xxx series.
6xxx series aluminum alloys are used across a wide variety of end use applications, including transportation applications with structural requirements to architectural projects with high surface finish requirements.
There is a 6xxx series alloy variant for most extruded profile end uses.
What is it about alloys from this series that make them so fitting for these types of projects? To understand series classification, you must first understand the science of an aluminum alloy.
An alloy is a mixture of metals. In the case of aluminum alloys, the mixture is typically 90-96% aluminum, with the remaining percentage filled by other elements, such as silicon. The beauty of alloys is that the interaction between aluminum and the added elements enhances the properties of aluminum (e.g., an alloy mixture may increase the strength of aluminum).
Alloy mixtures are classified into a series according to their unique characteristics. The qualifying criteria for the 6xxx series of aluminum alloys is the inclusion of magnesium and silicon in the mixture. Magnesium and silicon combine within the mix to form magnesium silicide.
The salient characteristics of 6xxx alloys are their extrudability, strength to withstand heat treatment, and exceptional corrosion resistance. The alloys in this series also have a great surface finish.
6xxx series aluminum alloys are ideal for architectural projects like bridge construction and repair, and other projects that will be repeatedly exposed to the elements given their resistance to atmospheric corrosion.
The corrosion resistance and surface finish also make 6xxx alloys ideal for framing windows and doors.
The 6xxx series is used widely for other applications, including consumer goods, piping and tubing, and electrical components.