The benefits of aluminum extrusions as a solution to product design challenges are numerous. Aluminum is an abundant mineral found in the Earth’s crust. It is highly conductive, has low density, has excellent resistance to corrosion, is malleable, and most importantly — it is recyclable! Combined with the process of extrusion, it is the most cost-effective, functional, and efficient way of achieving form and function in design and engineering.
From humble beginnings in 1894, Alexander Dick developed the hot extrusion process allowing non-ferrous alloys to be extruded. The applications for aluminum in architecture, engineering, electronics, transportation, and other industries has grown exponentially since then.
According to Technavio, the aluminum extrusion market share is expected to increase by 8.87 million tons from 2020 to 2025, and the market’s growth momentum will accelerate at a CAGR of 5.02%.
“Form follows function — that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” — Frank Lloyd Wright
The Benefits of Aluminum Extrusions on Form and Function
What is form and function? It is a principle of design associated with late 19th– and early 20th-century architecture and industrial design in general, which states that the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose.
This is only a part of how the benefits of aluminum extrusion helps designers, engineers, and industries in building and shaping our world. It is basically all around us, from a simple child’s toy to a medical device that saves lives. From vehicles and infrastructure that transport us by land, sea, and air — to the satellites that connect us seamlessly through technology. This process has changed how we live, thrive, and build our future.
Through the years, aluminum extrusion has evolved and grown alongside advancements in technology. These breakthroughs helped the industry improve raw materials with the aid of modern testing and surveying. As the world goes digital, everything is done using a computer and/or smart technology, which means materials that have undergone the process are precise, accurate, and spot on!
More Benefits of Aluminum Extrusions as a Design Solution
There are many benefits of Aluminum extrusions in terms of strength, resilience, corrosion resistance, and weight. The material itself is lightweight at about 1/3 that of iron, steel, copper, or brass which makes the material ideal for shipping and logistics. The process enhances the strength-to-weight ratio of the material and is applicable to a variety of industries where weight is a consideration in terms of design and capabilities.
One advantage is that it can develop its own inert aluminum oxide film that blocks further oxidation. While other materials get brittle when temperatures are reduced, aluminum gains strength, making it a preferred choice for low-temperature applications. It diffuses heat which allows designers to optimize heat dissipation in electrical housings and other components.
And what about safety? Aluminum is non-sparking making it suitable when combustible materials are present. Aluminum can be substituted for copper in electrical conductors, can help reduce the cost and weight of electrical connectors. As well, It does not burn and does not produce toxic fumes.
Aluminum is widely used in all industries around the world. Combined with the process of extrusion, it will surely be beneficial in terms of alternative materials and processes that will give way to innovation and continue to enrich our lives.
A Partner That Understands the Benefits of Aluminum Extrusion as a Design Solution
Taber is a full-service partner, and we have 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 our value-added philosophy.
For us, the unique, customized capabilities are key. Taber Extrusions’ specialty is the manufacturing of complex and intricate extrusions which competitors consider difficult or even impossible. Our full range of extrusion presses, from 1800 and 3000 ton to our impressive large 8600 ton, give us unmatched flexibility and profile capabilities.
Take for example, one of the largest extrusion presses in the United States, our 8600-ton press, has the capability to extrude both 16- and 20-inch round billets, and 10” x 28” rectangular billets with a maximum circle size of 31” and up to 100 pounds per foot. With the ability to extrude large, intricate configurations, such as lightweight but strong one-piece extrusions, the customer can incorporate whole assemblies of small components into one extruded part.
Our value-added philosophy, along with our custom capabilities and top-tier customer service, is why Taber has been a leader in the extrusion industry for over four decades.
More About Taber Extrusions
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. ISO-9001 and AS-9100 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 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 new state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses, microextrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area has 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 to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys.
Today, Taber is proud of its friction stir welding capabilities, and full offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw material supply to the North American market.