28 04, 2024

Aluminum Extrusions for Satellites: A Look into Taber’s Satellite Component Capabilities

2024-07-15T22:23:06+00:00April 28th, 2024|

An illustration of a satellite in orbit with the text “Aluminum Extrusions for Satellites: A Look into Taber’s Satellite Component Capabilities” and the Taber logo superimposed on a backdrop of stars, signifying Taber Extrusions’ expertise in aluminum extrusions for satellites and aerospace components.

The vast expanse of space is a remarkable place where cutting-edge technology and innovation work hand-in-hand to achieve incredible feats. Satellites, for instance, play a crucial role in various applications, from communication and navigation to Earth observation and scientific research. However, these marvels of technology require satellite components that are not only functional but also lightweight, durable, and resistant to the harsh environment of space. In the aerospace industry, aluminum extrusions play a versatile role as they can act as structural components in spacecraft or integrate into complex mechanisms within the cockpit.

If you’re curious about how aluminum extrusions for satellites are shaping the future of space technology, read on as we explore the various applications of this material and how Taber Extrusions, a leading aluminum extrusion company, provides innovative solutions for the defense and aerospace markets.

The Surging Demand for Aluminum in Space

According to various reports, the global aluminum market is projected to grow steadily in the next few years, reaching an estimated 74 million metric tons by 2025.

The exciting news is that the aerospace industry is already looking at innovative ways to ensure the future aluminum supply can meet this demand. One such way is recycling and repurposing aluminum and its alloys, leading to further advancements in space, aircraft, and satellite component manufacturing. This means we can see more efficient ways of using the material soon.

Why Aluminum Extrusions Excel in Space Exploration

Did you know that aluminum extrusions play a crucial role in the success of satellites? There are several reasons why aluminum is the perfect material for these fantastic machines.

First off, aluminum is incredibly lightweight, which is essential for satellites. By shedding even a single pound, we can save significant fuel during launch and maneuvering. This means that the right aluminum alloy can grant a satellite the ability to carry more equipment or travel even farther distances.

But don’t let its lightness fool you — aluminum extrusions are also powerfully durable. Satellite construction often requires materials capable of withstanding immense pressure and stress during launch and space travel. As a result, certain materials have become a top choice for this purpose.

Finally, another critical feature of aluminum is its natural resistance to radiation. Harmful radiation in space can expose satellites to severe damage, causing havoc on their sensitive components and interior. But with aluminum, we can help protect these delicate machines and ensure they continue to function flawlessly.

So next time you look up at the stars, remember the vital role that aluminum extrusions for satellites play in helping us explore the universe!

Beyond Satellites: A Universe of Applications

Aluminum extrusions are shaped lengths of aluminum formed by forcing molten metal through a die that have become vital in various space and aerospace applications. Their unique combination of lightweight, high strength, corrosion resistance, and malleability makes them ideal for multiple functions beyond satellite components.

Here’s a broader perspective on the diverse uses of aluminum extrusions in space and aerospace:

An ample indoor space in a museum showcases various aerospace exhibits. With its complex mechanical details, the intricate spacecraft module commands immediate attention as it hangs suspended. The module’s exterior displays complex engineering, with visible pipes and metallic structures. Another exhibit, wrapped in golden material, hangs suspended nearby. Structural beams painted in yellow, and blue add an industrial aesthetic to the space. Visitors are present, observing the exhibits and indicating a public setting.

Image Attribution: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/process-building-space-rocket-engine_7553665.htm#fromView=search&page=1&position=48&uuid=16f26dd9-2914-4366-839e-38719c5e3ab3

  • Structural Components — Wings and Fuselages: Large, high-strength extrusions form the backbone of aircraft wings and fuselages, providing the strength and rigidity to withstand immense forces during flight.
  • Communication and Thermal Management — Radiators and Coolers: Extrusions can be shaped into fins and channels for radiators and coolers, facilitating efficient heat exchange and temperature control.
  • Supplemental Oxygen and Fluid Systems — Valves and Pumps: Specific critical components within fluid and gas systems, like valves and pumps, can be crafted from aluminum due to their strength and machinability

What are some examples of spacecraft that utilize aluminum?

Spacecraft engineering has been at the forefront of technological advancements for decades. These technological marvels have pushed the boundaries of human exploration and discovery, from the International Space Station to the Mars Curiosity Rover. Here, we explore the importance of aluminum extrusions in spacecraft construction and examine spacecraft that rely heavily on this material.

  • International Space Station (ISS) — This iconic structure relies on aluminum extrusions for its modules, trusses, and other components.
  • Mars Curiosity Rover — The engineers constructed this rover‘s frame and many components, exploring the Martian surface, from aluminum.
  • Orion Project NASA’s Orion spacecraft, designed for deep space exploration, utilizes aluminum extensively in its structure and various systems.
  • MBZ-SAT — The first satellite built entirely in the United Arab Emirates, MBZ-SAT also employs aluminum extrusions in its construction.
“Taber was originally recognized for our large shapes, and now we are establishing ourselves as micro extruders. Since we’ve added micro extrusions, friction stir welding, and billet casting, we’re pretty much spanning the gamut of aluminum extrusion competence. We were already well-versed within the defense and aerospace markets, but adding miniature aluminum extrusions to our capabilities has allowed us to become a one-stop shop for our customers in those industries. Our diversification has opened the door wide for our customers.”
– Taber Extrusions

How Taber Extrusions Is Providing Innovative Solutions not only for Satellite Components but also for Aerospace Markets

Taber, with its 50-year legacy, stands at the forefront of the aluminum extrusion industry, delivering a comprehensive array of products and services. Their offerings are designed to meet diverse needs, including those of the aerospace sector, for which they provide specialized aluminum extrusions for satellite components and other applications.

Taber’s commitment to quality and tailored solutions is evident in their adherence to the rigorous specifications of the aerospace industry. They continuously innovate, developing new aluminum technologies to elevate the performance of their extrusions. The sophisticated casthouse at Taber underscores their quest for excellence, crafting superior aluminum alloys for complex aerospace applications.

Some of the examples of Taber Extrusions’ products and services include: 

A large metal extrusion profile with 3 hollow pieces nested inside the other. On either side of the extrusions are the words “MICRO” and “EXTRUSIONS” runs along the length of a 3-inch section of a ruler.


In the defense and aerospace industries, where precision, complexity, and strict tolerances are non-negotiable, microextrusions play a critical role. These are offered by Taber and feature cross-sections small enough to pass through a 1-millimeter square. The utility of microextrusions extends across a wide range of applications, including communication systems, electronics thermal management, guidance and radar systems, weapons systems, and firearms components, highlighting their versatility and importance in advanced technological environments.

Friction Stir-Welding

Friction stir-welding, a solid-state process known for producing high-strength, defect-free joins, enables the welding of aluminum extrusions in various shapes, sizes, and alloys into complex, seamless assemblies. This technique is particularly beneficial for constructing aircraft and spacecraft components, including wings, fuselages, and panels. Beyond aerospace applications, friction stir-welding is also utilized in creating fuel tanks, heat exchangers, and battery trays, showcasing its versatility across different manufacturing needs.

Billet Casting

Taber specializes in manufacturing aluminum billets for aerospace, marine, and other specialized sectors, leveraging state-of-the-art systems and the expertise of seasoned metallurgists and research engineers. The casting operations at Taber are not only ISO 9001:2008 certified but also equipped to handle a variety of billet sizes, including diameters of 7”, 8”, 9”, 11″, 16″, 20”, and 10 x 28, predominantly in the 6xxx series aluminum alloys.

If high-quality aluminum extrusions for satellite and aerospace components are what you need, look no further than Taber. As a premiere aluminum extrusions company in the U.S., Taber is well-equipped to meet the exacting standards your project demands.

About Taber Extrusions

Taber Extrusions is an American aluminum extrusion company and your ideal partner for full-service aluminum extrusions. Their top priority is to deliver nothing short of the best products and services to their esteemed customers. Providing quality products and services is essential to their philosophy of adding value. Their dedication to this principle is the foundation of their business.

Taber takes pride in its certifications, which include ISO 9001:2008, AS 9100C, and ABS Quality Assurance Program certificate no. 11-MMPQA-652. ABS Mill approves them to produce extruded aluminum alloy products for marine applications such as 5083H111, 5086H111, 5454H111, 5456H111, 6061T6, and 6082T6, with a maximum diameter of 1.0 inch, including the casting process. Choose Taber Extrusions for quality products and services that exceed your expectations… the sky’s the limit.


If you have any queries, please visit https://www.taberextrusions.com or call Taber at 1-888-984-3795.

15 03, 2023

The Boeing 747: Aluminum Extrusion Leader Taber Recognizes the End of an Era

2023-04-04T19:46:46+00:00March 15th, 2023|

A woman in a white dress stands on the beach gazing into the summer sky at an airplane ascending into the clouds.

On the 8th of September 2022, the world said its goodbyes to one of its beloved queens, Elizabeth II. She was the queen of the longest-reigning British monarch in the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Her majesty graciously passed on at Balmoral Castle, Scotland at 96 years old. Today, we will again bid farewell to a queen that connected our world through flight and helped transform the aerospace industry altogether, the Boeing 747.

The last Boeing 747 left the company’s widebody factory in advance of its delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023.

Image Source & Corresponding Article: https://theaviationgeekclub.com/end-of-an-era-final-boeing-747-airplane-leaves-the-companys-everett-factory/

Known as the “Queen of the skies”, the Boeing 747’s final airplane – the 747-8 Freighter, rolled out its home in Everett, Washington. It will be delivered to Atlas Air for cargo delivery early this year.

The 747 ushered in more affordable long-haul travel by increasing capacity and lowering ticket costs. Designed from the beginning to carry both passengers and cargo, it was always intended to have dual roles. It was known as the first plane to have two aisles, and overhead bins.

“For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come,” said Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President and general manager of the 747 and 767 Programs.

The image shows three colored photos. On the top half of the image is a photo of Atlas Air’s cargo plane with the nose of the plane open showing cargo. On the lower right is a line drawing of the world’s continents in white line on a blackboard background with a hand holding a miniature airplane. On the left is a photo of the last Boeing 747-8 being rolled out of a hangar for delivery to Atlas Air Cargo.

A Brief History of the Boeing 747

At the beginning of the “Jet Age” in the 50s, Boeing introduced the 707 – America’s first jet airliner. Compared to its predecessors (piston engines), jet engines were safer, cheaper, and faster. The  demand for flying soon quadrupled through the years (1955-1972). Boeing and Pan Am took the opportunity to develop the 747s that made flying faster, accessible, and financially possible to the people.

Pan Am wanted to accommodate more passengers. By having a plane 2 ½ size bigger than the 707, the seat costs could be reduced by 30%. What was originally planned by Pan Am was to create a double-decker airplane, but instead, Boeing made the 747s wider. To meet the challenges of building a wider airplane, Boeing went with the four-engined jet aircraft. These were initially powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D turbofan engines.

Joe Sutter, known as the father of the 747, led the design team. They along with other Boeing employees, were nicknamed the Incredibles for building the 747 in just 29 months.

Because the design was so big, Boeing had to build a plant around it during its construction in Everett, Washington. Today, that building is the biggest in the world by volume (13,300,000 Million cubic meters equivalent to more than 5,300 Olympic-sized swimming pools) and where the company builds its other wide-body aircraft.

The image shows two colored photos. On the left is a fleet of passenger airplanes parked on an airport runway. On the right is a sunset view of a Lufthansa airplane parked on an airport runway.

The End of an Era of the Boeing 747

A favorite among pilots, this airplane flies and lands beautifully. In agreement is Captain Lyn Rippelmeyer, the first woman to pilot the 747. She was also the first woman to captain a transatlantic flight 747.

Designed for long-haul flights, the 747 made international travel more accessible and affordable. Consequently, it was sought after by most airline companies when it was first introduced. Its elegance and top-notch performance gave the airlines a view that the 747 is legitimized them.

The ending of the 747 comes at a time when the aviation industry is looking to transform itself. Aligning with more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly technologies is the new sentiment. Becoming green and sustainable is a path that most companies and industries aim for to build a better future.

Regardless, this doesn’t mean that we have seen the last days of the “queen of the skies.” She will continue to fly for decades-long according to Boeing. “They’re sending the queen out very fittingly” according to Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President, and general manager of the 747 and 767 Programs.

Currently, there are 396 Boeing 747s still in service today. Among them, 311 are freight, 44 of them are passenger planed, and 41 are for VIP or private service. Six airlines still operate the 747s, with Lufthansa being the largest at 25 in its fleet.

In the beginning, many people said that the 747 would not fly– both literally and financially. But Boeing took a huge risk and like Taber, became one of the pioneers that have shaped our world today.

How Taber helped shaped the Aerospace industry

Aluminum has been key to how man developed flight due to its rich properties and capabilities. The Wright brothers used aluminum for their first airplane in 1903. It had a four-cylinder, 12-horse-power engine modified with a 30-pound aluminum block to reduce its weight.

And since then, various aluminum alloys were used in aerospace engineering and have subsequently increased throughout the years.

Taber offers a full range of aluminum alloys including hard, soft, marine, and armor grade. This is a unique capability in the industry. Inside Taber Extrusion’s new state-of-the-art casthouse, aluminum billets are cast and extruded into a wide range of shapes and sizes.

Taber’s capabilities allow the company to serve several industries, including aerospace and firearms. The hard alloys that are created are ideal for these industries due to their high strength and corrosion resistance.

Components of Aerospace Vehicles including the Boeing 747

We have worked with most of the major aerospace manufacturers in the United States. Our extruded shapes are used for important components of aerospace vehicles:

  • Structural Flight Critical Components
  • Interior aircraft systems
  • Supplemental oxygen systems
  • Electrical/Communication Systems
  • Passenger Comfort Systems
  • Coolant radiators
  • Oil coolers
  • Intercoolers
  • AC condensers
  • Passenger service systems
  • Other fluid/gas systems

Producing profiles for the Aerospace and Defense industries is a foundational capability at Taber. “From the inception, Taber’s Russellville, AR facility has produced profiles for the commercial aircraft manufacturers.” Says Jason Weber, VP of Sales and Marketing at Taber Extrusions, “While Taber is sad to see the new aircraft builds of the 747 end, we’re excited for the future of the next generations of airframes and the sustainment of the existing fleet.”

Since 1973, Taber Extrusions has been known as the industry leader in providing some of the widest, heaviest, and most complex shapes to a variety of industries. This includes aerospace, military, shipbuilding, automotive, sporting goods, architectural, and distribution markets. Taber supplies intermediate to heavy press structural extrusions for various Boeing Commercial airplanes including 747, 767, 777, & 787 airframes.  The company has manufactured aircraft and aerospace extrusions since 1973, servicing the Commercial, Military, and General Aviation markets.

A collage of triangles in various shades of blue, overlying an image of a commercial airplane and the words “AEROSPACE” atop Taber’s gold inverted triangle official logo.

More About Taber Extrusions

Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet. This 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. It houses a new state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses. In addition, Taber expanded its 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 the 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 Extrusions has completed the addition of in-house friction stir welding capabilities and carries on their offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw material supply to the North American market – making them a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America.

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Interested in becoming a part of the Taber Team?  Submit your resume to careers@taberextrusions.com.

Become a customer today! Visit us or request a quote: https://taberextrusions.com or call us at (888) 985-5319.

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