One of the great presidents of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” I cannot describe how this quote perfectly captures the essence of diplomacy and military readiness. This quote highlights the importance of strength and resolve in achieving one’s goals. For this reason, Taber is proud to support our nation through aluminum extrusions in military and defense.
In today’s world, military strength and readiness play a critical role in maintaining peace and security. Exploring the latest technologies and materials that can give our armed forces an edge is essential. One industry that has become increasingly important in the defense and military sectors is the Aluminum extrusion industry.
Aluminum extrusions are widely used in various defense and military applications. This includies aerospace and aircraft construction, armored vehicles, and weapons systems. Aluminum is a lightweight yet solid material that offers several advantages over other metals. Resistance to corrosion, excellent strength-to-weight ratio, and the ability to be shaped easily into complex geometries are just a few examples.
Nations worldwide continue to invest in their defense and military capabilities. As a result, Aluminum extrusion has emerged as a critical technology in pursuing high-level defense capabilities and superiority.
Keeping Peace Through Aluminum Extrusion in Military & Defense
The defense and military sectors play a vital role in maintaining national security and stability. Various branches such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps are a part of those sectors. Aluminum extrusion, a process of shaping aluminum into desired profiles and shapes, is vital in supporting these branches.
Through the years, critical innovations through research and development allowed endless applications widely used today. To name a few of those benefits and applications brought about by the aluminum extrusion process:
Lightweight and Durable
Using aluminum extrusions has created lightweight yet solid structures for military vehicles and aircraft. Reducing the weight makes them more fuel-efficient and easier to transport. It also provides a lightweight alternative to traditional armor and vehicle components without sacrificing strength or durability.
Aluminum extrusion technology creates complex shapes and profiles that cannot be achieved with other manufacturing processes. This flexibility in design enables engineers to create parts optimized for specific military applications and perform better than alternative materials.
Improved Thermal Management
Aluminum extrusions can create heat sinks, which help dissipate heat from sensitive electronic components in military equipment. This is especially important in military applications where electronic equipment must function under extreme conditions.
Aluminum is naturally corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for applications where extreme conditions make a material vulnerable to weathering. The extrusion process creates a protective oxide layer on the aluminum’s surface, enhancing its corrosion resistance. This is especially important in marine and naval applications where equipment is exposed to saltwater and other harsh conditions, such as in space.
Cost-efficiency and Sustainability
Aluminum is a fully recyclable material compared to other metals — it requires less energy to extract and manufacture, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Additionally, aluminum extrusion is an efficient process that minimizes material waste and energy consumption, reducing overall environmental impact. Its sustainability and eco-friendliness make it a desirable choice for manufacturers looking to reduce costs and minimize carbon footprint.
As we celebrate our nation’s independence, we at Taber understand the significance of robust defense and military capability, as highlighted by President Roosevelt’s famous quote. We recognize that diplomacy and military readiness are crucial factors in ensuring peace.
While Taber Extrusions serves various industries, we’ve maintained a solid foundational market in the military and defense sectors. This dates back to the mid-60s when our Russellville, Arkansas facility was built to manufacture AM2 Landing mats for the US military that are widely used worldwide as landing strips on which all military aircraft land.
Today, Taber products are used in every military branch and even the US Coast Guard, supporting military efforts worldwide — including shipbuilding, infrastructure, tanks, mobile armor equipment, and more.
Our Appreciation Through Aluminum Extrusions in Military & Defense
As a long-time domestic provider of high-quality aluminum extrusion products and services to our military and defense departments, Taber’s support for our nation does not stop there. We also recognize our veterans and their valuable skills and experience, including leadership, teamwork, and strong work ethic.
Over the years, we’ve been actively seeking out and hiring military veterans to support their journey after the heroic service they gave our nation. One of our core is to provide equal opportunities to hardworking, passionate individuals from various backgrounds.
To our heroes and their families, who willingly sacrificed and continue to serve our country for the greater good, we offer our utmost respect and gratitude for your service.
More About Taber Extrusions
Taber Extrusions, located in Russellville, AR., and Gulfport, MS., is a highly regarded provider of aluminum extrusions to various industries, including aerospace, infrastructure, transportation, defense, and thermal management.
ISO 9001 and AS 9100 certified, Taber’s present and future customers can expect 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., in 1995, which houses a new state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses, micro-extrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area has been expanded multiple times. We continue to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes. We have diversified our markets beyond the military since our inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others.
Our company supplies cast and extruded products in various soft and hard alloys for these markets.
Today, Taber Extrusions is proud of its friction stir welding capabilities and a complete offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw material supply to the North American market.
With all the possibilities of technical advancement, there are endless ways to be innovative these days. With that in mind, what is the significance of technology and innovation in shipbuilding? We can go back to the American Civil War in 1862, wherein two ironclad warships battled for the first time. Not one ship sunk; thus, both parties claimed victory.
For naval technology, this was an important milestone. Why? Because ironclad warships had shown an increase in survivability compared to their wooden-hulled predecessors. Presently, the battlefield is evolving faster than ever and the need has emerged for a new breed of warships with increased speed, agility, and stealth.
Look no further! The answer is aluminum.
5xxx aluminum alloys
Aluminum allows vessels to be made lighter and faster at one-third the density of steel. The corrosion resistance and strength of new alloys, especially the 5xxx series of aluminum alloys, make it an ideal choice for constructing sea-going vessels. Adding elements to pure aluminum produces a chemical composition with improved properties creating an aluminum alloy that increases strength. A 4-digit number is then assigned in which the first digit represents a general series that characterizes its main alloying elements.
The primary agent for the 5xxx series is magnesium which gives the alloy strength and good weldability, amongst other things. In naval ships alone, 6,000 tons of aluminum are used each year on destroyers. For more than a decade now, 5456 plate and extrusions have become the benchmark for the welded deckhouse structures of destroyers. The weight-saving ability of the 5xxx series allows the ship to maintain stability with a narrow hull that is crucial in reaching high speeds.
Advantages of 5xxx aluminum alloys
The structures save 55-67% of their weight by using a 5xxx aluminum alloy. The ships can increase payload, haul more equipment, and lower the energy required to power the boat. The 5xxx series has good weld ductility without post-weld treatments due to the weld yield strengths of 100-200 MPa. It has lower corrosion resistance which is ideal for any structure encountering water or chemicals. The tensile strength of the alloy showed reductions of only 2-5% throughout a 10-year seawater test.
Friction stir welding for marine vessels
The growth of new metal forming processes, friction stir welding (FSW) chief among them, has made aluminum one of the most versatile materials, creating profiles. For more than twenty years, friction stir welding or FSW has been a highly effective alternative to traditional MIG welding in marine applications. It is best used on long straight welds for a more cost-effective and efficient operation.
Several of the welded structures in this process are alloyed aluminum extrusions. Flat designs used in the marine industry, such as floors, decks, bulkheads, and parts that do not require complex curves, can be done by FSW. These vessels are capable of speeds of more than 45 knots (51 mph), an exceptional rate for vessels that weigh 3,500 tons. Even hull sections are critical to making the vessels lighter, faster, and more maneuverable.
Benefits of friction stir welding for marine vessels
Speeds up the building procedure and saves money for large and small projects.
The cost savings come from eliminating the required person-hours of traditional MIG welding and providing a more substantial, higher quality weld, which cuts down on secondary repair costs. Using complete components such as modular FSW panels reduces the time and labor costs of measurements and cutting on the construction site. There is also minimal distortion on the weld and better aesthetics. It is more environmentally friendly (no UV radiation or fumes) and more user-friendly.
Removes flaws that are inherent to conditional welding methods.
Characteristics include no porosity, no hot cracking, and a more robust fusion of the constituent elements. Becoming adopted far and near, FSW is less susceptible to errors due to the automated process.
Aluminum can help marine manufacturers and shipbuilders obtain weight and production savings and improve the quality and efficiency of vessels and structures… and the unique qualities of extruded aluminum component design provides exceptionally high torsion strength resistance – making it the ideal material for marine application.
Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes. It also has diversified its markets beyond the 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 aligns 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 complete 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 drives Taber into the future in a pursuit to continuously enhance the quality and service we provide to our customers.