A lot has been said about the future of nano and microtechnology. This area of aluminum extrusion, which focuses on creating ever smaller products, promises solutions to age-old problems. On the silver screen, sci-fi productions have shown nano bots crawling into humans as a futuristic form of medicine. The Terminator film franchise explored the military potential of nano technology in a self-healing liquid metal of robots. Yet, examples like these are not actually all that farfetched. From self-healing metal to invasive medicine, a whole new realm of possibilities has been opened by tiny manufacturing.
At Taber, we are part of this revolution with our microextrusions. Like conventional aluminum extrusions, microextrusions are pushed through a die. Unlike conventional extrusions, the entire extrusion process is performed at a submillimeter level. In other words, the resulting product’s cross section can fit through a 1-millimeter square. Our microextrusions have found application in a wide range of industries, which we have previously explored in a series of articles on these miniscule creations.
Taber Extrusions has experienced many evolutions since its founding in the early 1970s. Taber pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet of solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Since then, it increased Taber’s billet capacity, alloy range, and ability to reuse materials. Within the last decade, fabrication capabilities were upgraded, friction stir welding was added, and of course, microextrusions became an offering. Lightweight, strong, and widely functional, microextrusions are perfect for military and aerospace components. Interior aircraft systems, AC condensers, communication systems, and firearm components all use microextrusions. Read more about it here.
You don’t have to go in for a colonoscopy to understand the benefit of smaller medical tools. The microextrusions used in medicine include components that overwhelmingly support cardio- and neurovascular procedures, drug delivery, IV procedures, and other procedures that require work on a micro level. An added challenge for medical manufacturing is that conventional extrusion machinery is not quite precise enough, so it calls for special machinery. Medical microextrusions are created at a very slow rate to maintain the physical properties of the delicate material and create ultra-precise extrusions.
The most widespread and easy-to-spot place where miniature extrusions are making a difference in consumer products is in electronic products. Portable, durable, and complex, computational devises like laptops and smartphones have increasingly smaller parts. From enclosures to motherboards and LED profile bays, microextrusions have become a fundamental part of electronic devices. This article outlines more aspects of consumer electronics that use precision aluminum extrusions in their design.
Often used in medical and surgical procedures, microtubing is a highly-valued type of microextrusion. Aluminum can provide three times as much volume per pound as other metal products – so when too much weight is detrimental, aluminum is an obvious choice. Aluminum is also anti-corrosive, making it an ideal material for many types of environments.
This last blog outlines Taber’s capabilities, ranging from friction stir welding to microextrusions. Through Taber’s unwavering commitment, present and future customers can expect expanded extrusion solutions, programs, and services in the coming years… and find endless possibilities. Read more about it here.
Despite its broad application in today’s products, the potential of microextrusions is still just being explored. As miniature aluminum extrusions become smaller and more precise, industries will continue to find new ways to create futuristic solutions to modern problems. Taber offers the highest levels of quality and the broadest range of capabilities in the industry, designed to be ready for whatever design tomorrow brings.
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. 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 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 propels Taber into the future in a quest to continuously improve the quality and service we provide to our customers.