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Uses of Aluminum Extrusions

Aluminum extrusion transforms aluminum alloy into an extraordinary variety of products for consumer and industrial markets. Aluminum extrusions have many uses in the electronics, automotive, mass transit, bridge decking, telecommunications, solar/renewable energy industries, and more.

End shot of multiple extruded aluminum shapes

Making the most of aluminum’s excellent malleability, the extrusion process creates shapes by heating billets of aluminum alloy to soften them and then forcing them with a hydraulic press or ram under high pressure through special steel dies. What results are pieces of aluminum that maintain the specific shape of the die.

Hydro Extrusion is part of the world’s largest aluminum profile company, and is the North American leader in common alloy standard and custom extruded aluminum products. We have vast resources and unparalleled technical competencies that allow us to produce the most comprehensive line of products in the extrusion industry.

We are also the largest soft alloy extruder in North America with indirect press technology. This technology allows us to produce a more consistent grain structure and better dimensional tolerances, which improves the machinability and finishing of our products and provides our customers with increased control capabilities and greater efficiency.

Most of our extrusions undergo a variety of fabrication and/or finishing processes to transform them into usable components, including cutting, punching, machining, bending or welding. Simple and complex extruded shapes include seamless and structural aluminum pipe and tube, rod, bar and hex products, structural angles, channels, tees, zees, H-beams, and I-beams, in both standard and custom shapes.

Applications for Aluminum Extrusions

  • In the transportation industry, where the strength-to-weight ratio is critical, aluminum extrusions are ideal for engine blocks, transmission housings, panels, roof rails and chassis of cars, boats, trucks, and railway and subway cars, as well as for the bodies and component parts of vehicles. Demand has also grown for aluminum extrusions as structural components in the manufacture of lighter-weight automobiles, such as the new, 700-pounds-lighter Ford F-150 pickup truck.
  • Aluminum conducts heat efficiently, so the metal is commonly found in automobile radiators and air conditioners, condenser tubes, nuclear reactors, pharmaceutical thawing units, and in the heating and cooling devices of computers, audio/visual systems and electronics.
  • One of aluminum’s greatest attributes is that it is naturally rust and corrosion resistant without additional treatment. This is due to the presence of a thin, naturally occurring protective film of aluminum oxide that bonds to its surface. 
  • Extruded aluminum tubing is used to house coaxial cables and wires because it’s non-magnetic. It’s useful for high-voltage applications, and anywhere magnetic fields come into play or where sensitive magnetic devices are in use.
  • In construction, extruded aluminum components resist distortion caused by weather and building movement. They retain strength and flexibility under loads and spring back from the shock of impact.
  • The highly reflective characteristic of aluminum extrusions make them useful for shielding products or areas from light, radio waves, or infrared radiation.

Hydro Extrusion operates 20+ locations and more than 60 extrusion presses across North America, and offers the industry’s broadest product capabilities in press sizes and tonnages, alloy selection, circle sizes (up to 22.5”), profile types and “green” billet.

Our complete fabricating services include precision cutting to semi-finished and fully finished parts and assemblies that meet AAMA Specifications and CSI Codes.

Whatever uses you may have for aluminum extrusions, Hydro can take your project from conception to prototype to production.