The “profile” of an object refers to its form or shape. Extrusion is a technique often used to transform materials, such as metals, plastics, ceramics, concrete, and food products, into shapes or profiles that can be used as components in an infinite number of residential, commercial and industrial designs.
Due to its unique properties, aluminum is the most commonly extruded material, and aluminum extrusion profiles find uses in furniture design, machine parts, cooking utensils, automobiles, ships, scuba tanks, camera lenses, windmills, solar arrays, to name just a few of the endless possibilities.
The extrusion process shapes aluminum by heating it and forcing it with a hydraulic ram through a shaped opening in a die. Extruded material emerges as a long piece with the same profile as the die opening.
Extrusion dies (steel disks) can be made to form nearly any shape or size. Some dies are flat and produce flat, solid profiles. Other dies are hollow and produce hollow or semi-hollow profiles; i.e., one part contains the hole, or cavity, through which the metal is forced, and the other part shapes the outline.
Some profiles are pressed through just one cavity, while smaller profiles can be pressed through multi-hole dies with as many as 16 cavities. And, still other dies incorporate combinations of solid, semi-hollow and hollow shapes into one die. Each type of die serves certain functions and its use will depend on the desired profile design and size.
A wide variety of functions can be integrated in the extruded aluminum profile. They can be used as tubes, tracks, framing components, hinges, heat sinks, screw ports, slots for bolts, decorative design elements, and so on. Aluminum profiles are often used as a substitute for steel, copper, plastic and wood, because aluminum’s characteristics provide advantages over those materials in many applications.
The metal’s unique electric and thermal conductivity make aluminum profiles indispensable in the electronics industry. Their light weight and high strength are fundamental in the automotive industry. And its natural resistance to rust and corrosion make extruded aluminum profiles essential for use in marine environments.
Hydro Extrusion is the world's largest aluminum extruder and is part of the world's largest aluminum profile company. Our nationwide network of production and supply facilities provides exceptional capabilities in extruded aluminum shapes, sizes, alloys and tempers, including both direct and indirect extrusion methods.
We proudly offer both standard and custom structural angles, tees, zees, H-beams and I-beams, in a complete range of sizes, and broad capabilities in press sizes and tonnages, alloy selection and profile types. To complement our state-of-the-art production facilities, we have advanced facilities for painting (including a high speed vertical powder coating line), anodizing and special coatings.
Hydro’s extruded aluminum profiles are used in a wide range of applications around the globe, most commonly in the building and construction, solar and other renewable energy solutions, transportation, automotive, and home and office equipment sectors. With decades of experience in the manufacture of aluminum extrusion profiles, we can offer you advanced solutions to your most complex design problems.