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Extruded Aluminum Frame

Aluminum is a popular framing material. It is lighter than iron and steel, and some aluminum alloys are stronger than some steel alloys. Aluminum is critical to the frames and bodies of trucks, cars, trains and boats.

End shot of multiple extruded aluminum shapes

In fact, nearly 70% of the components of commercial aircraft are made of aluminum alloys. But weight and strength are not the only factors to consider. Other factors will ultimately dictate whether aluminum or steel is right for a given framing application, such as durability, cost or maintenance. However, extruded aluminum frame components have some exceptional characteristics that are unmatched by any other materials.

Aluminum has good thermal conductivity. At low temperatures, aluminum alloys increase in strength without losing quality, making them excellent for cold weather applications.

Aluminum naturally generates its own protective oxide coating, which makes it exceptionally resistant to rust and corrosion. It is capable of withstanding highly-corrosive environments such as marine settings.
Aluminum does not emit sparks, making it a great choice in highly flammable environments.

Extruded aluminum building components are more resistant to distortion caused by weather and building movement. They retain strength and flexibility under loads and spring back from the shock of impact.

The lower melting point and light weight of aluminum make it easier and more efficient to machine than steel. Complex shapes can be obtained in one-piece extruded sections thereby avoiding mechanical joining methods. This makes the frame components stronger and less likely to loosen over time.

Aluminum extrusions can be joined to other aluminum products or to different materials by all key methods, including welding, brazing, soldering, bolting, riveting, bonding, and snap together or interlocking joints.

The natural metallic surface of aluminum is aesthetically pleasing and does not require further finishing, but can be anodized, painted or powder-coated if desired. 

Aluminum retains a high scrap value. It can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its superior characteristics.

Some of the most popular aluminum framing components are T-slot extrusions. They feature one or more long, narrow slots that travel along the length of the extrusion, and the profiles allow for positioning of panels or screens anywhere along the axis. T-slotted aluminum profiles can be fabricated with one to four slots per side (mono-slot, bi-slot, tri-slot, etc), leaving the other side(s) smooth and allowing for aesthetically pleasing designs. Some profiles have thicker walls, making them well-suited to structures with very high load requirements.

No other metallic element aside from aluminum can be used in so many applications – in the home, on land, sea and air, and in virtually every industry. In the case of framing, a precision-extruded aluminum framing system was installed in 2012 at a 500-kilowatt electric generation facility in Durango, Mexico, the largest CPV solar facility in Latin America. Extruded aluminum was selected for the project primarily because aluminum is corrosion-resistant, provides high stiffness to resist wind, and was more cost-effective.

Hydro Extrusion offers a full range of extruded aluminum frame components for the residential and commercial building industry, including T-slot aluminum extrusions. We are the world’s premier aluminum extruder and offer 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 can offer custom solutions to fit a multitude of unique application requirements.