Aluminum is one of the most widely used metals in the world. It has applications that span virtually all industries, from refrigeration to automotive, food and beverage to R&D, and everything in between. The metal is manufactured in a wide range of forms, as well, including bars. However, the term “bar” applies to aluminum extruded into several different shapes.
Aluminum Bar Shapes
Depending on the type of aluminum and the manufacturing company in question, as well as the purpose to which the metal will be put, you will find that aluminum bars can be flat, square, or even round. Square and rectangular bars can also have differently shaped corners – angled corners are the most common, but aluminum bars can be manufactured with rounded corners, as well.
In all cases, aluminum is chosen due to the unique properties of the metal. It is lightweight yet strong, while being able to resist corrosion more readily than steel and other ferrous metals. It is also very malleable, and it conducts electricity.
It All Relies on Extrusion
The process by which all aluminum bar forms are manufactured is called extrusion. In this process, a larger block of metal is heated to the point that it becomes malleable. It is then passed through a series of rollers that compress and condense it – it’s similar to rolling sheets of metal, but compresses across the full circumference of the ingot instead of just the top and bottom.
The Difference between Rods and Wires
Round aluminum bars are also called rods – how do rods differ from aluminum wire? Wire must have a diameter of no more than three-eighths of an inch. Anything larger than this is technically a bar.
The Importance of Metal Quality
It is important to note that not all aluminum supplies on the market are of the same quality. It is vital for quality, accurate machining that you choose the right extrusion producer. Top-rated producers in the market offer products with consistent grain within the metal, better straightness, and tighter dimensional tolerances. It is also important to consider your options carefully when it comes to choosing an aluminum distributor. Look for a company that has years of experience, and that has forged strong relationships with the world’s leading aluminum extrusion producers to ensure not only high-quality aluminum is available, but that the distributor knows to avoid potential pitfalls and errors, such as transporting aluminum bar metal with steel.
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