Aluminum extrusion is a very cost-effective process with large volume production runs for a single order or for ongoing orders that may be lower in volume per run. The biggest cost with most aluminum extrusion is forming the die, which can be reduced if using one of the standard aluminum extrusion shapes that just needs slight modification for the custom run.
However, despite the ability to technically create a virtually unlimited range of aluminum extrusion shapes, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Working with an experienced aluminum extrusion company will help you to determine if the shape under consideration is feasible or if it can be modified to create a better option for production.
In many cases, the extrusion shapes, particularly when more complex, will have a variety of wall thicknesses. This can cause a problem during the cooling period where the thinner walls will harden faster than the thicker walls, creating a greater risk of variation in the final extrusion.
As much as possible, work to similar wall thicknesses for the extrusion. This will ensure greater control over the precision of the extrusion within production runs as well as between runs.
Soft Corners vs. 90 Degree
The very sharp 90-degree angles, particularly on internal shapes, are more of a challenge with extrusion. Having the angle with a slightly rounded interior corner can be instrumental in a more effective final product.
The KISS Principle
With all aluminum extrusion shapes, the simpler the design the most economical and effective the production will be. In many cases, a simple design change can turn a very complicated and complex shape into one that will be faster, more economical and more efficient to produce.
When simple is possible, always choose the most streamlined and least complicated shape for an extrusion. The results will be a more precise end product and a lower overall cost of production.
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