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Specially Customized Aluminum Extrusions

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In addition to being the Midwest’s # 1 supplier of aluminum and stainless steel plate products, Clinton is also a leader in providing specially customized aluminum extrusions.

We work with our customer’s engineering department to determine the exact size and shape needed for their application and once the prints are finalized, they are sent to one of the aluminum mills chosen by Clinton to have a die made to produce the parts.

What is an aluminum extrusion?

aluminum extrusionsAn aluminum extrusion is a process used to transform aluminum alloy into different shapes and sizes in order to meet a certain product specification. Extrusions have a wide variety of uses and many every day products are made using extruded aluminum: pumps, motors, and toys, just to name a few.

For people who don’t understand the concept of an extrusion, think back to when you were a child and played with play-dough. Remember putting the play-dough in the hopper and then when you pushed the handle down a special shape came out? That is an extrusion.

In the aluminum and stainless steel industry, after the mill makes the die it is put into a press. Then the aluminum is pressed through the die to produce the shape needed. Once the product is produced, Clinton will stock the special extrusions in twelve foot bar lengths. We cut the extrusion to meet the customers required length.

Aluminum Extrusions vs. Other Processes

From prototyping to full production, no other process offers engineers faster turn-around from actual production tooling. The typical tooling cost for an extrusion die is $900 to $1,500 and the normal lead time to produce an extrusion is about 10 to 14 days. Other processes such as roll forming, injection molding, and die casting can take up to 20 weeks.

As a customer, you can compare the cost and time of an extrusion to the time it takes to create your finished product using other processes to make a cost effective decision. For many customers, paying for an extrusion is the way to go, as the higher up front cost is minimal compared to the time lost waiting on the other processes described above. In many cases, the cost of the extrusion die is recouped in a short period of time due to faster machine cycle times.

Advantages Of Extrusions

Some advantages of extrusions are:

  • Light weight
  • Strength
  • High thermal conductivity
  • Puts the metal precisely where it is needed
  • Reduces machining time
  • Reduces scrap
  • Better surface finish over cast product
  • Tight dimensional tolerances with minimal die reflection

Did You Know?

Aluminum extrusions reduce auto emissions while increasing safety.

An automobile designed with 1 pound of aluminum extrusions instead of 2 pounds of steel will save 3.1 gallons of crude oil, and prevent 20 pounds of CO2 emissions over its lifetime. North American car manufacturers plan to increase the use of aluminum in cars and light trucks by 40% from 2012 to 2025. Aluminum tailgate frames, engine mounts, roof counsels and running boards are also corrosion resistant and more resilient in crashes due to their inherent strength and flexibility.

If you have further questions about aluminum extrusions or would like to speak with sales, please call 800-826-3370.

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