What is Aluminium Extrusion?

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Let’s explain the three fundamental concepts which are required for extrusion.

•           Aluminium raw material

•           Extrusion press

•           Mould

Circular cross section aluminium alloy raw materials are used in the technology. These are called billet and they are offered to people as products just in the wanted form at the end of the journey. We provide the hydraulic pressure which is required to provide the flow of the billet from the mould and make it a profile by extrusion press. Mould is a tool which is produced from hot work tool steel and used for moulding the profile after extrusion.

In the simplest explanation, the extrusion process is like pulling on the paste from a tube. There is a space in the inlet of the tube and the flow occurs in the mould of the space with the pressure we apply on the tube by our hand.

Let’s go into particulars. You will the complexity of the process and the conditions on which it is dependent.

The billet which is taken from the stock is the beginning of the process. The quality of the product obtained reflects the quality of the billet. The alloying of the billet in the ladle metallurgy while still a liquid metal shows how important the optimization of casting parameters and the post-casting homogenization heat treatment are.

We need to prepare the billet for extrusion before letting it to the press line and putting it in the shell by means of stamp (stamp pad) which will apply the main pressure. We perform this by annealing the billet. This step reduces the extrusion pressure which is required due to the softening of the billet by the effect of temperature, and it also fulfils the function of the heat treatment of taking into solution which is the first step for the enhancement of the profile to be obtained in terms its mechanical properties in the subsequent phases. The press shell and the mould are increased to high temperatures in order to ensure thermal stability. The said temperatures vary depending on the alloy of the billet we will use and extrusion conditions.  

When necessary temperatures are obtained, the billet which is taken from the annealing furnace is hot cut in the desired length and placed within the shell where it will be exposed to pressure by means of stamp. As the friction within the shell increases by the pressure conditions, the material in the interior part of the billet from the dead area of the metal created by the exterior surface of the billet between the mould and the shell flows from the mould space to form a mould section. The billet which is accumulated in the dead area now contains an oxide layer in metallurgical terms and this layer is cut and separated from the mould as a post-pressure interim work. The profile which is obtained from the mould is rapid cooled in gas or liquid environment according to cooling sensitivity and requirement. This is the second step applied for the enhancement of mechanical properties after solution treatment.

The profile which is long along the conveyor post-cooling is first subjected to cold stretch treatment and then cut in the desired length. The purpose of the stretching treatment is to take the residual voltage inside the profile if any and provide linearity in terms of dimension.

Thus the billet’s journey in the extrusion press comes to an end. 



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