The Aluminum Extrusion Process

Aluminum Extrusion is the process of transforming aluminum alloy into structures with cross-sectional profiles. It has numerous uses, benefits, and applications that allow almost any industry to complete projects seamlessly. While it’s cost-effective, fast, and strong, the process of aluminum extrusion is easy and offers fast turnaround times. There are various components involved in the extrusion process, including the manufacturing die, which is the shape in which the aluminum will emerge.

The first step of aluminum extrusion is preparing the die that will mold the shape of the aluminum. This die is preheated to between 842- and 932-degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the aluminum flows easily through the die upon extrusion. Once the die is warm enough, it is loaded into the extrusion press.

The second step of aluminum extrusion is preheating the aluminum billet, a solid, cylindrical block of aluminum alloy which is cut to the required size needed for the extrusion. This billet is also preheated to between 842- and 932-degrees Fahrenheit to ensure malleability.

The Extrusion Process Begins

 Once all the components are preheated to their appropriate temperatures, the billet is lubricated and mechanically moved to the extrusion press. A strong hydraulic ram pushes the billet into the extrusion press with a force up to 15,000 tons. As the metal is pushed into the press, the billet molds into the shape of the die.

Next, the aluminum emerges from the die opening in the required shape. As it emerges out of the die, it is guided along a runout table where it is cooled, but not to completely cold temperatures. After quenching, the process looks something like this:

  • A hot saw shears the extrusion to separate it from the process
  • A stretcher pulls the extrusion into alignment to ensure it matches specifications
  • The finish saw cuts the extrusions to the required size

Treating, Finishing, and Fabricating

Profiles are usually heat treated after extrusion for further enhancement, followed by surface finishing and corrosion protection to enhance appearance.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment involves placing the profiles into ovens to accelerate their ageing. This is done to enhance both tensile strength and yield stress. When heat treated, they are brought to T5 and T6 tempers.

Surface Finishing

Surface finishing is done to enhance overall appearance and to treat the profiles against corrosion. This is when the profiles are anodized to thicken the metal’s natural oxide layer.


The aluminum profiles can be fabricated into any final dimensions the client requires. Fabricating the profiles means your product will come out in accordance with your unique specifications.

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