Aluminum Extrusions: Common and Less Familiar Uses

When asked what aluminum extrusions can be used for, most people would think of large-scale, ambitious projects in architecture and, probably, transportation, which is true. Yet, that would be far from an exhaustive list. Brought to you by BK-ALPROF, this article explores the many applications of extruded products made of aluminum.

Aluminum Extrusions: Common and Less Familiar Uses

Here are domains where you are more than likely to come across this kind of material, just to name a few:

  • machinery,
  • consumer electronics,
  • aerospace,
  • sporting goods, and
  • commercial as well as residential architecture.

From the house you live in to the laptop you might be reading this on, aluminum profiles, extrusions, and similar products are everywhere. This is due to the material’s excellent strength-to-weight ratio, important in settings where every pound matters. In other applications, however, other properties of the metal such as its ability to conduct heat and resist rust and corrosion might be the chief reason for using it over other materials.

Industry and Transportation

Whenever you need to carry a lot of weight at a low cost, extruded aluminum is unparalleled. Planes and spacecraft are probably the most obvious examples, but the material has a lot of automotive uses. A common example that might not be the first to come to your mind is trailers and RVs, where keeping the total weight is key.

Construction, Architecture, and Design

Extruding aluminum into a diversity of shapes makes the most of its high malleability. Although the task requires a certain degree of precision and smart technological solutions to remain sustainable, it produces relatively accessible products that can meet many of the consumer’s needs at the same time.

Durability

First and foremost, aluminum provides strength. It enables structures to withstand wind and other challenges presented by the elements while being easy and cheap to maintain. Fencing and columns, frames for windows, skylights, and greenhouses, canopies, and archways can all be made of aluminum extruded products. The material has long been the go-to metal for constructing commercial buildings and those meant to host educational institutions such as schools.

Cost-saving potential

Aluminum extrusions enter the scene where cost efficiency is key. Projects that have to be completed as quickly as possible to minimize idle time but require excellent reliability almost inevitably include the use of this material. Replacing and renovating important bridges is a very common case — you can significantly reduce downtime without compromising safety and capacity by using quality extruded aluminum. It is also one of the primary ways to keep power consumption at a minimum.

Household Appliances and Electronics

Name a common household item of today, and chances are high it will contain or even be based on aluminum extruded products. In refrigerators, for example, condensers are made using extruded aluminum. The same material can be found in most offices and homes as it’s often part of contemporary furniture and interior solutions such as partitions.

Whenever you need an assembly that’s easy to customize and put together, such as point-of-sale displays and screens, aluminum extrusions are a great choice. It is also used to support important appliances such as solar panels and service lighting solutions, in particular in the form of fins that help manage temperature as part of LED fixtures.

A Great Potential

Aluminum extrusions are one of the primary materials that people in a variety of industries turn to when facing a design challenge, and for a good reason. To cover all of their possible uses would be a task too ambitious for a short article. If you can think of other applications for extruded aluminum, please share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s learn from each other’s unique experiences and observations.

 

Tags: aluminum, architecture, construction, cost-saving, design, durability, potential

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