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The extrusion press – an outlet for ideas

The advantages of aluminium profiles are to a great extent based on their manufacturing method – through extrusion. The method provides unique construction and design possibilities.

Illustration: Extrusion

The desire of experimenting also takes advantage of the relative low tooling costs. A new extrusion die usually costs no more than SEK 8,000–50,000.

The production of a profile can be compared, in a simplified way, to piping cream or pressing toothpaste out of a tube.

The raw material has the form of so called ingots – cylindrical aluminium blocks that are heated in an induction furnace to 450 – 500°C. The heated ingot is then pressed with a great force through an extrusion die which gives the profile its shape.  

The length of the profiles varies from 25 to 45 metres – all depending on the shape and the needs. 

As soon as the profile has left the extrusion die, it is cooled down with air or water. In order to relieve the stresses and obtain a perfectly straight product, the profiles are stretched before all important dimensions are checked and the surface quality is inspected. After that, the profile is cut to the required length.

The final strength is achieved through heat and/or cold ageing.

Image: Extrusion dieTwo types of profiles

There are two types of profiles – flat profiles and hollow profiles:

  • Flat profiles are extruded through an opening in a flat steel plate.
  • To make hollow profiles a die that consists of two parts is needed. The core of the die makes the hole and the outer part of the die shapes the outline of the profile.