Metal Extrusion – What it is and Advantages of This Process

Metal Extrusion

The Basics of Metal Extrusion

You may never have heard of metal extrusion, but there is quite a high possibility that you have either done it or seen someone who has. This manufacturing process works with a device known as a cylindrical billet, present inside of a closed cavity which helps manufacturing companies meticulously create products of complex cross-section design.

In its simplest form, it is the cutting of various sizes and shapes of products made from various materials like magnesium, lead, copper and aluminium, to create custom parts that are used in many diverse industries, such as aerospace, power generation and automotive to cite just a few examples. The act of extrusion has a few characteristics, we mention just a few below.

Extrusion Characteristics

As mentioned above, you can create complex cross-sections out of most hard materials using this process, so that they turn out uniformly and exactly alike without deviation. A few things that affect the final quality of the extrusion include speed, extrusion ratio, the die design and billet temperature.

Different Types of Extrusions

There are few different types of metal extrusions or categories, and each one is dependant on the flow, temperature and force is applied:

  • Hydrostatic Extrusion – the cavity is created smaller than the billet and filled with fluid.
  • Direct Extrusion or Forward Extrusion – a common type. a heated billet is loaded into a pass cavity and a block placed behind it.
  • Impact Extrusion – similar to cold extrusion and is limited to softer materials such as copper, and aluminium.
  • Lateral or Vertical Extrusion – as the name suggests it is in a vertical position and the die is placed on the inside of the tube.
  • Indirect Extrusion – the die is placed at the end of the hydraulic ram and pushes the material through.
  • Cold Extrusion – similar to impact extrusion where harder materials are used.

Advantages of Harnessing Metal Extrusion

This is a low-cost process used by many organizations, the plus point being it reduces wastage significantly, mainly because almost all the raw materials are used in the manufacturing of components.

It also has a high rate of production i.e. you can create large numbers of components quickly and efficiently using the right extrusion machinery. Plus, it cuts time on treating products when they are not smooth enough because with this method the result is elongated structures with smooth surface finishes.

Any thickness can be achieved using this production method and, when it comes to metal extrusion products for instance when making aluminium hollow pipes for factories or industrial processes, it is highly lucrative and useful.

Also very popular within the automotive industry where cars have both small and large components that need to fit into them, they are all unique in their way and need to abide by particular specifications, so metal extrusion can help to create these products in bulk so they can be used in large quantities of vehicle manufacturing as well.

We hope the above brief explanation of metal extrusion helps you understand a bit more about it so that you too can harness its advantages in the production processes of your business model.