How To Design Simple And Low-Cost Parts With Aluminum Extrusions

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Plenty of design engineers who look to reduce costs often overlook extruded aluminum manufacturing for machined or stamped parts. They believe extruding aluminum is an expensive or difficult production method. That kind of opinion is often a mistake that costs much

Extruded aluminum enables manufacturers to produce intricate profiles with only one part. It saves companies actual money on production and total product life cycle expenses.

Aluminum extrusion sometimes is not that extensively studied in engineering school. Therefore, it is often disregarded by design teams on behalf of standard manufacturing techniques

Many designers don’t have extensive experience in germane alloy properties, proper tolerances, or the latest fabrication and manufacturing methods. Engineers that limit themselves and their aptitudes bear the costs in their designs. So thinking out of the box always pays off.

Luckily, today, design engineers can work closely with extruded aluminum manufacturers to enhance functionality, reduce components and remove tooling and machining to cut costs across production. There are countless benefits of the implementation of aluminum extrusions in your product designs.

This article guides you through five aspects of why designing with aluminum extrusions is becoming so popular. So, continue to read and find out why you should plan your parts production with aluminum extrusions.

1. Aluminum Extrusion Saves You Money 

Understanding the product requirements and the part’s end-use is crucial to picking the correct aluminum alloy. Aluminum provides qualities like being corrosion-proof, having high resistance to weight proportion, and electric conduction.

If a design engineer is about to utilize an aluminum extrusion for their project and encapsulate it appropriately, it can give a rigidness to the manufactured part while making it of higher value. With aluminum extrusions, rigidness and qualities such as thermal conduction and being corrosion-proof are already built-in their natural properties. 

Designers can additionally create complex forms with extruded aluminum to decrease part count and unite functions to promote reduced production costs. Aluminum profiles that are almost net-shaped may include holes, slits, or screw bosses into their form, eliminating lots of secondary operations. 

Designs also work to eradicate riveting and welded assemblies, which increase overall strength and lower overall manufacturing costs. A single extrusion may cost more than a steel-shaped part. However, the total system components are repeatedly considerably lower. 

2. Extruded Aluminum Profile Designs And Design Evaluation

How To Design Simple And Low-Cost Parts With Aluminum Extrusions

Nowadays, designers benefit from CAD, PLM, and CAM software, which they utilize to create and test their designed parts in a digital space. That way, designers examine tolerances, conditions and adjust designs once concerns, solutions, or new ideas emerge.

After the design is confirmed within the engineering team, it’s shared with the aluminum extrusion producer. It is a vital step before manufacturing. Potential issues caused by poor communication are minimized, and the manufacturer has a thorough understanding of what the engineering team needs.

If you send a CAD file that is incorrect or your manufacturer doesn’t catch the design issues before the production process, it adds far more cost and time to the production. Design engineers can make sure these types of errors don’t occur by being as open as possible with their aluminum extrusion manufacturer.

The greatest thing to do is to get your manufacturer involved initially. Allow the manufacturers who are producing thousands of parts similar to yours to check your designs. Inform them how it’s going to be utilized because they might notice something you wouldn’t. 

3. Reduces Machining Time And Part Count As Well As Eliminating The Secondary Operations

With the latest developments in alloys and cooling technologies, there is no need to choose higher-priced alloy over aluminum for numerous applications.

If necessary, you can fabricate the aluminum extrusions even further. Extrusion’s fabrication capacities involve cutting accuracy, single or double cutting, tapping, trimming, drilling, milling, perforating, and lengthy section CNC machining. 

Reduced Machining

How To Design Simple And Low-Cost Parts With Aluminum Extrusions

Elegant and simple designs with minimal parts, connections, and fabrication steps result in essentially top-quality products that cost less to produce.

For instance, an aluminum extrusion part initially designed to need machining could (with a slight design change) be manufactured using punch tooling to achieve the same finish. With the aluminum extrusion methods, the extruded parts go through a cheaper fabrication method, which results in reduced overall cost and quicker machining.

Reduced Number Of Parts

Designers might create complex forms with extruded aluminum to reduce the number of components and unite functions which save on production and total product life cycle expenses.

For example, one extruded profile may substitute rolled figures fixed together. It results in greater resilience while eliminating connection costs and component amounts.

Secondary Operations Are Eliminated

Aluminum net-shaped profiles can contain gaps, slits, or screw bosses into their form. It eliminates a good deal of the secondary operations.

Furthermore, a designed extrusion may also eliminate welded assemblies, lowering cost while increasing parts accuracy.

4. From Billet To End Product In the Aluminum Extrusion Manufacturing Method

The aluminum extrusion manufacturing method allows standard dies to be produced for a shorter period versus the other metal fabrication processes (metal casting, blanking, or stamping). With an accepted final design, a billet and extrusion gear are preheated beforehand then the billet is moved and pressed with force against the die opening. 

Later, the shaped aluminum profile is extruded and cooled down. Fast cooling preserves the extrusion profile’s properties, mechanical qualities, and tolerances while avoiding deformation. The profile is then straightened out with a stretching tool to correct any possible deformations before being fed to the saw conveyor to be cut to its predetermined lengths. 

Final Words

As you can see, there are many reasons to design your parts utilizing the aluminum extrusions method.

The benefits are immense, and you should employ this procedure as a part of your standard manufacturing process. It will save you a good amount of expenses and will supply you with high-quality fabricated components.

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