Fabrication Options for Aluminum Extrusion Products

 

Various fabricating options can be used on raw aluminum extrusion products to achieve a desired end functionality. Some of the types of fabrication available are punching, drilling, tapping, notching, and bending.


Punching
This option creates holes by using a punch press to force a punch into an extrusion placed on top of a die. The hole created is equal to the diameter of the punch, which is constructed of hardened steel. Punching is one of the most economical fabrication options for aluminum extrusion products to create multiple shaped holes in a variety of products. For example, it is commonly used in cladding, rolling gate profiles, and cable trays.


Drilling
Drilling is used to make or enlarge holes in the aluminum extrusions using a drill bit, which rotates while being applied with force, forming chips near the cutting edge. While drilling, a cutting fluid is applied for facilitating the accurate creation of holes of large or small bore.


Tapping
This is used to generate holes with internal threading, which function in a pair with another component, like a nut and bolt. The product pair contains male and female elements, wherein threads are cut into the hole of the female portion using a tap, which is known as tapping. The complementary action is cutting of threads into the male portion using a die, which is known as threading. This can be done either manually or through the use of machines, which are faster and more accurate. The equipment options used for these processes are lathes, bench type drills, or vertical milling machines.


Notching
Notching is an economical shearing and punching process used to make a notch by using punch tools. The purpose of this is to bend a corner in a sheet or to join two tubes at a T-joint. For large sections of aluminum extrusions, the notching is done using plasma cutting.


Bending
Bending is another possibility for fabricating aluminum extrusion products, used primarily for shapes like boxes or enclosures, such as rectangular ductwork. Equipment like box and pan brakes and specialized machine presses are used to create V, U, or channel shapes with extruded aluminum sheets, bars, tubes, or custom shapes. There are various types of bending, including air bending, coining, and bottoming using the  brake press. Other types are also available, such as elastomer bending, folding, rotary bending, three-point bending and wiping, which use specialized machines and tools.


These various fabrication options for aluminum extrusion products are value-added processes that provide flexibility and convenience in shaping innovative custom designs.