One of the most versatile metals in manufacturing today is Aluminum. Aluminum is used in many industries to produce products in an almost limitless number of shapes for an almost limitless number of uses. With such versatility, it’s no surprise that there are several different manufacturing methods for producing aluminum products. Two of the most commonly used processes for shaping aluminum include the extrusion process and the drawing process. When comparing the two, there are a few key differences. Read on to learn about the aluminum extrusion and drawing processes, as well as tips for how to choose which one is right for your project.
Drawn Aluminum Process
The drawn aluminum tubing process happens by having the aluminum pulled, or drawn into the die cavity, during which the aluminum undergoes what is called plastic deformation. Plastic deformation happens when the aluminum is stretched to achieve the desired shape. When stretching aluminum, it’s important to pay close attention to the flexibility and elasticity of the metal. Stretch too much and it will become weak and brittle. Drawn aluminum is a custom aluminum extrusion that most often used to create products including pots, cans, tubes and other circular objects.
Extruded Aluminum Process
Extruded aluminum pipe differs from drawn aluminum in that the formed shape is made by first heating the metal to a very high temperature until it is soft and malleable but not liquid. After the aluminum has been heated, it is then forced or pushed through a die. The extruded metal tubing product that comes out the other end will be molded by the die and shaped to the desired final product. To visualize the extrusion process, it can help to picture a tube of toothpaste. In this case, the toothpaste is shaped by the circular opening through which the toothpaste is pushed. After the aluminum pipe has been extruded, it will begin to cool and harden. As it hardens, the finished extruded tubing product becomes strong and durable and will hold the desired shape.
Differences between Drawn vs. Extruded Aluminum
While both processes can be used to create similar finished products, there are a few differences found between the two. These differences include:
Cost. In general, the extrusion process tends to be cheaper than the drawn aluminum tubing process. This is because cold drawing aluminum often requires a larger collection of tools and materials to complete.
Products created. The extrusion and drawing processes will often be used to produce different types of products. For example, extruded aluminum can be used to make tubing, doors, window frames, brackets, and railings. Drawn aluminum will similarly be used to create tubing, in addition to products like cans and pots.
Aluminum Offerings from Eagle Mouldings
Eagle Mouldings is a leading provider of custom and specialty extrusions as well as extruded tubing and drawn aluminum tubing. We offer a huge inventory of custom aluminum extrusions and standard shapes available for next day delivery. If we don’t stock what you are looking for, we will help you design and create a shape made just for you. We offer top-quality aluminum products that are built to last. If you’re ready to get started on your next project, contact our customer service team today to discuss the extrusions that are the right fit for your project. We’ll be happy to make recommendations, as well as send a quote for the items you’re interested in.