Latest Process Developments

Page 1: Historical Overview
Page 2: Latest Process Developments
Page 3: The Process in China
Page 4: Pros and Cons of the Process
Page 5: Types of Products Made

Despite being an established process, the development of aluminium extrusion in China continues, constantly aiming to improve the process as well as further developing the capabilities of the process.

Process Improvement
There is an ever progressing increase in the sizes of extrusions presses used, which in turn increases the size of the products that can be extruded, the size of aluminium channels that can be produced and the length of continuous extrusion produced from a single billet. In China, presses with an up to 4 000 tonne capacity are widespread, with presses of an up to 6 500 tonnes also available in the industry.

Process Development
When it comes to the development of the process, the interaction of the die, billet, chamber and hydraulic ram(s) are focussed on, with special attention to the reduction of friction between the billet and the chamber.

The development of direct extrusion, indirect extrusion, and a combination of both, seeks to to enable the production of aluminium extrusions in harder alloys. Direct-indirect extrusion brings other advantages to the table, including the improvement of the product’s homogeneity, surface finish and a reduction in the waste of the raw material.

A process often used to produce components that would otherwise require fabrication from a number of parts, the range of cross sections for hollow aluminum extrusions are dependant on the development of dies. This area specifically focusses on the extrusion of products that have thin walls and complex internal geometries.

Though there are many factors, including the friction inside the chamber and the die, that mitigate against the production of extrusions with extremely thin walls, China leads the development in this specific area. Developments within this specific area allow for a greater design flexibility , a reduction in input material cost, material waste and a reduction in the machining requirements further down the production stream.

Improvements to the design processes is also something that is perused in the Chinese industry. By modelling flows in the die and chamber areas, the flow of the metal as well as the geometry of the resulting components can be predicted, minimises the sometimes boring and iterative die development process. In turn, this leads to a reduction in cost for the client, reduction in product leadtime and also improves the machine uptime for the manufacturer.

At the end of the day, China has an extremely healthy aluminum extrusion sector, with continued development and innovation addressing various aspects, including the improvement of the current processes and operations, as well as the expansion of the process for future applications and needs.

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