Pure aluminium is a very soft metal, but as it can be mixed with an array of different metals, its alloys combine aluminium’s unique properties with those of the alloyed metal.
Once aluminium is alloyed, it can then be processed in a number of ways in order to produce a huge range of products that we use in our everyday lives.
The automotive industry is the largest market for aluminium castings, and cast products make up more than half of the aluminium used in cars.
Extruded aluminium is the material of choice for countless applications. Designers and materials specifiers choose aluminium profiles because extrusion offers so many design advantages: various alloys can be readily formed into complex shapes; extrusion tooling is inexpensive; lead times for custom shapes or prototypes are relatively brief; many different finishes are available; and the life-cycle value of the product remains high due to aluminium’s recyclability.
Aluminium mill products are semi-fabricated products such as sheet, plate, foil, extruded products, drawing stock, wire, pigments and powder, forgings, and impacts.
Squeezing the aluminium between two rollers to form a flat plate sheet or foil product. Thickness can vary from thick plates (50mm) to very thin foil (as thin as .0006mm). The rolling process changes the characteristics of the metal, making it less brittle and more ductile.
Pouring molten metal into moulds to cast an infinite number of shapes. (eg wheel rims, cylinder heads)
Aluminium is heated to around 500ºC and pushed through a die at great pressure to form tube, rod, or complex shapes.(eg window frames, yacht masts)