If you look around factory equipment, there is a gleaming array of machinery and metallic instruments. Most of these items are made from aluminum, the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Aluminum is one of the most preferred metals that manufacturers use to form various items.
You can use this non-magnetic, lightweight, silver-colored metal to draw into wires, form cans, or roll into thin foils to form wrappers or thick plates for use in armored vehicles. Although pure aluminum is usually soft with limited strength, additional elements of magnesium, zinc, and copper help boost its strength. Read on as we go through several applications of custom aluminum parts and why it’s a great choice.
Why Use Aluminum for Custom Parts?
Aluminum is a relatively soft and lightweight metal. Additionally, this metal has great corrosion resistance and is very easy to machine. In fact, aluminum is the second most malleable material and the sixth most ductile metal. As a result, aluminum is used in kitchen utensils, beer kegs, airplane parts, window frames, and so much more. Aluminum also works well as the most preferred alloy in the construction of airplanes and other modes of transport.
Several aluminum properties make it the perfect option for custom parts. Aluminum is a good heat and electrical conductor, making it the obvious choice for electrical transmission lines. Besides, it’s cheaper than copper and has a higher strength-to-weight ratio.
By evaporating aluminum, you get a reflective coating used in decorative paper, packages, toys, and telescope mirrors, among other things. Additional desirable properties include:
- Excellent corrosion and chemical resistance
- Easy machinability
- Corrosion resistance
Suitable Applications for Custom Aluminum Parts
Aluminum has a lower density than most other metals such as steel and iron, making it an ideal material for various transport applications such as railways, airplanes, spacecraft, and more. When used on vehicle bodies, it improves fuel economy because it is lightweight. Also, custom aluminum parts don’t rust easily due to the protective layer of aluminum oxide.
Aluminum is widely used in the construction industry due to its intrinsic properties, such as corrosion resistance and light weight. Also, it costs much less than other metals, realizing savings during your construction projects. Custom aluminum parts are used in staircases, windows, shelves, external façades, and railings. They are also a smart choice for lighting fixtures because they are good light reflectors.
Since aluminum is light, flexible, and strong, it’s an ideal metal for building various items within the aerospace industry. Aircraft manufacturers use aluminum in almost every part, from the wing panels, refueling hoses, hydraulic systems, and fuselage to the tie-down systems and more. They make the plane as light as possible and ensure the components don’t rust over time.
Vehicles and Automotive
Aluminum use in automotive and commercial vehicles has grown tremendously because it is corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and offers a cost-effective way to boost fuel economy. Also, the aluminum structure helps absorb the shock inflicted by another motor vehicle in case of a car crash.
Food Processing and Packaging
Most food packaging containers use aluminum because it provides a reliable barrier that preserves food. These containers are easy to design into different shapes and sizes, and they are also recyclable. Aluminum is also preferred in the food processing sector because it’s lightweight, corrosion-resistant, gives no metallic taste, and doesn’t tarnish.
Electrical Transmission Lines
Compared to copper, aluminum is less costly and weighs less, making it the preferred material for electrical transmission lines.
Other common applications of custom aluminum parts include:
- Engine parts
- Optical reflectors
Custom Aluminum Parts Processes from Superior Metal Shapes
Deburring is the process of eliminating the small imperfections known as burrs in machined metal products. This process improves the piece’s quality by shaping the metal into smooth and reliable custom parts.
This process involves various methods used to reduce metal to fit into specific measurements. Cutting can also include subtracting material from a workpiece.
CNC machining provides the most straightforward method of processing aluminum. We have CNC machining equipment that cuts chips of metal into desired shapes. We also use software controls to ensure we form perfect products.
Sawing is a form of cutting that splits workpieces into two or more sections per a client’s specifications. Sawing produces straight cut lines, and it doesn’t burn new edges.
Aluminum Solutions from Superior Metal Shapes
Aluminum is widely used in different industries from transport to food processing and construction. This is due to aluminum’s heat tolerance, low weight, excellent machinability, electrical conductivity, and corrosion resistance.
Superior Metal Shapes offers quality custom aluminum parts and services for various capabilities. Give us your specifications, and we’ll deliver the finest extrusions for your applications. Request a quote from Superior Metal Shapes today for machining, custom aluminum extrusions, and other services.