Education & Learning

A Beginners Guide to Aluminium Extrusion Tolerances

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Aluminium is a very versatile metal and has become a mainstay material in our modern world. It soft and very malleable which makes it perfect for a variety of thins. It is used in the manufacture of cans, utensils, window frames, foils, beer kegs and plane parts. A number of other features also make it perfect for use in a wide range of industries. For example, it is non-toxic which means it can be used in the food industry. It is also non-magnetic and non-sparking making it the perfect material for making electrical transmission lines.

Aluminium Can be Extruded

It’s possible to form aluminium into a range of different shapes. One process used is extrusion. During this process the metal is pushed through a die which shapes it into a cross section. The die will have an opening that can be changed depending on the profile required. It is them cooled and treated. The shape can then be processed and machined. It can also be worked in a number of different ways. A company such as Edmo, that offers an aluminium extrusion service can make whatever shape and size a customer requires. In order to do so it has to work to exacting standards. It may not be possible to get a size exactly right, but it is acceptable to work within an agreed range. This deviation is known as the tolerance. It is something that can be measured and the figures are agreed upon by manufacturers, purchasers, extrusion companies and customers.

Industry Standard Tolerances

Certain industry standards are in place with regards aluminium extrusions manufactured in the UK. These are outlined by British Standard EN 755-9:2001. In the US, the tolerances were developed by The Aluminium Association and the American National Standards Institute. These are the minimum tolerances allowed, however, many manufacturers are able to improve on them and meet customer requirements. Being able to improve on the standard tolerances does depend on the size and detail of the profile extrusion. A reputable company will be more than happy to discuss your needs and provide dimensional drawings to explain what is possible. However, it should be pointed out that such extra effort will lead to additional cost.

Aluminium is an amazing material. It is strong as well as being exceedingly ductile. It is also malleable, conductive, resistant to corrosion and recyclable. It is no wonder it has become such an integral part of our modern manufacturing processes.