Manufactured into a range of everyday products, aluminium is a composite material which offers a whole host of benefits.
Benefits such as durability, the robustness of the metal, as well as the lightweight property that it offers.
However, for aluminium to mean anything to anyone and to become the brilliant and long-lasting product that we expect, it has to go through a comprehensive process and in some cases some harsh techniques.
Techniques which can involve a series of heating and purification sequences which all form part of the aluminium fabricated process.
In this post, we’re going to look at the process aluminium fabricators in the UK go through to create the final product.
Two methods used
Within the fabrication process, there are two methods which aluminium fabricators will follow, a refining method and a smelting method.
This particular method involves mixing the sedimentary rock, Bauxite (which is high in aluminium content), with caustic soda, crushing them together and processing them to create a slurry which will contain ore particles.
The next step is for this slurry to move through heavy pressure and extreme heat helping to dissolve the aluminium compound.
From this, a liquid will be formed which is then filtered in a tank where any impurities settle at the bottom, and the primary solution can then be pumped through the filters.
Smelting is a little bit more of a complicated method when it comes to the fabrication of aluminium.
In this instance, the aluminium solution is exposed to electric currents which will allow oxygen and aluminium particles to separate and separate quickly.
The small oxygen molecules are attracted towards carbon rod which results in the formation of carbon dioxide. However, the fresh and refined aluminium particles settle at the bottom of the pot.
Ultimately no matter which method used, it’s important that what is gained is high-quality aluminium. High-quality aluminium which has been manufactured from raw materials as well as recycled materials which may have been supplied from various production plants.
Once the aluminium has been processed, providing aluminium for commercial builders and suppliers means working to precise requirements and specifications, hence the need for very specialist machinery.
Specialist machinery and software such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining, which is used to help mould, shape and cut the aluminium to any size, depending on what has been entered into the programme’s process.
This process is most often used when manufacturing complex engine equipment and aircraft parts that demand an extremely high level of precision.
Cold pressing is another technique that aluminium fabricators use to mould and bend aluminium to any shape you require. This process involves the aluminium slug being moulded into the preferred form by using a hydraulic to apply extreme pressure. It is then followed when the metal is in a cool state, hence why you might also hear the term “cool stamping.”
If you’re looking for aluminium to be produced in a more complex form than fear not as the method of tapping and drilling can also be used and is extremely effective.
This method is usually operated via a computerised system and involves the metal being shaped into the microns of the set sizes. Products often manufactured using this technique include tyre rims, automotive tools, and camshafts. Most of the by-products which are the result of the fabrication of aluminium are also used in industries such as ceramics and detergent.
From aluminium fabricated doors and windows, to shop fronts, mailboxes, golf clubs, pots, pans and more, aluminium fabrication is a very specialist process, and with continual advances in technology, we’re now able to see that many more things are possible aluminium.
For further information contact the team at Crucial Engineering today.