Aluminium Extrusions are All Around
Why aluminium? Aluminium extrusions are all around you whether you are at work, driving your car, at home or at leisure.
Aluminium Extrusions are everywhere today. In the office, in the car, at home or when having fun, aluminium is all around you. Aluminium now forms part of our everyday life. It is everywhere you go and whether for consumer products, for building, for safety and security or for pleasure it is by far the most common material we use and interact with in our daily lives.
Saving the Environment
In the past wood was commonly used in furniture for instance but the forest is the only source of wood. Nowadays the use of aluminium in furniture design is a sensible contribution towards the conservation of the existing forests.
Architects and designers seek materials that have a low impact on the environment but are also easy to manufacture, aesthetically pleasing and corrosion resistant. Modern shop and office door frames are made from aluminium extrusions with a considerable weight saving over wood. In single storey buildings that may not be a huge weight saving but imagine the weight saved when aluminium is used in skyscrapers.
Aluminium extrusion has the added advantage of a high strength to weight ratio, even higher than steel and its weight is only one third that of steel.
Aluminium is a technically versatile material allowing for a great variety of shapes and contours. For instance using aluminium extrusions for window and door frames allows the designer to provide interlocking sections with all the necessary in-built characteristics such as groves and screw retainers.
As you walk around your office, home or shop consider where aluminium extruded profiles have been used. There might be more than you thought.
You are never far away from aluminium extrusions at work. You will be surrounded by aluminium extrusions in the furniture and in modular and flexible trunking systems, delivering the services to your desk while maintaining a clean, clutter-free work environment. The partitioning, walls, and ceilings will all owe their slim, maintenance free good looks to aluminium extrusions – possibly integrated with water channels in ceiling profiles to keep you just at the right temperature. Your pc hides at least one anodised aluminium extrusion in the form of a heat sink. This takes advantage of aluminium’s excellent thermal conductivity, unique anodising capability and freedom of design to keep your computer’s processor cool. Cubicle work spaces which provide a private and flexible work environment may often be from aluminium extrusions. The ubiquitous “white board” will have an aluminium extruded frame and the very shell of the building is likely to be clad with glazed aluminium curtain walling modules. If the hand wash dispenser has that smart, clean, functional look, it is probably because it is an aluminium extrusion.
Whilst driving home from the office you are likely to be literally surrounded by aluminium. It is well known today that many car manufacturers choose aluminium. Aston Martin, Lotus, Jaguar or Audi are cocooned in an aluminium space frame made up of a combination of aluminium extrusions castings and sheet. Drivers’ safety is also likely to depend on extrusions such as, airbag deployment doors, side impact members and crash management systems. Air-conditioning in cars has become standard nowadays. These are aluminium extrusions and drawn tubes which are now the norm for heat exchanger components. Aluminium extrusions are also found in the engine compartment. Diesel engines have become more and more popular over the last decade and some highly innovative solutions have led to aluminium extrusions being used for the fuel rails. Anodised aluminium is now fashionable as a design statement in car interiors with many interior finishes and accessories exhibiting that brushed silver appearance of anodised aluminium –scratch resistance, ease of cleaning and recylability being additional benefits.
Aeroplanes, trains and buses all utilise aluminium extrusions in their construction. Look closely next time and you will see just how many items in these forms of transport are made of aluminium. The handrails, luggage racks and seats are all likely to be aluminium extrusions as well.
Our homes also display lots of aluminium. The first obvious one is your windows and doors. If they’re made of aluminium you will use those daily. Modern windows will be powder coated in white, grey or maybe another colour, older double glazing will be silver anodised.
Look at your furniture, cupboards and more. Does it have aluminium handles, hinges and support frames? Your stepladder may well be aluminium as will other items around the home. If you have a garden do you have an aluminium greenhouse, aluminium tools and more?
It is probable that the gadget you use the most will have aluminium in its construction. How many of us have iphones, ipods and ipads – again these are aluminium. Is the ipod the most iconic product of recent times? Apple products utilise aluminium extrusions significantly in their construction.
So as you see, aluminium extrusions are all around us. Aluminium is one of the earth’s most abundant materials, endlessly recyclable, capable of being used in just about any design, shape and form. It now forms a part of our daily lives everywhere you go. Take a moment and see how much aluminium is around you, now you know where to look!