Aluminium is now the most popular and used material to manufacture everyday products that we use around the home or in our daily lives.
It provides manufacturers as well as product innovators a whole host of benefits (such as being durable, robust and extremely lightweight), which are then offered to the consumer in the form of a finished product.
It is the finished product that is of value. Yet for it to reach this stage, the aluminium itself must go through several different processes and endure harsh temperature and purification techniques which are all part of an aluminium fabrication process.
What is the process of aluminium fabrication?
Aluminium fabricators will typically use two processes.
These processes are known as refining and smelting methods.
The refining process involves mixing materials and compounds. These will include sedimentary rock, Bauxite (which is high in aluminium content), and caustic soda, all being crushed and mixed, processing them into a slurry which will contain ore particles.
The slurry is then moved through extreme heat and heavy pressure to dissolve the aluminium compound.
Once this stage is complete, a liquid is created, which is filtered in a tank for all impurities to settle at the bottom.
The primary solution is then pumped through the filters.
The smelting process is where the aluminium solution is opened to electric currents to allow the oxygen and aluminium particles to split and separate from each other quickly.
The process will result in the freshly refined aluminium particles settling at the bottom of the pot and the small oxygen molecules forming carbon dioxide as they are attracted to the carbon rod.
Both the refining and smelting process will result in high-quality aluminium, which can be sourced from both raw and recycled materials.
Aluminium fabricators work with contractors and product designers to meet specific requirements and specifications to start working and turning the aluminium into the finished product.
This involves specialist machinery and software so that aluminium can be moulded, shaped, and cut to any size.
It also involves a degree of skill and precision engineering, which is why you will mainly find the Computer Numerical Control processes, used in the manufacturing of sophisticated engine equipment or aircraft parts.
Aluminium fabricators will also use a process known as “cold pressing.” This process is used to mould and bend aluminium by using hydraulics to apply extreme pressure. When the aluminium is in a cool state, it can then be moulded and shaped with ease. This process is also where you might hear the term “cool stamping.”
Tapping and drilling also form part of an aluminium fabricators duties, and these particular processes are typically carried out via a computerised system, where the metal shapes into the microns of the set sizes.
Tyre rims, automotive tools, and camshafts are all example products which have been manufactured using this process.
The fabrication of aluminium can also result in several by-products which you will find used in the ceramic and detergent industries.
Aluminium is not only a specialist process, but the material itself is undoubtedly growing in popularity as we now see aluminium doors and windows, shop fronts made from aluminium frames, golf clubs, pots, pans and more.
Advances in technology allow so much more to be produced and aluminium fits into these advances in technology perfectly.
If you have any further questions regarding aluminium fabrication, call the experts at Crucial Engineering today.