Category Archive: Services & Capabilities

The Metals Most Commonly Used for Extrusions

The extrusion process pushes metal through a pre-formed die to shape it into a carefully designed cross-sectional profile. This process can achieve intricate cross-sections while simultaneously creating a quality surface finish. Many find this process especially useful for weak or brittle metals, since extruding relies entirely on compression and shearing.

The extrusion process is available in two different types. Continuous extrusions, in theory, can go on forever, creating one endless piece of material. Semi-continuous extrusions, conversely, are created in sections and create multiple extruded pieces.

How Is Metal Extruded?

Extruding metals may also increase the strength of the material and can be done with either hot or cold material.

Hot Extrusion

Heated billets of metal are hydraulically compressed into cylinders that contain dies. The dies allow the pressurized billet to escape via orifices of the desired shape. The metal emerges from these openings as a continuous bar with the same cross-sectional shape as the die opening. With the use of two sets of dies, stepped extrusions are created.

Lubricant reduces friction, protecting the die surfaces. Graphite is often used on non-ferrous alloys, and glass is the lubricant of choice for hot steel extrusion. The extrusion process can produce a wide array of configurations, including complex non-uniform and non-symmetrical shapes that would be difficult or impossible to roll. Metal extrusions can easily replace cumbersome or uneven seams created through other methods such as joining, welding, or riveting.

Cold Extrusion

The extrusion of cold metal has gone by a variety of names, including:

  • Impact extrusion
  • Cold forging
  • Cold extrusion forging
  • Cold pressing
  • Extrusion pressing

However, cold extrusion is likely the most common term in the steel sector. Impact extrusion is also a widely accepted term for the cold extrusion of non-ferrous metals.

The process usually involves a high-speed punch, which strikes a metal blank within a die cavity. The force of the punch drives the blank through space between the punch and die. The speed and distance of the punch can be controlled via various mechanical settings on the machine itself. The thickness of the final extruded part is will be determined by the distance setting.

Cold extrusion offers high strength, because of severe strain-hardening, good finish, stringent accuracy, and lower production costs due to less operational setup and requirements.

Which Metals Are Used for Custom Extrusions?

Almost any metals can be extruded, though doing so can be cost-prohibitive for high strength alloys. Below is a list of the most common metals used independently, or as alloys, as well as examples of their common end uses.

Aluminum

Manufacturers can extrude aluminum—the most frequently extruded material—using either the hot or cold methods. Extruded aluminum can be fabricated, painted, and anodized, and it produces complex cross-sections with aesthetically pleasing surface finishes. Because of its high corrosion resistance and excellent thermal conductivity, extruded-aluminum products play large roles in the construction, automotive, aerospace, industrial, and domestic product manufacturing sectors. Because of its light weight and affordability, aluminum is the metal of choice for extrusion projects that seek to optimize strength without sacrificing the end product’s weight.

Brass

Brass extrusions create end products that resist corrosion, benefiting applications that require optimal performance for long periods in various weather or atmospheric conditions. Brass-extruded products are known for their durability and aesthetic appeal, providing a golden glaze on handrails, doors, columns, furniture, gates, and other ornamental materials. Brass products also form major parts of automotive components, pipe connectors, and industrial machinery.

Titanium

Like aluminum, titanium provides a similar level of strength compared to heavier metals like steel, but its density is lighter, allowing manufacturers to reduce the amount their end products weigh. Aerospace manufacturers especially value titanium for its heat-resistant properties, keeping its shape at temperatures exceeding 800°C. Extruded titanium also undergoes a number of finishing processes such as heat treatment to refine grain structure and chemical treatment to enhance machinability.

Nickel

Nickel extrusion creates high-strength products that are silver-gray in appearance. Despite nickel’s toughness, extruded-nickel products retain a degree of malleability that allow them to perform well in a variety of applications. Because nickel can withstand direct impacts without weighing too much, it’s ideal for door and window fasteners, locks, mining equipment, musical instruments, animal harnesses, electronic components, and industrial machinery. Nickel also can be alloyed with metals including silver, copper, and zinc, creating a variety of color customization options and allowing it to be used for a range of architectural purposes.

Other metals

Metal extrusion also works well with copper, zirconium, and beryllium. Electronics manufacturers in particular rely on extruded copper to create wire, and it also forms essential parts of electrodes for welding, pipes, bars, and tubes. Zirconium benefits a wide range of forming and mechanical applications, and beryllium appears in many military and commercial guidance systems as well as the structural components of satellites and spacecraft, alloying well with copper.

Lynch Metals Offers Custom Aluminum Extrusions

Strong, durable, and light, extruded aluminum offers design flexibility as a corrosion-resistance choice for a wide variety of needs. Aluminum’s physical characteristics of malleability and ductility allow it to be easily extruded. At one third the density and stiffness of steel, extruded aluminum provides for both strength and stability at an efficient production cost. Coming with a low recyclability cost, aluminum has a very high rate of scrap recovery, making it a highly economical and environmentally sustainable material.

At Lynch Metals, we specialize in working with our customers to develop cost-effective engineered material solutions, such as extruded aluminum. Feel free to contact us with your questions regarding aluminum extrusion sourcing and distribution to see how Lynch Metals can positively impact your bottom line.

Lynch Metals Is a Premier Distributor of Aluminum Alloys to Various Industries

About Lynch Metals

Since opening in 1991, Lynch Metals has a premier North American supplier of aluminum fin stock and brazing sheet. While our initial focus was on aerospace, today we have expanded into other sectors, including automotive, signage, and telecommunications. We offer a range of in-house metal processing services for our customers, including:

  • Slitting and Rewinding

We are the only distributor to operate a Kampf high-speed slitter, which runs at 1600 feet per minute. In addition we also have Chicago Slitter, Goebel, and Rusch slitters in house, and we have three Rowe cut-to-length processing lines. We can custom cut widths between 10 ft. and 60 ft. Rewinding inner core widths vary in size, according to each machine’s capability.

  • Precision Saw Cutting

Our MetlSaw precision saw cutting machines produce burr-free edges, eliminating the need for smoothing and other secondary processes after cutting. These high-speed saws cut through both ferrous and non-ferrous materials, and are adept at achieving high production volumes. Our MetlSaw can cut a maximum of length of 192”, a maximum width of 24”, and a maximum thickness of 8”.

  • Blanking

Many industries find customized blanks to be an economical alternative to stock sheet sizes. The signage sector also relies on blanks to manufacture products. Our advanced technology enables precise length tolerances of 0.01”. Cut-to-order blanks reduce waste, granting economies of scale and reduced costs.

Aluminum Alloys for the Aerospace Sector

The aerospace industry often chooses aluminum due to its strength-to-weight ratio and its inherent resistance to corrosion. Demand for aluminum in this sector is expected to double by 2028. As a distributor for several mills, Lynch Metals is poised to keep up with the increasing demand for aluminum parts and components. We can supply the fin stock and brazing sheets you need, when you need them.

Our proprietary Multiclad brazing sheet is well-suited for use by the aerospace sector. This unique brazing sheet consists of three layers instead of two, containing a 3003 interlayer between the 4000 Series cladding and the 6000 core. The result is a thinner, stronger sheet suitable for the stresses and harsh environments posed by aerospace applications.

Brazing Sheet for the Automotive Industry

Aluminum offers ideal properties for the automotive industry, including its crashworthiness—it absorbs shock twice as well as steel. Due to an increased focus on fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, lightweight aluminum is being used more in vehicle production.

Shortages of materials affect the entire supply chain, and this can be crippling in automotive. We source our brazing sheets from large, global producers, ensuring. stock is always available when you need it.

For easy identification, we can also mark the clad side of the brazing sheet with either a stencil or vinyl coating. These markings help to eliminate errors during production, ultimately reducing waste and reducing costs.

Channel Letter Coil and Aluminum Blanks for Storefront Signage

For storefront signage, we provide both channel letter coil and flat sheet stock. Our channel letter coil is used to manufacture three-dimensional lettering. We have more than 30 colors of aluminum for signage in stock to match your storefront or business aesthetic. Aluminum’s lighter weight and flexibility allow for creativity in your sign design.

Our customized blanking line enables us to produce signage with a variety of corner radii and holes. Aluminum signage withstands the day-to-day effects of outdoor conditions – up to and including severe weather – ensuring your sign will look professional for a long time to come.

4000 Series Aluminum Alloys for Telecommunications

The 4000 series aluminum alloy is created via a combination of aluminum and silicon. Due to its fluidity, this alloy is suitable for welding applications in the telecommunications industry. We can also use the 4000 series as brazing filler materials.

 

Lynch Metals: Your Premier Metal Supplier

Our extensive inventory expands beyond aluminum, and also includes stainless steel and nickel alloys. With our custom stocking program and Just-in-Time deliveries, you can free up valuable floor space while eliminating the hassle of excessive inventory. To speak with a salesperson, receive a quote, or have a catalog sent to you, please contact us.