Uses for Aluminium Extrusions In Vehicles

Buy Metal OnlineThere are a variety of uses for various extrusions and metal mouldings of aluminium, especially when the situation requires a great deal of tensile strength with a degree of flexibility and, most importantly, the minimum possible weight. A lot of manufacturers making use of aluminium extrusions are finding that these are being put into place in very demanding structural applications, requiring quite novel design solutions in order to provide the needed functionality without compromising on weight and strength.

Sunroof channels are a popular use of aluminium extrusions. Aluminium is particularly good for creating complex parts which have multiple features, reducing costs via easier assembly and a smaller number of parts. As sunroof channels form part of a sliding system, they need a smooth and low friction surface which is also very hard wearing. To achieve this, manufacturers use mill-product extensions with a particularly high quality surface finish which is produced through close tooling and process control. Most extrusions are also anodised, giving a layer of aluminium oxide on the surface which is a lot harder than the metal alloy itself.

Roof rails are another popular use of aluminium, which is used here to provide aesthetically pleasing parts without adding a great deal of additional weight to the vehicle. Again these form components of a multi-part assembly so consistency and yield stresses are top priority for manufacturers.

Side intrusion beams, now expected to be fitted as a standard safety feature in most vehicles, are a popular use of aluminium as the material allows additional safety features to be added to a car without greatly increasing the weight. Most OEMs now expect to buy sub-assemblies rather than individual parts, so aluminium extrusion techniques allow the beams to be created ready to fit straight into vehicle doors.

Crush cans make use of the relatively low density of aluminium as well as its ability to absorb energy, which is actually greater than steel. Manufacture of a simple section with high extrusion throughputs and material recovery rates produces a structure which will collapse in a very controlled manner, giving the maximum possible energy absorption for maximum safety to the occupant of the vehicle.

While it is not always practical to obtain custom aluminium mouldings for personal or small workshop projects, many DIY enthusiasts take advantage of specialist metal cutting services which allow the purchase of metal components and extrusions in a range of commonly used shapes and alloys. Stores like www.clickmetal.co.uk are invaluable to such hobbyists or small businesses, and many offer free shipping on bulk orders over a given value which offers additional benefits for combining orders with other local enthusiasts or joining together to form hobby clubs for larger projects.

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