The supply of aluminium alloys is normally done in the form of semi-finished products. It therefore calls for dealership processes to turn aluminium materials into finished and usable products. These semi-finished aluminium products include sheets, coils, wires, plates, extrusions and tubes. However, all this aluminium supply can be fabricated into finished products through a wide range of processes. This article looks at the various processes that aluminium supply goes through when contractors and manufacturers make finished products.
Methods of Cutting Aluminium
Depending on the shape and form, aluminium can be cut using several methods. Plates are cut using specialized saws, lasers and water or plasma jets to produce finished pieces with the desired elaborate shapes. Cutting with water jet is especially advantageous because the process does not generate heat and therefore does not interfere with the properties of aluminium. Tubes and extrusions are cut using circular saw blades with carbon tips. This can be improved by the use of stick wax on the blades for lubrication. Guillotining and band-sawing are other cutting methods suitable for aluminium supplies.
Welding is a perfect way of joining aluminium. However, aluminium has a strong oxide layer that has higher melting point than aluminium. This means that this layer must be removed and prevented from re-forming before welding is done. This layer is removed by chemical, electrical or mechanical means by qualified professionals. Care must be taken not to overheat aluminium, as this may affect the properties of the metal. Unlike stainless steel supply, aluminium has a lower melting point.
When producing finished products from aluminium supply alloys, grade selection should consider the durability of the alloy when in use. Aluminium joints are also dependent on the alloy tempers and formability.
Aluminium cans are made using this fabrication method. All finished products through this method assume a cup-like shape. It entails the use of force on a sheet of soft alloy to produce a female cavity.
How to Bend Aluminium
Aluminium supply materials are bent using four techniques. These are three roll bending, three point bending, wrap and mandrel bending and stretch forming. All these techniques are used on different aluminium alloys to produce different finished products.
Soldering and Brazing Aluminium
Like in welding, the oxide layer must be removed and temperature controlled to get the desired results. Aluminium is difficult to solder but a professional will still manage. A small area of the metal can be soldered while a longer portion can get distorted. The flux used to remove the oxide must also be removed immediately after soldering, as it corrodes aluminum. Brazing aluminium can also be done when proper temperature control is observed.Read More