The Complete Guide for Aluminum Fabrication

Aluminum Fabrication

Aluminum fabrication is an important manufacturing process you can use to make many parts.

Whether you want to make aluminum profiles, aluminum enclosures, or aluminum automotive parts – you will adopt efficient and cost-effective techniques to fabricate aluminum.

In this guide, you are going to learn how to fabricate aluminum by choosing the right material, alloy grade, and fabrication technique, just to mention a few.

So, as an aluminum fabricator who wants to gain more knowledge in the metal fabrication industry – this is the right guide for you.

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Aluminum Fabrication

Aluminum fabrication are processes or techniques you can use to manipulate aluminum rods, sheets, bars, or tubes to make useful metal parts.

Implying, you can cut, bend, assemble and apply suitable surface finishing to get useful aluminum products.

Cutting Aluminum
Cutting Aluminum

Later in Chapter 6, you will learn more about different aluminum fabrication techniques. But first, let’s look at different aluminum materials that are suitable for the fabrication process.

Stamped Aluminum Parts
Stamped Aluminum Parts

Chapter 2: Types of Aluminum Materials to Fabricate

Aluminum material comes in different forms:

  • Aluminum sheet metal or aluminum plate
  • Aluminum rods
  • Aluminum tubes
  • Aluminum metal bars

The best part, metal fabrication offers unlimited possibilities to transform different aluminum materials into useful products.

For example, you can:

Fabricate Aluminum Sheet Metal

Aluminum sheet metal is a flat section available in varying gauges or thicknesses. You can fabricate aluminum sheet metal to make electrical enclosures, cylindrical sections, etc.

Laser Cutting Aluminum Sheet Metal
Laser Cutting Aluminum Sheet Metal

Fabricating Aluminum Rods

Aluminum rods are solid metal structures with varying cross-section designs. They are available as round, square, rectangular, etc.

Actually, there are similar to aluminum metal bars.

So, whether your focus is on fabricating aluminum bars or fabricating aluminum rods – you can make unlimited structures. There are many machine sections or bridges fabricated from aluminum rods and bars.

Cutting Aluminum Rods
Cutting Aluminum Rods

Fabricating Aluminum Tubes

Aluminum tubes are hollow sections. In most cases, they have cylindrical shapes.

Again, you can fabricate aluminum tubes or aluminum pipes to make different structures. You can make aluminum heat exchanger tubes, architectural structures, or piping systems.

Cutting Aluminum Tubes
Cutting Aluminum Tubes

In a nutshell, you can fabricate any aluminum material. All you need is to adopt a suitable technique, the right aluminum alloy grade, and metal fabrication equipment.

With that in mind, let’s move a step further to evaluate various aluminum alloys suitable for the metal fabrication process.

Chapter 3: Best Aluminum Alloys/Grade for Metal Fabrication

Whether you are choosing aluminum alloy for stamping, welding, or bending process, they must conform to specific criteria.

Therefore, you must know the basic aluminum grades and uses. This will ensure you get quality aluminum fabricated parts.

Here are aluminum grades explained:

Type of Aluminum Alloy Grade Description
1-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Aluminum content is 99% – actually, this is pure aluminum

·         Low strength

·         Low melting point making welding slightly difficult

·         Known for excellent electrical conductivity

·         Superior corrosion resistance

·         Excellent formability properties

·         Not suitable for heat treatment

2-xxx aluminum alloys ·         It has copper as the main alloying element

·         Corrosion resistance is slightly reduced hence requiring coating or panting after fabrication

·         Excellent strength

·         Superior hardness

·         Poor formability

·         Easy to machine

·         Requires heat treatment

3-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Manganese is the main alloying element

·         Excellent corrosion resistance

·         Superior heat resistance

·         It is formable

·         Moderate strength though it is 20% stronger than the 1xxx aluminum series

·         The alloy is weldable

·         Not suitable for heat treatment

4-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Perfect for filler material during welding

·         Characterized by low melting point

·         Silicon is a major alloying element

·         It is weldable

·         It is formable

5-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Not suitable for heat treatment

·         Superior tensile strength

·         Easy to weld

·         Excellent corrosion resistance

·         High strength, which varies between 18ksi and 51ksi

·         Manganese is a key alloying elements

·         Alloy is formable and weldable

6-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Exceptional resistance to corrosion

·         High tensile strength which varies between 18ksi and 58ksi

·         Silicone and manganese are the main alloying elements

7-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Zinc is the main alloying element

·         Greatest tensile strength of all aluminum grades

·         Strength varies between 32ksi and 88ksi

·         Easy to machine

·         Poor corrosion resistance compared to other aluminum grades

·         It is weldable

8-xxx aluminum alloys ·         Known for exceptional formability

As you can see, these aluminum alloy grades have different properties. These make the aluminum grades suitable for specific applications as you will see later in Chapter 7.

Again, it is worth noting that the classification above is a broad category. For instance, in:

  • 7-xxx aluminum series, we have 7075-0, 7075-T6, etc.
  • 6-xxx aluminum series there the 6005A, 6061, 6082, etc.

Consequently, each aluminum series have unique fabrication properties. Even as you choose any aluminum grade for fabrication, you should consider:

  • Aluminum alloy availability
  • A specific application for fabricated aluminum parts
  • Degree of formability
  • Whether you can fabricate aluminum easily or not
  • Ductility
  • Aluminum grade weldability
  • Tensile strength
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Surface finish or treatment
  • Whether heat treatment is required or not

If you need a detailed catalog for aluminum grades, as a leading aluminum fabricator in China, we will send it for free.

More Resources:

Standard Aluminum Grades – Source: Rapid Direct

Aluminum Grades – Source: AZO Materials

Aluminum Alloy Grades – Source: Fractory

Types of Aluminum – Source: Thomas

Chapter 4: Benefits of Aluminum Fabrications

When it comes to metal fabrication, aluminum is still a functional and popular material.

Other metals for fabrication include:

Aluminum’s popularity in metal fabrication is due to the many benefits it offers. In fact, nearly every industry depends on aluminum fabricated parts.

Aluminum Pipes in Radiator System
Aluminum Pipes in Radiator System

Here is why you should consider fabricating aluminum:

1. Many Aluminum Alloy Grades are Available

There are many aluminum grades available for any fabrication process.

It does not matter whether you want aluminum grade with the highest strength, excellent welding properties, or better tensile strength.

There is a grade that will meet your specific application requirements.

2. Aluminum is a Durable Material

Aluminum is a durable material that can serve you for many years. In fact, aluminum will maintain its mechanical and physical strength. That is, for as long as the fabricated aluminum part remains functional.

3. Aluminum has High Strength to Weight Ratio

Aluminum’s density is about one-third the density of steel. As a result, aluminum is a perfect choice in applications where weight is a major concern.

Remember, strength to weight ratio is an important material property when fabricating aluminum parts for the aerospace industry. This plays a significant role in cost savings.

The 2xxx series and 7xxx series are popular alloys in the aerospace industry.

Although pure aluminum does not have high strength, alloying makes it possible to have better grades.

4. In Extremely Cold Working Conditions, Aluminum Maintain High Tensile Strength

At extremely low temperatures, aluminum’s tensile strength will remain the same. In fact, there is research suggesting that tensile strength tends to increase.

This is not the case with some steel grades whose tensile strength decreases at extremely low temperatures.

Additionally, as the temperature decreases, they will still maintain the desired toughness.

The tensile strength of pure aluminum is 90Mpa. However, when you add alloying elements alongside heat treatment, you can increase the tensile strength to 690Mpa.

5. Aluminum has Superior Corrosion Resistance Properties

Whenever you expose the aluminum surface to oxygen, it will form an oxide layer. The oxide layer will protect aluminum from corrosion.

Although aluminum is resistant to most alkalis, the same does not apply to all acids.

Again, the degree of corrosion resistance varies among the different aluminum grades.

6. Aluminum Alloys Exhibit Superior Thermal Conductivity

The Aluminum 3xxx series are popular for heat exchanger systems.  Of course, this is due to better thermal conductivity.

In fact, its thermal conductivity is three times better than most steel alloys.

7. Aluminum is Safe and Non-Toxic

Even at elevated temperatures, aluminum does not release any toxic substances. It explains why aluminum is a perfect material for most cooking utensils.

Additionally, it is impermeable and odorless.

8. Aluminum Has Better Electrical Conductivity

Aluminum alloy 1350 is popular for its good electrical conductivity. Even though it does not match the conductivity of annealed copper, it can still serve as an electrical conductor.

9. Aluminum is Inherently Reflective

Aluminum can reflect about 80% of visible light. The same applies to radiant energy.

10. Easy to Form and Fabricate

Although some aluminum grades are not easily formable, most grades exhibit excellent machining and fabricating properties.

Some grades are perfect for cold working while others are heat treatable.

Apart from these, fabricating aluminum is cost-effective.

Additionally, you can also recycle aluminum. In fact, nearly 75% of aluminum products in the U.S. are made from recycled materials. This makes aluminum a sustainable metal.

Clearly, there are many reasons why you should consider fabricating aluminum parts.

Different Types of Aluminum Enclosure Systems
Different Types of Aluminum Enclosure Systems

Chapter 5: Limitations of Aluminum Metal Fabrication

Although fabricated aluminum parts have many benefits, there are certain limitations. Therefore, even as you go about the aluminum fabricating process, it is important to note the following:

1. At Times Aluminum Maybe More Expensive than Steel

When you compare steel which has the same strength as aluminum, the latter is slightly more expensive. Therefore, it may not be a perfect choice is some metal fabrication applications.

2. Welding Aluminum May Not Bes Easy and Straightforward

When it comes to welding some aluminum grades, the process can prove to be a challenge. For instance:

  • It may burn due to low melting point – some aluminum grades have a low melting point
  • The high thermal expansion may also make welding aluminum a challenging process
  • At times molten aluminum may absorb hydrogen which will make it porous after solidification. Again, the porous nature may make aluminum difficult to weld.
  • The oxide lay on aluminum may require cleaning before and during welding. This will make the process cumbersome.

Apart from these, in a situation where strength is a key requirement, steel is a perfect choice.

Still, the benefits of aluminum outweigh the limitations. A reason aluminum is still a perfect choice in the metal fabrication industry.

Chapter 6: Aluminum Fabricating Techniques

There are many techniques you can use when fabricating aluminum. The technique you choose will depend on the fabricated aluminum parts you want to make.

But, even before you think of the fabrication techniques, you should:

Design Aluminum Parts for Fabrication

You should choose the appropriate software to design the aluminum parts. There are many design software such as:

  • Fusion 360
  • KeyCreator
  • Inventor
  • Solid Edge
  • SolidWorks, etc.

Use these tools to design the aluminum parts.

If you cannot get aluminum fabricators near you to design the aluminum parts, KDM is here to help. Our team will design all the aluminum parts for free.

Choose Aluminum Grade for Fabrication

Once you have the design, you will then choose a suitable aluminum grade. Earlier in Chapter 2, we did highlight various aluminum alloys grades. So, ensure you choose a suitable aluminum alloy material for the fabrication process.

Again, your aluminum fabricator should help you choose a perfect aluminum grade for the fabrication process.

Now, with these two in mind, let’s explore the different aluminum fabrication techniques.

6.1. Cutting Aluminum

To fabricate aluminum, you will cut the parts you need for the subsequent processes. With the advancements in technology, there are many tools and equipment you can use to cut aluminum.

Let’s look at common aluminum cutting techniques:

Aluminum Cutting Technique How Aluminum Cutting Technique Works Advantages of the Aluminum Cutting Process Limitations of Aluminum Cutting Technique
Aluminum Waterjet Cutting ·         A stream of water with an abrasive material cuts aluminum material ·         Guarantee high precision

·         Produces excellent cut

·         There is no thermal damage to aluminum

·         It cuts aluminum with varying thickness

·         Cutting process is slow

·         The initial setup cost is high

·         Cutting very thick aluminum reduces the accuracy

Laser Cutting Aluminum ·         A high-power laser beam precisely cuts aluminum material to any shape you desire.

·         In case you are using a carbon (IV) laser cutter, you should coat aluminum due to its reflective nature. This will protect the laser machine from any damage.

·         CO2 can has a high operational cost. Besides, it can cut no more than 3mm thick aluminum.

·         Fiber laser is a perfect option when cutting aluminum

·         Highly efficient process

·         Known for a high degree of precision

·         It is easy to control the cutting process

·         It is a fast process

·         Aluminum will not have any mechanically induced stress

·         Not suitable for highly reflective aluminum surfaces

·         You may require secondary machining

·

Cutting aluminum with shears ·         A common tool for cutting aluminum sheet ·         Suitable for small-scale projects

·         Do not require electricity

·         Does not cause thermal stress

·         Can only cut think aluminum sheets
Plasma-cutting aluminum sheet ·         A narrow plasma jet cuts aluminum material

·         Normally, the machines ionize a gas stream at 20,000°C. As a result, the gas stream at high temperatures and speed cuts the aluminum sheet.

·         Cutting process is simple

·         Can cut both thick and thin aluminum material

·         There could be slag build-up due to high heat accumulation

·         Although you can cut thick aluminum, the process can be challenging

Using a saw to cut aluminum ·         Circular saws are suitable for straight cuts on aluminum.

·         A hacksaw can cut both aluminum bars and rods, however, it is suitable for short lengths

·         Jigsaws can easily make curved cuts in aluminum material

·         Table saws are suitable for straight-edge cuts

·         Band saws are best for thick aluminum material

·         Affordable aluminum cutting solution

·         Best for both thick and thin aluminum materials as long as you choose a suitable saw blade

 

·         The aluminum cuts require further processing

·         Manual saws are cumbersome to use and may result in inconsistent cuts

However, there are other ways you can cut aluminum sections such as:

  • Drilling aluminum – A standard HSS drill bit or cobalt drill bit can make holes through aluminum sheets.
  • Milling aluminum – a rotating cutter will remove unwanted aluminum sections. The milling speed should be high to get a quality surface finish.
  • Grinding aluminum – It is an abrasive technique that removes an unwanted section from the aluminum surface. The abrasive material is always in a rotary motion. You can use this technique as a finishing operation.
  • Turning aluminum – It is a machining technique you can use to make cylindrical shapes. As the workpiece rotates on a lathe machine, the cutting tool removes unwanted sections.
  • Punching aluminum – during the process, you will use a die and punch to create holes in aluminum material. Although we regard this as a cutting operation, you can also use the technique to make other aluminum parts and components.
  • Blanking aluminum – the process is similar to aluminum punching. It cuts a section in the aluminum sheet metal.

In short, there are many aluminum cutting techniques. It is upon you to choose cutting techniques that meet specific requirements for your fabricated aluminum parts.

More Resources:

Aluminum Cutting – Source: KDMFAB

Laser Cutting Sheet Metal – Source: KDMFAB

Cutting Aluminum Sheet – Source: CNC Masters

Plasma Cutting Aluminum – Source: HYPERTHERM

Waterjet Cutting Aluminum – Source: TECHNI Waterjet

6.2. Forming Aluminum Metal

When fabricating aluminum, you will apply a mechanical force to deform the material to a suitable shape and design. It is this deformation that we refer to as the metal forming process.

Again, the aluminum forming technique or method will depend on the shape you need.

Below are some techniques you can consider:

Aluminum Bending Process

Bending Aluminum Tube
Bending Aluminum Tube
Aluminum Sheet Metal Bending Parameters
Aluminum Sheet Metal Bending Parameters

Bending helps to deform aluminum material into virtually unlimited shapes.

The best parts, most aluminum grades are formable. Therefore, you can bend aluminum using simple machines.

Before bending aluminum, consider:

  • Aluminum stretching capability (elongation)
  • Aluminum thickness
  • Bend radius and length
  • Bending allowance
  • Bend line
  • Possible spring back
  • Possible tolerance during bending
  • K factor

Once you know all these, you can bend aluminum easily. Among the key methods you can use to bend aluminum include:

  • Bending aluminum using a press brake machine – using a punch and die system, the machine shapes aluminum into suitable shapes.
  • Roll bending aluminum – unlike the press brake machine, here the rollers transform aluminum materials into curved shapes.
  • Using ram and push to ben aluminum – as the name suggests, through the ram and push action, the machine transforms aluminum into suitable shapes.
  • Using hand tools to bend aluminum – there are many hand tools you can use to bend the aluminum. However, this process is very slow.
  • Stretch forming aluminum – here, you will stretch and bend aluminum material at the same time. The stretch press use dies to form aluminum into suitable shapes.
  • Compression bending aluminum – using a punch and die system, the machine bends aluminum into desired configurations.
  • Bending aluminum using rotary draw technique – using die and mandrel, the rotary draw bending machine applies a force that transforms aluminum material into required shapes.
  • Using three rollers to bend aluminum – once you position aluminum, the three rollers are activated to transform aluminum into suitable shapes.

In most cases, these are some popular techniques you can use to bend aluminum tubes, sheets, or rods. However, through other actions or processes, you can bend or deform aluminum.

Let’s review other techniques you can use to deform aluminum:

Aluminum Forming Technique or Method Description
Aluminum deep drawing ·         In aluminum deep drawing, you will use a punch and die to form sheet metal. A combination of punch and die draws aluminum sheet metal radial to form a suitable configuration.
Aluminum stamping ·         Using a die, you will transform aluminum into different shapes and designs. Ideally, the process forms an aluminum surface to some extent depending on the design.
Aluminum spinning ·         It is a manufacturing technique that forms aluminum sheets to make axially symmetrical shapes.

·         In most industrial setups, the lathe machine offers a perfect solution.

Aluminum hydroforming ·         Hydroforming produces aluminum parts that are structurally strong with intricate designs

·         Unlike other aluminum forming processes, it uses pressurized hydraulic fluid to shape aluminum.

·         Depending on your project requirements, you can opt for aluminum sheet hydroforming or aluminum tube hydroforming

Curling aluminum sheet ·         With aluminum sheet curling, you can form rugged edges on a flat surface

In short, depending on the fabricated aluminum part, there is an ideal technique that meets your unique specifications and requirements.

Just in case you want to work with an aluminum fabricator who understands your project’s requirements – KDM is here to help.

More Resources:

Aluminum Bending 101 – Source: KDM

Factors to Consider when Bending Sheet Metal – Source: KDM

Sheet Metal Bending Parts – Source: KDM

Metal Spinning – Source: IQS Directory

Sheet Metal Deep-drawing – Source: KDM

Aluminum Stamping – Source: KDM

Hydroforming – Source: KDM

6.3. Fabricated Aluminum Parts Assembly

At this point, it is important to note that not all fabricated aluminum parts require joining or assembly. That is to say:

  • At times, fabricating aluminum parts may just end in stage 1. That is, once you cut aluminum, you can get a final product.
  • Similarly, some fabricated aluminum parts may be ready for use after bending. Or, you may combine cutting and bending to get the final parts during aluminum fabrication.

However, at times you may require assembling different parts. Some common options when it comes to fabricated aluminum parts assembly include:

Welding Fabricated Aluminum Parts

Although welding remains a popular technique once you fabricate aluminum parts, there are certain challenges you have to deal with.

Take for instance:

  • Oxide layer – you should remove the oxide layer before welding aluminum. You should ensure the oxide layer does not form before the aluminum welding process is complete. At the same time, this becomes a challenge since aluminum forms a protective oxide layer on exposure to external oxygen.
  • Dealing with aluminum thermal conductivity – you will apply heat at a high rate.
  • Aluminum’s low melting point can be a challenge – you should be careful not to overheat aluminum during welding to prevent the possibility of the section from melting.
  • Effects on mechanical properties – for some aluminum grades, welding may compromise mechanical properties. As a result, this may require heat treatment

Below are common aluminum welding techniques:

Aluminum Welding Technique Description
Fusion welding aluminum ·         For light gauges with thickness varying between 0.8 and 12.5mm, you can use the TIG aluminum welding technique

·         With TIG welding, you can weld aluminum pipes, aluminum sheets for duct systems, etc.

·         TIG welding aluminum is perfect for edge welds, lap joints, and butts

·         MIG welding aluminum is known for its deep penetration capability

·         Additionally, MIG welding aluminum is faster than TIG welding aluminum

·         Whenever you are choosing filler material during TIG aluminum welding and MIG aluminum welding, you can consider the following alloys: aluminum-silicone alloys, pure aluminum, or aluminum-magnesium alloys

·         Note: With TIG welding and MIG welding will remove the oxide layer on the aluminum material electronically.

Resistance welding aluminum ·         Suitable for high strength and heat-treatable aluminum alloy

·         Although this welding technique can be an economical option when you compare it to fusion welding aluminum, it is not suitable for all applications.

·         When it comes to resistance welding aluminum, you can choose flash welding, spot welding, or seam welding.

Friction welding aluminum ·         When it comes to welding fabricated aluminum parts to dissimilar metals, friction welding offers the perfect solution.

·         Friction stir welding has become popular in the recent past.

·         The technique solves the problem associated with a brittle zone. The brittle zone phenomenon is common during fusion welding aluminum.

Note: Welding aluminum to other dissimilar metals such as steel is a big challenge. Normally, it is attributed to the variation in:

  • Thermal conductivity
  • Melting points

As a result, you may need structural transition joints. These are bimetallic strips.

Apart from welding aluminum, other feasible techniques you can use to join aluminum include:

  • Brazing aluminum – you furnace, torch, and dip when brazing fabricated aluminum parts. During the brazing process, you must control the temperature considering aluminum has a low melting point.
  • Joining fabricated aluminum parts with rivets – there are many rivets you can use to join aluminum parts. Depending on the join type, you can use solid rivets, blind rivets, split rivets, or tubular rivets. In most cases, aluminum rivets are made from grades 6061, 7075, 5052, 2017A, or 2024.
  • Bolts, screws, and nuts to assemble fabricated aluminum parts – these are common mechanical joints in the aluminum assembly process. With mechanical fasteners, you can easily assemble and disassemble such joints.
  • Using adhesive to join aluminum parts – in most cases, you can use adhesive alongside other joining mechanisms. Again, the surface should be enough for a strong joint to form.

After aluminum metal fabrication and subsequent assembly process, your part is almost ready for any applications. At times, applying surface finishes will improve the aluminum parts’ quality.

That takes us to another vital section – surface finishing techniques for aluminum parts.

Aluminum Welding
Aluminum Welding

More Resources:

Rivets for Metal Assembly – Source: KDM

Metal Assembly Techniques – Source: KDM

Aluminum Welding – Source: KDM

6.4. Fabricated Aluminum Surface Finishing Techniques

After the aluminum fabricating process, it is now time to apply a suitable surface finish. At the moment, there are many aluminum surfaces finishes that dramatically improve part quality.

For instance, the surface finishes on aluminum parts will:

  • Improve abrasion resistance properties
  • Enhance surface hardness
  • Improve appearance
  • Protect aluminum surface,

Depending on where you intend to use fabricated aluminum, you may consider:

Anodized Aluminum
Anodized Aluminum

Anodizing Aluminum

Anodizing is an electrochemical process you will use to add a protective layer on aluminum parts after Fabrication. The best part, you can anodize virtually all aluminum alloy grades.

Additionally, you can attain many vibrant colors, depending on the custom aluminum fabrication requirements.

Aluminum Finishing using Sublimation Technology

It is also referred to as the wood-effect finish. During this process, you can transfer wood patterns to aluminum parts.

Although it was never a common surface finish, many aluminum fabricating companies are adopting the technology.

Pretreatment on Aluminum Parts Surface

There are two common technologies:

  • Etching aluminum
  • Cleaning aluminum using acidic or alkaline solutions

You can apply a coating, which helps in powder or paint adhesion. As a result, you will get aluminum parts with enhanced corrosion resistance.

Mechanical Finishes on Aluminum

As the name suggests, you will use mechanical means to alter the aluminum material’s surface.  Some common techniques include:

  • Grinding aluminum
  • Sanding aluminum
  • Polishing aluminum
  • Buffing aluminum
  • Aluminum sandblasting
  • Bead blasting aluminum

Generally, these processes improve aluminum part quality. At times, they may lay a foundation for other cosmetic finishes on the aluminum surface.

Aluminum Powder Coating

During aluminum powder coating, you will apply the dry powder using an electrostatic gun. Next, you will bake the aluminum surface and then allow it to cure.

Although aluminum powder coating offers a better finish and protection, they are not as durable as anodized aluminum.

Closely related to this is the Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coatings. These are resin coating with excellent corrosion resistance.

Painting Aluminum

You can apply liquid paint on aluminum parts after fabrication. The surface finish is popular due to the versatile and unlimited color options.

However, some liquid paints may contain VOCs. The VOCs may not be environmentally friendly.

Alodining Aluminum

Alodining is popular when it comes to aluminum passivation. Although it is an affordable alternative to anodizing, the aluminum finishing is not wear-resistant.

The best part, it has better electrical properties. Therefore, it is suitable for some applications.

Bright Dipping Aluminum

You can use bright dipping technology to remove oxides from aluminum surfaces. Moreover, you can use bright dipping to:

  • Remove burrs
  • Eliminate surface defects
  • Create certain surface textures
  • Create bright or matte surface finishes on aluminum

As you can see, there are many surface finishing options you can consider after fabricating aluminum. The choice will depend on the application, aesthetics, and protection level.

Once you apply the surface finish, quality inspection is an important process before using the products. You must check the mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical, and physical properties.

Where possible, ensure aluminum part fabrications conform to set quality standards.

More Resources:

Metal Surface Treatments – Source: KDM

Aluminum Surface Finishes – Source: Gabrian

Sheet Metal Finishing – Source: KDM

Chapter 7: Fabricated Aluminum Parts Applications

Fabricated Airplane Aluminum Part
Fabricated Airplane Aluminum Part

Once you know how to fabricate aluminum, you can make virtually any part. Aluminum fabrication plays an integral role in many industries.

Let’s list a few practical applications.

Aluminum Fabrication in Various Industries Examples of Fabricated Aluminum Parts
HVAC Industry ·         Heat exchanger systems especially the 3xxx series

·         Making heat sinks

·         Air conditioner systems

Home appliance ·         Cooking utensils, especially the 3xxx series

·         Fridge structure

Shipbuilding industry ·         Most marine equipment made from the 5xxx series

·         These may include piping systems, heat exchange parts, etc.

Decoration industry ·         Aluminum Plaque

·         Custom aluminum letters

Architectural industry ·         Aluminum window frames

·         Aluminum stairs

·         Aluminum profile for construction

·         Aluminum access covers

·         Aluminum manhole covers

·         The 4xxx is common in most architectural applications

·         Window frames

Electrical and electronics industry ·         Aluminum electrical enclosure

·         Aluminum junction box

·         5xxx series is best for making electronic components

·         Electrical conductors

Industrial machinery ·         Aluminum front panels for machines

·         Aluminum mounting plates

·         1xxx series are used to make parts and components in the food processing industry

Medical industry ·         Aluminum medical devices
Aerospace industry ·         2xxx series are used to make airplane parts and components such as fittings, etc.

·         7xxx series to making aircraft structures, hydraulic equipment

Food processing industry ·         5xxx used to make cans in the food processing industry, storage tanks
Automotive industry ·         Fabricating motor vehicle parts and components

You can talk to a trusted aluminum fabricator such as KDM, we will tell you if the material is suitable for your applications.

Chapter 8: KDM Capability in Aluminum Fabrication

With years of experience in the aluminum fabrication industry, KDM will help you:

  • Design
  • Choose a suitable aluminum alloy grade
  • Adopt a cost-effective fabrication technique

By investing in accurate, fast, and high-tech fabrication techniques, KDM offers unlimited capability in fabricating aluminum parts. Whether you want large or small aluminum parts, KDM has been serving the global market with high-quality fabricated parts.

Our engineers will collaborate with your team, to meet tight tolerances and deadlines. Even for small businesses, KDM will tailor a perfect solution for you.

Our OEM and custom aluminum metal fabrication offer diverse solutions for all our customers. Moreover, KDM quality control begins right from choosing high-quality aluminum alloy, all through to testing fabricated parts quality.

What’s more, KDM offers competitive prices for all fabricated aluminum parts.  – talk to us now for the best offers.

Conclusion

In short, fabricating aluminum is a systematic process that requires you to know your part design, choose alloy grade, adopt a cost-effective fabrication technique and apply the right finish.

Aluminum fabrication is an effective and versatile way to make parts and components.

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