The Difference Between Drawn and Extruded Aluminum

Aluminum is one of the most versatile metals used in manufacturing today. Aluminum is used across many industries to produce products in an almost unlimited number of shapes for an almost unlimited number of uses. With such versatility, it’s no surprise that there are several different manufacturing methods for aluminum extrusion product production. The two most common processes for aluminum forming include the extrusion process and the drawing process. There are some key differences when comparing the two. Read on to learn about aluminum extrusion and drawing processes, as well as tips on how to choose the right one for your project.

Drawn Aluminum Process

The process of drawing aluminum is done by pulling or drawing the aluminum into a die cavity, during which the aluminum undergoes what is known as plastic deformation. Plastic deformation occurs when aluminum is stretched to achieve the desired shape. When stretching aluminum, close attention must be paid to the flexibility and elasticity of the metal. Stretched too much, it will become brittle and fragile. Drawn aluminum is most commonly used to manufacture products including pots, cans, tubes, and other round objects.

Aluminum Extrusion Process

Aluminum etching,extruded ,cnc machining and more differs from drawn aluminum in that the formed shape is first formed by heating the metal to very high temperatures until it is soft and ductile, but not liquid. Once the aluminum is heated, it is then forced or pushed through the die. The product that comes out the other end will be shaped through a die and formed into the desired final product. To visualize the extrusion process, it can help to picture a tube of toothpaste. In this case, the toothpaste is formed into a shape by a circular opening through which the toothpaste is pushed. Once the aluminum is extruded, it will begin to cool and harden. As it hardens, the final product becomes strong and durable and will hold the desired shape.

Differences Between Drawn and Extruded Aluminum

While both processes can be used to create similar finished products, there are some differences between the two. These differences include:
Cost. Typically, the extrusion process tends to be less expensive than drawn aluminum. This is because cold drawn aluminum often requires a lot of tooling and materials to complete.
Product Created. Extrusion and drawing processes are often used to produce different types of products. For example, extruded aluminum can be used to create tubes, doors, window frames, brackets, and railings. Drawn aluminum will similarly be used to create pipes, in addition to products like cans and jars.

BE-CU Industrial is a leading provider of custom and specialty extrusions, as well as extruded and drawn tubing. We carry a large inventory of custom aluminum profiles and standard shapes for next-day delivery. If we don’t have what you want in stock, we will help you design and create a shape designed specifically for you. We offer high-quality aluminum products that are built to last. If you are ready to start your next project, contact our customer service team today to discuss the best extrusion for your project. We will be happy to make recommendations and send quotes for items of interest.

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