• 21 April 2024

Aluminum channels are a special type of extruded aluminum used for structural purposes. The main feature of a typical aluminum channel is two flanges protruding from one side of the web, which often resemble the letter C in cross-section.

How is an aluminum channel formed?

The creation of aluminum channels involves extruding round aluminum raw material - called billets or logs - through a channel-shaped die using a high-pressure piston. There are two main types of extrusion methods: direct and indirect. Direct extrusion holds the die rigidly while the piston pushes the billet through it. Indirect extrusion holds the billet in place while pushing the die into the hollow plunger along its length. In addition, the following are used:

- Hot extrusion. The extrusion process takes place after the raw material is heated to a plastic mold (exceeding the range of 800° to 1800° F, depending on the alloy composition), often carried out under vacuum to prevent oxidation.

- Cold extrusion. The processing of billets into shapes is carried out at or near room temperature.

- Straightening of aluminum profiles on stretchers follows the forming process, making them ready for use.

- Such channel section in the construction industry has an extremely wide range of applications.

Channel section vs. construction - characteristics

The design of the die determines various shapes, which can be simple or complex. Aluminum channel is widely used because of its advantages:

- C-iron in construction is characterized by high electrical and thermal conductivity. Aluminum's properties in this regard are twice as good as copper, making it the most popular material used in high-capacity overhead power lines.

- As for channel a structures, this one makes their strength increase. Aluminum has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it the best solution where low weight is necessary, while a high load force acts on the elements.

- C-steel in industry is valued for heat transfer and shielding. Where weight and stiffness are the main factors (aerospace applications), the heat transfer and shielding properties of aluminum are superior to copper shields.

- The channel vs. structure relationship is so strong because of aluminum's resistance to corrosion and rust. When exposed to oxygen, aluminum forms an oxide coating that protects it from rust and corrosion, enhanced by anodizing if necessary.

- C-iron in industry is valued for its lack of magnetic properties. In applications where the magnetic properties of materials pose problems, aluminum's non-magnetic properties are particularly valuable.

- Aluminum is often the best option in highly flammable or explosive applications.

- 100% recyclable. In the recycling process, aluminum is equal to the virgin material. In addition, recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to process the virgin material.

- Low toxicity and high reflectivity are other material properties that distinguish aluminum channels.

Industrial applications of aluminum ducts

Material selection is an important consideration in the manufacture of a wide range of products. The properties listed above make aluminum channels the optimal choice for many industries.

- The properties of aluminum make it the best choice for the construction of skyscrapers and bridges, such as the Empire State Building, the Bank of China Building and the Zaha Hadid London Aquatics Centre.

- Before the invention of airplanes, airships contained a large amount of aluminum. Today, various aluminum alloys are present in the fuselage, instruments and equipment of aircraft and spacecraft.

- The properties of aluminum make aluminum channels ideal for X-ray machines, dialysis equipment, hospital beds, dental chairs and wheelchairs.

- Aluminum sections are used in car chassis construction, as well as in door, trunk and hood construction.

- Aluminum channels allow the construction of lighter commuter trains and aircraft, as well as loading ramps and equipment used in the shipping industry.

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