The defect of aluminum profiles “pick-ups”

What is surface defects of aluminum profiles

Extruded aluminum is usually characterized by high quality of its surface. A combination of smooth and flat surface, outstanding optical properties and high corrosion resistance - all this gives aluminum profiles decisive advantages as compared with other metallic materials, for example, steels.

However, the surface quality of aluminum profiles is highly dependent on die design, quality metal workpiece and pressing technology. Therefore, with poor control of the production technology of aluminum profiles, various surface defects can occur on their surface [1-4]. Typical surface defects of extruded aluminum profiles are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - typical surface defects
extruded aluminum profiles [1]

Below we will consider “popular” extrusion of aluminum profiles 6xxx alloys defect, primarily, alloys 6060 and 6063 – defect “pick-ups”.

The name of defect

English name

The English spelling of the defect has various variations:

  • pick ups,
  • pick-ups (with a hyphen) and
  • pickups (слитно).

The combination pick up is used in English to mean the following actions:, hook it up, pick up and so on. P.

German title

This defect has the following German variants of the name [2]:

  • Preßsflöhe ("press fleas") – main name;
  • Preßfischchen ("press fish");
  • Preßabrieb ("press abrasions");
  • Klebstellen («nalipy» (?)) [Kleb – glue].

Russian name

GOST 22233-2018 mentions the following surface defects of aluminum profiles: bubbles, longitudinal traces of the matrix, teaser and adhered, but does not provide any technical descriptions of these defects. Defect, which in English is called pick-ups, and German - Preßsflöhe, apparently, most consistent defect "adhered", though, as will be seen below, this defect is and signs of "galling".

Note, that aluminum presses call this defect differently: "fleas" (like the Germans), "Hedgehogs" and "brush".

Details of the defect

The German catalog of defects for extruded aluminum profiles [2] gives the following description of the defect of Preßsflöhe (pick-ups):

"Fine particles of aluminum and aluminum oxide, which were taken from the surface of the aluminum profile and later settled again on its surface. Have the form of a comma or a comet, which are oriented in the pressing direction. May occur in conjunction with the defect "longitudinal tracks matrix" ".

In the dissertation [3], this defect is described as follows:

"Pick-ups defect" looks like broken lines of grooves (scoring), which often [but not always] end in a lump of aluminum particles (sticky), which rises above the surface of the profile ".

Appearance defect

A schematic view of the defect “pick-ups is shown in the figure. 2.

Figure 2 – Typical schematic appearance of a pick-ups defect [2]

Figure 3 – Defect «pick-ups» on the just extruded profile
without additional processing [2]

More information on the causes of the defect “nalip” and measures to prevent it, see.

Defects of aluminum profiles “pick-ups”: description, the causes, the prevention (in Russian)


1. Storen S. and Moe P.T. Extrusion // Handbook of Aluminum: Vol. 1/ George E. Totten, D. Scott MacKenzie, 2003.

2. Characteristics of extruded aluminum sections surfaces / IWK Aachen, 2001.

3. Surface Quality of Aluminium Extrusion Products / Xiao Ma, PhD Thesis, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, 2011.

4. Extrusion Defects Fundamentals & Solutions for Optimum Finish/ Jerome Fourmann (Rio Tinto), (AEC Webinar), 2017