Extruded aluminum in the automotive industry

Aluminum extruded profiles and rolled aluminum - plates, sheets and foil - this is aluminum products, aluminum which is called "semi-finished".

aluminum semi-finished products

Aluminum semi-finished - it, so to speak, "Unfinished products", aluminum products, Sources from which the blanks for the manufacture of aluminum is completely finished products and parts. Aluminum semi-finished products are obtained by pressing (extrusion) or rolling. These include:

  • extruded aluminum products: profiles, tubes, rods and
  • rolled aluminum products - rolled aluminum: sheets, thick, conventional and thin, as well as foil.

From these semi-finished products, extruded and rolled, machining methods, or methods by pressure produced completely finished articles or car parts, for example, elements of the frame and body, seat, doors, bumpers.

Aluminum profiles in the car

Extruded profiles are produced on special machines, which is called the extrusion press by the heated aluminum extrusion billet through a slot in the matrix. This slot has a cross-sectional shape fabricated Profile. Profiles can be open or closed, solid and hollow, symmetrical and asymmetrical, with almost unlimited cross-sectional shape.

The only limitations for aluminum profiles are:

  • The maximum cross-sectional dimension. This size is expressed as the minimum diameter of the circle, which can be described around an airfoil. This size can reach 700-800 mm and sometimes even more, however most aluminum extrusions having a minimum diameter of the circumscribed circle of not more than 300 mm;
  • The thickness of the walls and shelves, which typically can not be less than 1,0-1,2 mm;
  • Weight per unit length of profile - linear weight (mass), which starts from a few grams per meter and can reach several tens of kilograms per meter;
  • Profile Length, which, if desired, may reach several tens of meters.

Extruded aluminum profiles are used in the automotive industry is relatively recent, in comparison with the rolled aluminum, primarily, aluminum sheet, and aluminum alloy products - aluminum castings. Due to the almost unlimited possibilities of aluminum profiles to take any shape and the wide range of extrusion of aluminum alloys, their use aluminum structures significantly widens, especially in the frame of the body elements.

Extrusion aluminum alloys

Most automotive aluminum extrusion alloys belong to the 6xxx series (Al-Mg-Si). The base alloys are alloys 6060, 6061 and 6005A, on which manufacturers developed their variants to optimize the desired properties of aluminum components. The rest of the automotive extrusion alloys belong to the series 1xxx (Al) and 3xxx (Al-Mn).

The main extruded aluminum alloys, which are used in the automotive industry and related fields are (alloy designation - nominal chemical composition - application):

  • 1050 - Al99.5 - heat exchanger tubes;
  • 3003 - Al-1,2Mn-0,12Cu - radiators of air conditioners;
  • 6005А - Al-0,7Si-0,6Mg-MnCr - frame body elements, seat, pendants;
  • 6008 - Al-0.7Si-0.6Mg-Mn - frame body elements;
  • 6014 - Al-0.45-0.6Mg-Mn - frame body elements;
  • 6060 - Al-0.5Mg-0.4S - details, requiring large plastic deformation during their manufacture;
  • 6061 - Al-1.0Mg-0.6Si-0.30Cu-0.20Cr - seat guides, bumpers, elements of the supporting frame;
  • 6063 - Al-0.7Mg-0.4Si - frame elements of the body and elements of the supporting frame, structures for absorbing impact energy in case of an accident;
  • 6082 - Al-1Si-0.9Mg-0.7Mn - side beams for energy absorption in case of an accident; door frames, frame elements of the body and elements of the supporting frame;
  • 6106 - Al-0.45Si-0.6Mg-Mn - frame body elements and elements for absorbing impact energy in an accident;
  • 7003 - Al-6Zn-0,8Mg-Zr - bumpers.

See. more details about each alloy here:
Extruded aluminum alloys in the car

Chemical composition of the alloys extrusion

Table - Chemical composition of automobile aluminum alloy extrusionekstrusionnye-alyuminievye-splavy

Most of automotive aluminum extrusion alloys are conventional alloys, which are used in other industries. However, some of them, such as 6008, 6014, 6106, It has been developed more recently specifically for the automotive industry and their characteristics are optimized for use in the car.

Source: Aluminum @ Cars. Design, Technology, Innovation; Edimet, 2005