Aluminum Extrusion Terminology - A - D

Alloy - A compound, composition or a substance created by the blending of two or more chemical elements, where at least one of them is always a metal. The resulting substance has metallic properties and specific, advantageous characteristics, which are unique to those of the individual elements.

Aluminum – A metal substance that is silvery-white in colour and exists only as a compound in combination with oxygen and other elements. Its core form is called alumina, which is extracted from bauxite ore. It is the third most abundant of all elements on Earth, and the most available element with metallic properties, comprising 8% of the Earth’s crust. It is inexpensive, malleable yet strong, lightweight, reflective, non-toxic, corrosion-resistant, non-magnetic, and high in electrical and thermal conductivity. Aluminum is also the world’s most frequently recycled metal.

Aluminum Oxide – A compound that is formed when an aluminum surface is brought in contact with oxygen, causing a chemical reaction between the aluminum and the oxygen. The reaction produces this chemical compound, which acts as a transparent shield, protecting the aluminum from further oxidation without affecting its integrity and appearance.

Anodizing - An electrochemical process which provides a protective coating or decorative colour finish to an aluminum surface by creating a hard, thin layer of aluminum oxide that is stable or permanent. This finish is created through anodic oxidation to increase the thickness of the oxidized metal surface, thus enhancing the corrosion and wear resistance, and also serving as a surface that is suitable for bonding with glues and paint primers.

Bauxite - Bauxite is the most common base mineral from which aluminum is extracted. It is composed of a variety of aluminum oxides, alumina as the primary mineral at 45% of its composition. The alumina is extracted and refined to produce aluminum, with approximately one pound of aluminum being generated from every four pounds of bauxite.

Billet - A long, cylindrical-shaped piece of aluminum alloy, which is pressed through the die of an extrusion press to create aluminum extrusion products. Billets may exist in hollow or solid forms to create different shapes, generally ranging in length from 26 to 72 inches.