An Aluminum flat bar can generally be purchased from a source which makes or sells them. The item resembles a wooden plank and can be a predetermined length or a pre-cut length, depending on the requirements of the owner or buyer.
There are a number of ways in which an aluminum flat bar can be made and one of those ways is to mill it. Another way is through the process of extrusion whereby the flat bar is created by pushing it through a die mold after heating it to a temperature warm enough to soften it rather than melt it. The pressing process pushes the softened metal through the die and at the other end is the finished flat bar. The flat bars can be any width but are usually made to a twelve foot long specification, depending who manufactures them. It is probably possible to have custom sizes made but they may cost more than regularly made items.
What is Extrusion and how does it affect the product?
Extrusion is the process by which an aluminum—or other metal or alloy—can be molded to a certain size or shape through a molding process or die. The process uses a pressing motion which shunts a pre-determined size or piece of heated metal through a hole which contains a molded shape. It works on the same principle as hole punch in the sense that it presses and pierced a piece of metal—preheated to allow for flexibility—and it pushes it through a predetermined mold shape to create a new shape or item made from the metal. The metal used is usually aluminum or some kind of alloy with copper but generally the metal is pliable and then cooled down to allow it to remain in its new form.
The product indirect extrusion creates can be affected both in a positive and not so positive way. Initially, the positives are that there is a considerably reduced amount of friction. There is also less of a chance of cracking with cold extrusion. However, the flip side is that it can create more impurities and it is less stable. Also, the process is not quite as versatile as the direct form of extrusions.
To find a reliable company to make an aluminum flat bar, contact Howard Precision for a list of their products, services and prices.