Today, aluminum extrusion services for thermal management are a critical aspect of manufacturing. But the process of aluminum extrusion design and production took over 100 years to develop into the significant industry it is today.
The history of aluminum extrusion began in 1795 when English inventor Joseph Bramah patented his design for a manually powered hydraulic press. The hydraulic press could create enough constant pressure to shape metal, though it could only shape lead and other soft metals with low melting points. Bramah used his invention to patent the first extrusion process, which he used to make pipes and simple gun components.
The next major breakthrough in the extrusion process was made by Thomas Burr in 1820. Burr designed the first vertical hydraulic extrusion press, which used a container, extrusion stem, pressure pad, and a replaceable die. Unlike Bramah’s invention, Burr’s vertical press did not rely on manual power and could process stronger metals such as copper and brass.
By the turn of the century, the extrusion process was rapidly developing. In 1894, Alexander Dick managed to create a vertical extrusion process that could shape metals with even higher melting points, including steel. The process involved casting the liquid metal into a vertical container, then letting it cool and harden slightly. The container was then rotated into a horizontal position, and the metal was extruded through a replaceable die using water pressure.
Dick’s process allowed for the creation of aluminum extrusions, which were first used in 1918 by the company Alcan. In the 1930s, extruded aluminum became increasingly popular for use in military airships and aircraft, then for commercial use in aluminum seamless tubing, heat sink manufacturing, and other thermal management solutions.
Getec Industrial has over 30 years of experience as an aluminum heat-pipe cooling solutions manufacturer. For more information about our LED thermal management aluminum heat sinks or other products, contact us online or call us at 888-999-8499.