April 1, 2020

What is the Difference Between Extruded Aluminum and Drawn Seamless Aluminum Tubing?

Aluminum is cheap, versatile and used in a wide-variety of products. Most of these products are produced in one of these two ways, the extruded aluminum process or the cold drawn aluminum process.

There are many different ways to shape aluminum, but all of them involve using some sort of die or mold. Drawn and extruded aluminum are the two primary types of aluminum production. With both methods, the aluminum is first formed into a billet, or long tube, then cut to the specific length, depending on the product.

Extruded Aluminum

Extruded aluminum is created by heating aluminum stock and then forcing it through a die. Think of the Play-Doh Fun Factory you had as a child. You inserted a formless wad of Play-Doh into the compartment under the handle and then pressed down on it, forcing the Play-Doh through the shaped hole, producing a long strand of extruded Doh. Extruded aluminum is no different, except that the Play-Doh in this case is molten aluminum and the shaped hole is known as a die. The shape of that die determines what the extruded aluminum will look like. These dies can create complex aluminum shapes—depending on the quality of the aluminum used for the extrusion. The higher the quality of the aluminum billet used; the more complex the shapes that can be extruded within the process.

Once the aluminum shape is pushed out of the die, it is cooled and stretched to make sure it retains the desired shape. The extruded aluminum gets stronger as it cools and hardens.

Drawn seamless aluminum tubing

Extruded Aluminum Tubing

There are two types of aluminum tubing created by the extrusion process. One type splits the aluminum tube as it is forced through the die, and needs to be sealed back together using a process such as welding for example. Because this tubing creates a seam, it is not as strong as the second type of extruded aluminum tubing: seamless extruded aluminum tubing. Seamless extruded aluminum tubing is created by pushing a hollow billet through a die. This creates a stronger aluminum tube that can be used for pressurized gases and liquids.

Drawn Aluminum

Where extruded aluminum is pushed through a die, drawn aluminum pulls molten aluminum into a mold. As it stretches out within the mold it undergoes plastic deformation. The aluminum’s flexibility and shape determine what the drawn aluminum will be used for. Most drawn aluminum is used to produce cans, pots, pans, and other circular aluminum products.

Drawn Seamless Aluminum Tubing

This is commonly called drawn structural tubing because the creation process for this produces stronger tubing. First, a standard extruded aluminum tube is produced. Next, instead of allowing the newly extruded tube to cool, it is pushed through a second die to produce the tubing at the determined size. This process is also known as cold drawing, and it is used primarily to decrease a larger diameter tube into a smaller one. This produces strong, high-quality tubing with exact dimensions, and a good surface finish. This makes this tubing even better for handling pressurized gases and liquids.

Getec is Your Source of Extruded and Drawn Seamless Aluminum Tubing

We provide both extruded aluminum tubing and drawn seamless aluminum tubing in a wide variety of sizes and alloys. To get the details, give us a call at 888-999-8499, contact us online, or send us an email at sales@getecna.com today.