Aluminum billets are a type of raw material used in the production of extruded aluminum profiles. Billets are essentially large, solid blocks or logs of aluminum, typically made by melting aluminum ingots and then casting them into the desired size and shape.
Billets can vary in size and shape depending on the intended use, but they are generally cylindrical in shape with diameters ranging from a few inches to over a foot and lengths of several feet. They can be made from a range of aluminum alloys to meet specific requirements for strength, durability, and other properties.
Billets are then typically heated to a specific temperature and transferred to an extrusion press, where they are pressed through a die to create an extruded aluminum profile. This process involves pushing the heated billet through a shaped opening or die with tremendous force, which shapes the aluminum into the desired profile.
Aluminum billets are used in a wide range of applications, including construction, consumer goods, transportation, and other industries that rely on aluminum for its lightweight, strength, and durability.
ALUMINIUM BILLET PROCESS
Aluminum billets are made through a casting process that involves several steps. The following is a general step-by-step procedure for making aluminum billets:
The first step is to melt aluminum ingots in a furnace. This is typically done in a batch process, with several ingots melted at once.
Once the aluminum is melted, it is refined to remove any impurities that may be present in the raw material. This is typically done through a degassing process, where gases and other impurities are removed from the molten aluminum.
The molten aluminum is then poured into a preheated casting machine, which shapes it into the desired form. Billets are typically cast using a vertical or horizontal casting machine, where the molten aluminum is poured into a mold.
After the billet is cast, it is cooled gradually in a controlled environment to prevent warping or other deformities. This is typically done by passing the billet through a cooling chamber or quench tank.
Once the billet is fully cooled, it is removed from the casting machine and cut to the desired length. This is typically done using a saw or other cutting tool.
To ensure the billet has a uniform composition, it may be homogenized by heating it to a specific temperature for a certain amount of time. This is typically done in a specialized furnace.
Finally, the billets are inspected to ensure they meet the desired quality standards. This may involve visual inspection, non-destructive testing, or other methods.
Once the billets have been inspected and approved, they are ready for use in the production of extruded aluminum profiles or other applications.
Move Extrusions to the Stretcher and Stretch Them into Alignment
You will notice some twists in the shapes at this stage, and you need to correct this. To make this correction, you need a stretcher. Hold each profile mechanically on both ends and pull them until they are fully straight. This process brings them into specification.
Move Extrusions to the Finish Saw and Cut Them to Length
Now that the extrusions are straight and work-hardened, you can transfer them to a saw table. At this point, you can cut them into specific lengths, majorly between 8-21 ft. After the sawing process is over, you can move them to an oven for aging to the correct temper (T5 or T6).
Carry Out Secondary Operations (Heat treatment, Fabrication, and Surface Finishing)
After the extrusion process is complete, you can treat profiles with heat to boost their properties. The next thing after the heat treatment is to fabricate them if there is a need to correct their dimensions. Adding a surface finish would also help improve their appearance and corrosion resistance properties.