Right from the design stage, aluminium profiles can be shaped so that they require as little machining as possible after extrusion. Subsequent
processing is often necessary, however.
Machining aluminium profiles is relatively inexpensive. Tool costs are generally competitive due to the malleability of aluminium. In addition, the cutting speeds attainable with aluminium are considerably higher than for steel, resulting in cheaper machining compared to steel.
Machining can take place both before and after surface treatment. The requirements of the product determine which is chosen.
Protective anodizing, giving the profile a 3-to-5 µm thick coating of oxide, is a good way of preventing damage to the profile during machining.
Before we begin describing some of the machining methods we use with aluminium, please note that aluminium scrap is a valuable material that can be immediately recycled and converted into new profiles.