Globally STEP-G operates a total of eleven extrusion presses to produce profiles in a variety of aluminium alloys. Customers can order from us simple to highly sophisticated extruded profiles. The complexity involved in converting aluminium is one of our key areas of expertise. We supply a large range of different dimensions, alloy compositions and shapes, including highly complex products tailored to agreed customer specifications.
STEP-G extrusion presses process round aluminium billets - an extremely versatile material -into customer-specific profiles. This complex method is known as extrusion. The basis is the extrusion billet made of the specific aluminium alloy required. The billets come either from our own foundry or are specially manufactured and delivered to our facilities by certified suppliers. The extrusion billet can measure up to 485 millimetres in diameter and is the input material which is then extruded. To prepare it for extrusion the billet is pre-heated to a temperature of up to 500 degrees Celsius. This is an important step which is necessary before converting in the extrusion press.
Next the billet is pressed at high pressure up to 300 bar through the die, also known as the extrusion press tool. This gives the material the profile geometry specified by the customer.
In the next stage the profile lengths are stretched to remove any tension and to straighten them. They are then cut to customer-specific lengths of up to 25 metres. This is followed by heat treatment (curing) in special ovens. Next up is further fabrication of the extrusions to produce aluminium profiles to meet customer specifications.
When it comes to extrusions the challenge is in the technical details. Our customers provide us with a design drawing of the profile they want and specify its properties. To ensure we meet these requirements and deliver a final product to the required quality - multiple STEP-G departments are involved in the process. This is where our profound expertise in extruding aluminium profiles makes all the difference. It ensures we can gain an accurate view of our customers’ requirements.
Usually the customer specifies the dimensions, tolerances and the mechanical properties of the extruded aluminium profile. For example, depending on the application the required strength may vary. Then our team checks the technical feasibility of the geometry for the extrusion process and determines which extrusion press and tool design is most cost-effective and best suited. for the aluminium workpiece. To do this, our experts from the relevant press shop, tool engineering and quality management teams come together to plan production of the customer-specific extruded aluminium profiles.
For optimal solutions and tailor-made aluminium profiles STEP-G works in partnership with our customers from the earliest possible stage. Often, difficulties occur due to seemingly trivial details of geometry such as the rounded edge of a rib or an unsuitable wall thickness transition. By working with our customers to determine the requirements of the profile we ensure optimal extrusion results. Our STEP-G experts are always happy to help if you have any questions about alloy composition, feasibility or the correct heat treatment to guarantee the right mechanical and technological properties such as strength and hardness etc.