Aluminum in the World Around Us
Aluminum and Other Industries
Aluminum plays a huge part in our everyday life, and its uses are growing. Three of the largest industries that utilize aluminum in their products are:
• Aerospace: Aluminum is the key component in the aerospace market – in fact, aluminum makes up 75-80% of the modern aircraft. It has been an essential component since its beginning, as the original Wright brothers’ engine used aluminum parts in the engine to reduce weight. Today, everything from aircrafts to guided missiles to propulsion units use aluminum as their key component. It is often a chosen material for structural and engine use because of its lightweight but durable qualities. In addition to the many uses on earth, aluminum has traveled beyond our atmosphere, as one of the main components in many space vehicles.
• Automotive: As with the aerospace industry, the automotive industry uses aluminum as a lightweight yet strong material, in many of the same functions. Automobile frames, in particular, are perfect uses for aluminum. In fact, aluminum can absorb twice the crash energy of mild steel. This means that the car has larger crush zones which ends up being safer for you, the passenger.
• Energy: Aluminum lends itself towards green energy, for a number of reasons. To begin with, aluminum is easy to work with and lightweight, which means the material is perfect for small, sensitive uses such as for microscopic aluminum studs used in solar panels. Plus, as one of the most recyclable materials in the world, any waste from production is easily reused.
Wisconsin Oven and the Aluminum Industry
At Wisconsin Oven, we produce a variety of industrial ovens designed to meet the specific processing needs of aluminum producers. Solution heat treating of aluminum is a common process that strengthens the aluminum by distributing the alloys evenly throughout the molecular lattice of the aluminum. Solution heat treating refers to introducing the aluminum to temperatures just below their melting point and then submerging it rapidly in water or glycol quench, “freezing” in certain properties. After this process the aluminum is in a softer state and can be formed or straightened. The aluminum is then aged (or hardened) in an oven to increase the hardness as desired.
Our horizontal quench furnaces and drop bottom furnaces are designed to meet the solution heat treating needs of the industry. These furnaces utilize innovative design features and optional automated operation for more efficient workflow and integration into existing production lines. Energy efficient options help to reduce the energy usage, particularly when upgrading from antiquated furnaces. In addition, we offer a wide range of aftermarket services, from startup assistance to turnkey installations.
At Wisconsin Oven, we are prepared to work with you on your aluminum processing application, and can provide standard or custom solutions. Visit our Contact Us page, and get in touch with us to find out more!