Tag Archives: extruded aluminum

3 Reasons Aluminum is Building America

empirestatebuildingThe first major use of aluminum was in the construction of the Empire State Building in the 1930’s. Since then, aluminum has been recognized as both an energy efficient and sustainable building material, with 25 percent of all aluminum produced used in construction.

Here are three reasons why this versatile and strong material has become a building essential.

1. It’s Sustainable

In today’s aluminum building materials, the estimated recycled content is between 50 and 85 percent. Buildings at the end of life-cycles can have aluminum components recycled to reduce the impact on the environment. Aluminum is one of the few materials that can be recycled an infinite number of times with no change in strength or durability.

Aluminum is also extremely reflective, reflecting back 95 percent of light and reducing cooling costs. The inclusion of aluminum makes solar cells more efficient. In fact, including aluminum in structures helps building projects qualify for LEED green building status.

2. It’s Efficient

In a world where buildings are getting taller, aluminum is a material that reduces weight. Modern skyscrapers would not be possible without aluminum. An aluminum extrusion is half the weight of a steel extrusion of the same stiffness and is less likely to fracture under pressure. Structures made with aluminum are 35 to 65 percent lighter than steel structures and significantly lighter than those made with reinforced concrete.

Despite its lightness, aluminum is also strong. Aluminum extrusions can very easily support the weight of large glass spans, allowing more natural light to shine into
buildings. Aluminum’s durability means it can serve its purpose for decades, reducing replacement costs, so a building utilizing aluminum is strong, easier to construct, lightweight and less expensive.

3. It’s Resistant

Aluminum building materials are weatherproof, corrosion resistant and immune to UV rays. Aluminum maintains its properties in both hot and cold weather and protects buildings from cold temperatures up to four times better than 10-centimeter-thick brick. Over the years, aluminum has become a popular material for outdoor building components because of its resistance to the effects of nature.

As a result of its light weight, strength, resistance and uses in energy efficiency, aluminum has become one of the world’s favorite modern building materials.

Click here to learn how you can include American Douglas Metal’s aluminum extrusion solutions in your next building project and receive a FREE project quote.

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Aluminum: Every Day Uses – Part 2

In last month’s blog we discussed how the many unique traits of aluminum give the metal a special place in architecture. From high corrosion resistance, to high-strength and lightweight properties, this economical, eco-friendly metal can be rolled or molded into nearly any shape. Surface properties give aluminum a leg up on the competition by allowing it to be painted and dyed.

This month, we’re closing out our two-part series by showcasing some of the famous and unique structures made possible by aluminum extrusions and building materials.

 

  1. Empire State Building – New York, New York

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most recognizable and iconic buildings ever created, this 85-year-old skyscraper has been an eye-catching piece of the New York skyline with the help of aluminum. Although some of the building is concrete and steel, 730 tons of aluminum were used on the exterior of the building. Aluminum is also found throughout the Empire State Building’s interior:

  • A two-story welcome mural, featuring a dedication plaque, clock and a scaled artistic representation of the building are all made of aluminum.
  • Metallic accents on floors and building fixtures.
  • A 204-foot TV broadcasting tower added after initial construction finished.

 

  1. Farnborough Airport – United Kingdom

tag-farnborough-airport-terminal-and-hangarsThe Farnborough Airport needed to be built quickly and with cost in mind. With the help of aluminum, the project resulted in:

  • A sleek, modern and appealing main terminal and aircraft hangar. The flat-rolled sheets of aluminum allowed for faster setup of stronger structures than traditional brick or concrete.
  • As populations rise or fall, the adaptable materials make for easy changes to the size of the building.

 

  1. Commerzbank Tower – Frankfurt, Germany

DreBa Zertifikatsvergabe mit Hr. HerrleinElevated over the skyline of downtown Frankfurt is the Commerzbank Tower, home to Germany’s second largest bank. With a focus on modern design and architecture, aluminum aided in creating experimental features such as:

  • Sky gardens located throughout the building that allow employees to step outside. The small gardens on outdoor decks improve the beauty of the building, health of workers and reduce the building’s ecological impact.
  • Heating and cooling systems assisted by aluminum ducts designed to draw from outside air, improving energy efficiency.

With all the features listed above, the Commerzbank Tower was recognized as the first ecological skyscraper.

 

  1. Tête Carrée – Nice, France

90398447_pLiterally meaning “thinking inside the box,” Tête Carrée is the world’s first inhabited sculpture. Built by Sacha Sosno, a world-renowned French sculptor, the structure features:

  • A framework made entirely of aluminum. The lower three floors, forming the neck, act as supports for the library offices in the upper four floors.
  • An exterior aluminum mesh covering to protect the building. The covering gives the appearance of a smooth, flat surface while visitors inside of the building can see through.

Now that we’ve highlighted the creative ways in which aluminum can be used and shown examples of aluminum structures from around the world, if you’re feeling inspired to start your own project, click here to see how we can help.

 

Image Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_State_Building

http://www.businessairportinternational.com/news.php?NewsID=55959

https://www.commerzbank.de/en/hauptnavigation/konzern/commerzbank_im__berblick/hochhaus_1/hochhaus.html

http://www.blogarchiphoto.com/archives/2013/10/09/28162283.html

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Aluminum: Every Day Uses – Part 1

Highly regarded for its durable and economic properties, aluminum has quickly become a major part of modern construction and architecture. A short and inexpensive manufacturing process saves companies time and money. With aluminum’s ability to be produced in sheets or extruded into pre-made shapes, it provides countless options for use.

We discussed some basic advantages of aluminum material in a previous blog, but here’s how those traits get put to use.

 

Flexing Some Muscle

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Photo by LondonSE1

The most popular use for aluminum materials is adding strength to buildings. Having half
the weight of a steel reinforced system, and a seventh of concrete, architects are free to design more unique structures.

Examples:

  • Exteriors can be covered in windows with the support of thin aluminum beams.
  • Skyscrapers can reach new heights with less weight. This allows more room for the building to sway under high wind conditions without the risk of collapse.

 

A Real Life Saver

boca_stairway_gray

Photo by FSI Industries

Aluminum’s high strength, low weight gives it the ability to withstand more force than steel.
Sheets can be stacked to increase protection while still weighing less than other materials.

Rust and oxidation are no longer a concern as well. Aluminum is highly corrosion resistant, giving it strength against weather and UV rays.

Examples:

  • Crash barriers on highways are small and lightweight yet strong enough to keep a speeding car from going off the road.
  • Stairwells are more commonly made from aluminum. Its properties give a reliable escape route that won’t burn or collapse under weight during emergencies.
  • Areas where structures and materials suffer corrosion, such as factories and coastal regions, are starting to see more aluminum designs. Aside from protecting inhabitants from the outside, aluminum structures will survive much longer with less wear.
  • Noise cancellation slits can be cut into flat-rolled sheets to provide sound reduction. These angled spaces help diffuse sound and can be filled with fiber glass or foam to increase the effect.

 

Easy on the Eyes

the modern office

Photo by ArchiExpo

A less obvious, but equally important use, for aluminum can be found throughout buildings. Aluminum can replace many smaller components to provide more reliable features than brass or steel.

Anodizing the surface creates a porous layer that can be dyed to create unique metallic surfaces to match any look.

Examples:

  • Door knobs made from aluminum are less likely to break.
  • Aluminum-framed buildings effectively insulated against colder temperatures. Depending on the amount and quality of insulation, it performs four times better than 10 centimeters of bricks and 20 centimeters of stone.
  • Wall facades, sculptures and other decorative pieces give buildings a pleasing aesthetic. These can be made of raw aluminum for a modern look, or dyed and painted to create a variety of styles.

 

Next month, we’ll be looking into how these uses have resulted in amazing aluminum structures.

Click here to learn more about American Douglas Metals’ custom aluminum extrusion solutions and get a FREE quote on your next project.

Photo Sources:

http://www.archiexpo.com/prod/alcoa-architectural-products-merxheim-frankreich/product-67104-1689354.html
http://www.fsindustries.com/more_info/welded_aluminum_prefab_boca_stairways/welded_aluminum_boca_prefab_stairways.shtml
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/places/city-hall

 

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3 Advantages of Using Aluminum in Construction

When considering starting a construction project, aluminum should be at the top of your list of materials. This versatile material serves many purposes, the most notable being its functional, aesthetic and ecological purposes, which prove to be extremely useful in construction.

 1. Aluminum Provides Endless Function

Versatility

Aluminum extrusions can be made to fit any project no matter the size or specification through a process where a cross section is designed and then pushed through a die. Almost all sizes and shapes can be fabricated to any specification, which makes them an integral element in the manufacturing of machinery, products and structural frames.

Because of aluminum’s versatility, it can take on many forms in almost all areas of building construction, including:

  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing
  • And others

Rolled and extruded aluminum are commonly used for window frames, roof superstructures for shopping centers, as well as roofing and siding.

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Structural Strength

Aluminum’s structural strength is one of its greatest benefits in construction application. The strength of aluminum is comparable to that of steel, but weighs just a third of it.

Never compromise the quality of the metal you use to comply with your project’s weight specification; with aluminum extrusions you can deliver a better finished product without the excess weight of steel on your foundation.

Resistance to Corrosion

Aluminum’s resistance to corrosion is another reason why the material is optimal for construction applications. The alloys that make up aluminum building products are:

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Weather-proof
  • Immune to the damaging effects of UV rays

These properties ensure longevity when using aluminum in construction.

2. Aluminum Enhances Aesthetics and Design

Incorporate Design Features

Extruded aluminum grants the possibility to incorporate design features in varying applications in construction. For example, grooves and other complex shapes can be made in windows to enhance its design. Almost any design feature can be added to a project due the flexibility offered by the aluminum extrusion process.

adm2Surface Finish Flexibility

Aluminum’s surface can be finished to beautify the material used in a construction project. To ensure a good bond with the surface finish, the aluminum is pretreated to enhance the material’s corrosion resistance.

Anodizing and painting are the most common finishes used on aluminum surfaces. It can also be finished to meet the decorative requirements of the application.

 3. Aluminum is Ecological

Energy Efficiency

Aluminum is considered one of the most energy efficient and sustainable materials used in construction. In fact, aluminum-intensive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED-certified buildings have won awards for Platinum, Gold and Best-in-State sustainability across the country.

Reusability and Recyclability

Aluminum’s reusability and recyclability is becoming more important when used in construction applications, as building owners choose deconstruction over demolition of buildings. Choosing the deconstruction route is optimal since it is possible to extract all recyclable materials, which can keep the material’s scrap value, reducing the environmental impact and costs of dumping in a landfill.

The metals you choose have lasting impact on the strength, longevity and quality of your finished construction project. Aluminum extrusions have been fabricated, processed and delivered by American Douglas Metals since 1976. We can produce custom aluminum extrusions to meet precise specifications, including cut-to-length and wide rectangular or wide round extrusions. Additionally, we offer a variety of fabrication, processing and finishing for metals such as aluminum, steel and brass at all of our locations.

 

Click here to learn more about American Douglas Metals’ custom aluminum extrusion solutions and get a FREE quote on your next project.

 


Image Sources:
http://scaluminum.com/2015/02/aluminum-finishing-one-stop-shop-fabrication-at-sc-aluminum/
http://www.logivitrum.lv/lang-en/8-aluminija-konstrukcijas
Content Sources:
http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=1857
http://www.aluminum.org/product-markets/building-construction#sthash.qh49Tg8X.dpuf
http://www.engineeringcivil.com/use-of-aluminium-in-building-construction.html
http://www.thomasnet.com/articles/custom-manufacturing-fabricating/aluminum-construction
http://www.sapagroup.com/en/na/profiles/uses-aluminum-extrusions/

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3 Key Benefits of Using Aluminum Extrusions

Project managers face countless decisions in the process of building construction. One of the most important decisions to ensuring a structure’s quality and strength is the choice of metals used. If you are choosing between aluminum, steel or a specialty metal building materials you should consider these three key benefits to utilizing aluminum extrusions.

IMG_94401. Versatile Customization of Design

The biggest benefit of aluminum extrusions is versatility. No matter the project size or specification, there is an extrusion that can meet your job’s need.

Custom aluminum extrusions are an integral element in the manufacturing of machinery, products and structural frames. Through a process where a cross section is designed and then pushed through a die, aluminum extrusion profiles can be fabricated using specific tolerances, sizes and shapes defined by your project needs.

2. Favorable Strength to Weight Ratio

Aluminum is often a preferred building material because of the balance of these two main attributes:

  • Its strength is comparable to that of steel
  • Its weight is 1/3 than that of steel

When using aluminum extrusion, the metal’s high quality of strength remains intact, but its weight is minimized even further due to the extrusion process. You no longer have to compromise the quality of the metal you use to comply with your project’s weight specifications. With aluminum extrusions you can deliver a better finished product without the excess weight of steel on your foundation.

3. Excellent Conductor for Heating and Cooling

Sensitivity to temperature needs to be considered when choosing the metal you use. Depending on your project type, it may be essential that your materials are good conductors of heat or cold. For optimal heating and cooling ability, copper is a top choice. However, it is incredibly expensive. Many projects lack the budget for copper and need a less costly alternative that can still perform, which is where aluminum extrusions come in.

The properties of extruded aluminum enable it to conduct both hot and cold temperatures. This makes it an ideal, cost-saving solution for use in:

  • Radiators
  • Air conditioning units
  • Walk-in refrigerators
  • Ovens
  • And more

The metals you choose have lasting impact on the strength, longevity and quality of your finished construction project. Aluminum extrusions have been fabricated, processed and delivered by American Douglas Metals since 1976. We can produce custom aluminum extrusions to meet precise specifications, including cut-to-length and wide rectangular or wide round extrusions. Additionally, we offer a variety of fabrication, processing and finishing for metals such as aluminum, steel and brass at all of our locations.

Click here to learn more about American Douglas Metals’ custom aluminum extrusion solutions and get a FREE quote on your next project.

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