In the previous Blog we talked about the corporate image being incorporated into the design of the extrusion, I am sure you are all familiar with the hi fi industry you only need to look at the system in your own home to see the similarity between the products of a single company.
Much can be learned by examining these products for the finish, the shape, the detail similarity and of course the surface finish the colour and finally the design and positioning of the logo.
Just looking at a few of these for now for instance, the finish.
There are many surface finishes available, Anodising / Powder coating / Bead blasting / Graining
Chemical Brightening / Polishing / Screen Printing.
During the design process some time should be allocated to decide on the final aesthetics to ensure the final shape can accommodate required finish, for example if graining is required the surface to be grained will need to be flat and the back will need to be able to support it during its progress through the machine. Some features can usually be added to make this process easier.
Polishing can be made easier in the same way.
Chemical Brightening and Polishing and finally Anodising need to be only considered if your product is not a structural part of the product in general, 6082 structural aluminium does not produce good anodised finish, There is aluminium such as 6063 and 6060 and 6463 which perform well with these processes but the hardness of each should be considered carefully for its function within the product.
Beware of fabricated holes and threads in the extrusion when going for Chemical Brightening and Anodising, these processes can and will remove metal and alter surfaces arround holes and eat away some of your thread forms. This needs to be planned in your fabrication sequence.
Bead blasting is normally a hand operation and there may be length constraints from the sub contractor, these should be considered before finalising on your finish.