The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) has updated the Aluminum Extrusion Manual, one of the Council’s resources available on the AEC website. The revised Aluminum Extrusion Manual version 4.2, features new and previously unpublished content, as well as expanded and updated information. The updated manual includes a new section covering aluminum extrusion’s sustainability, expanded information on fabrication, and a discussion of specifying microstructure as a means of achieving part performance for demanding applications.

The new “Sustainability” section discusses some of the ways that the use of extruded aluminum components are reducing the environmental impact of buildings and automobiles, and outlines actions that extrusion users can take to further reduce the environmental impact of their products. The section covers aluminum recycling, extrusion’s environmental footprint and the detailed results from the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) that AEC recently completed.

The expanded “Fabrication” section covers, in depth, the myriad ways aluminum extrusions can be processed after extruding to facilitate cost savings, part-count reduction, increased product functionality and more. The section outlines such techniques such as bending, joining, welding and machining.

The new “Microstructure” section explains how alloy grain structure is critical to achieving the needed extrusion performance for demanding applications. Increasingly, engineers are finding that specifying alloy and temper alone often is not sufficient to ensure that the parts they envision achieve the needed performance attributes. In addition to profile geometry and alloy chemistry, microstructure (i.e. the grain size, grain geometry, grain structure and more), which is driven by specifics of the extrusion process, is another factor that will dictate part performance. It is the microstructure, in concert with alloy chemistry and part geometry, which will determine properties such as strength, formability, “toughness”, corrosion resistance, weldability, etc. This new section reviews the specifics to provide readers with a basis for discussing critical part performance with their extruder.

Lastly, the “Applications” section was revised with new content covering aluminum extrusion case examples in the building and construction and transportation markets. Extrusion case examples and information for the architectural market include moveable enclosures and energy management in commercial buildings. Transportation case examples include improving vehicle efficiency and environmental performance and vehicle electrification.

The updated Aluminum Extrusion Manual version 4.2 is now available online at and is a one-stop reference resource to help product designers and engineers better understand aluminum extrusion processes, design considerations, alloy selection, extrusion dies and more.