The Process: Aluminium Extrusion

Firstly, the appropriate aluminium or related alloy is selected for the desired finished profile. This comes in the form of an aluminium log, varying in both length and diameter. Before these logs are sent off to the factory they are heat treated to eliminate impurities.
When the extrusion log arrives at the plant, it is initially cut into shorter, more suitable lengths for extrusion. These new lengths are known as Billets, their length is decided by the plant machinery press capacity, and by the final length of the extrusion. The Billet is then heated to around 450°C. This temperature is decided by the complexity of the dies shape, the press’ capacity and the alloy’s aluminium content.

It is a specialised occupation, extruding aluminium and one that requires skill and dexterity, companies like Aluminium Profiles pride themselves on the service and quality they provide. View their website at to see their fantastic range.


Under Pressure: Extrusion Begins

Extrusion relies on heat and pressure in large amounts. The Billet pushed through the die at pressures ranging from 1600 – 6500 tonnes. The pressure forces the Billet through the die and the shape of the die forms the shape of the profile. Extrusion speed is governed by the complexity of the die and the alloy’s aluminium content. The most commonly used method of extrusion is the direct method where the Billet is driven through the stationary die by the press machine. The press force should be enough to smoothly push the aluminium through the die, too much and the metal will spill over the sides of the die. The extrusion can exit the die in varying lengths and widths.

The Two-step Cooling Process

Firstly, as the aluminium leaves the die, it has to maintain a steady temperature to continue to run smoothly. This should be around 950°C but the temperature obviously varies depending on the aluminium content of the alloy. Secondly, the newly extruded profile is rolled down a fan-lined table, the purpose of which is to begin the ‘tempering’ process. Sometimes alloys are also cooled using liquids. Once the profile reaches the desired length, its cut off and carried to the cooling table where the different pieces are stacked, ready for the next stage of the process.

Stretching, Cutting and Ageing

As the extruded aluminium cools down they tend to bend and warp, so they are stretched to straighten out any kinks. The long sections of aluminium are fed on to a stretcher where jaws at either ends of the extrusion apply a measured force, pulling away from one another. This straightens the curved extrusion and effects the molecular alignment within the metal, improving strength and hardness. After stretching, extrusions can range from two to fifty metres long. Finally, the extrusions are ‘aged’ or heated in large industrial ovens, this process ensures that the different alloys correspond to strict standards of strength.

The whole process takes knowledge, precision and care that only specialist aluminium extrusion manufacturers are capable of.

Considerations for your Network Requirements

We’ve drawn up a list of things to consider when setting up your electrical network.

  • Cost of wiring: The initial cost of the wiring system to be chosen or selected is one of the paramount factors to be considered. It should be economical and safe.
  • Durability: When making choices for wiring system, the wiring type should be durable (long lasting) and should also be of proper specifications and in accordance with assessed life and type of building to be wired. You should not carry out cleat wiring for a permanent building because cleat wiring is suitable for temporary buildings only. Any wiring should withstand wear and tear that may result due to unfavorable weather. The cables used should be able to carry maximum current without overheating.
  • Permanency: The wiring should not deteriorate by the action of weather, fumes, dampness etc. the cables should be resistant to harsh weather and chemical attacks.
  • Accessibility: Facilities used in the wiring should be available (within range) and accessible when the need for alteration, extension or renewal arises.
  • Appearance: The wiring should provide a good look after its installation. If cleat or casing – capping wiring is used in a modern building, it will spoil the outlook of that building. Conduit wiring is preferred mostly for modern buildings except that it’s expensive. PVC wiring system is also good for modern buildings. PVC wiring is very popular.
  • Mechanical Protection: The wiring should be protected from mechanical damage during its use.
  • Safety: When it comes to wiring, safety is one of the most paramount factors to be considered because electrocution is one thing you won’t have the time to give it a second thought. Where there is possibility of fire hazard, conduit wiring should be used.
  • Maintenance Cost: Wiring system employed should have low maintenance cost.
  • Load: The types of loads consuming the electrical energy in a building will determine the kinds of cables to be used. You cannot use a cable with small diameter for heavy loads. The cables will damage. Voltage to be employed and fire hazard and insurance standards should also be kept in mind in case of large factories.

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New UK Law undermines “secure” networks

MPs have been given only two weeks to read 1,200 pages of documents which disclose new powers to require technology companies to install secret surveillance capabilities in software, computer equipment or networks.

The new law, if passed unchanged, would mean that no British IT product providing communications – including games, apps and services, as well as supposedly secure software systems – could truthfully and legally be marketed as “secure”.

Among documents which had not previously been provided to MPs was an 83-page Equipment interference code of practice, specifying how recipients of notices and warrants are required to respond. The government can require malware to be created, installed or delivered to carry out interception, acquisition or interference with computer equipment and communications or to acquire data.

An estimated 60 British computer networks and data companies have also been deliberately hacked and infected with malicious computer software, according to documents provided by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.






How safe is the “Internet of Things”

A recent surbey by a UK based online security firm has revealed that two-thirds of UK consumers are concerned about the security of Internet of Things devices – but nearly 75% cannot take steps to secure them. The surbey polled more than 6,000 UK consumers and revealed that despite the fast adoption of internet of things (IoT) devices, 72% of UK consumers admit they do not have a clue how to secure them. At the same time, two thirds of those polled said they were concerned about data theft from their IoT-connected devices.

“There is little or no effective security in most IoT devices,” Grey Huws, managing consultant at RA Consulting,.

There is also a lot of deployment without planning for how it is all going to work – and lots of land-grabs for market share,” he said – meaning companies are more concerned about getting products to market, than about ensuring those products are secure.

The survey shows that the internet of things is set to become larger and more pervasive in the near future, with more than a quarter of consumers set to buy IoT devices in the next year.

Best routers of 2015 reviewed

If you need to find the best wireless router, Wi-Fi dongle, range extender or powerline networking adaptors, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the best Wi-Fi and networking products we’ve reviewed that are available in the UK in 2015. By Jim Martin | 09 Feb 15

A wireless router is the core component of any home network and the latest standard is called 802.11ac. If you’re upgrading your router, it’s well worth investing in one as it will become the standard which all tablets, smartphones and other Wi-Fi equipment use over the next couple of years. It’s much faster than 802.11n – the current standard – and offers better range, too.

Top models cost upwards of £150, but there are cheaper options, such as BT’s Home Hub 5. If you want to get the benefit of 802.11ac with your current laptop (which doesn’t support 802.11ac) then you need a USB dongle. Ideally you want a USB 3 dongle, and a free USB 3 port on your laptop to get the best speed.
Powerline networking adaptors

Some homes are too large for any single wireless router to cover, so powerline networking adaptors (also known as HomePlugs) can be useful. These make your mains wiring double up as network cables, sending data along the copper wires already in your walls. You plug one in next to your router and another in the room in which you need internet access. Most adaptors offer only an Ethernet port, which you’d use to connect a PC. However, if you need Wi-Fi, make sure you buy a kit in which one of the adaptors has built-in Wi-Fi.

These are often called range extenders, but it’s a confusing area as there are other standalone plugs which repeat your router’s signal and aren’t powerline networking adaptors.

The beauty of powerline networking adaptors is that you don’t need to use them in pairs. You could start with two, and add single adaptors when you need to add a network connection in a new room.
Portable routers

If you travel abroad regularly, a portable router could be handy. You can use it to share an internet connection in a hotel room, and some models also have a SIM card slot so you can share mobile broadband. Some are battery powered, while some require mains power. Don’t assume that those with a SIM card slot support 4G – they may be limited to 3G, so check reviews first.

Read the whole review at