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Guide to Naval Aluminum: History, Features and Manufacturing

Written on by Roberto De Lorenzi in Extruded profiles
Today, aluminum plays a fundamental role in the naval sector, thanks to its unique properties. Has it always been this way? What advantages does it guarantee? And which aluminum extrusions are manufactured for the naval industry? Find out all this information and much more in this article.

naval aluminum

In this article, we will delve into:

The use of aluminum in the naval sector

Aluminum has a long history but its use in the naval sector is more recent than the age of this metal. Let’s briefly walk through it:

  • 1800 – The first use of aluminum in the naval field is attested towards the end of this century when this metal started being employed to manufacture internal parts and components for different types of ships.

Nevertheless, at the time aluminum was not manufactured as it is today. This meant that its quality was inferior compared to today’s quality. In fact, it was not as effectively corrosion-resistant as now.

  • 1900 – The actual development of naval aluminum started at the beginning of this century. The reduced weight of this material was retaken into account, which makes it perfect to build light and fast ships – without neglecting their stability.

Also, throughout this century its production was refined, thus improving the protection from corrosion.

  • 2000 – In the past decades, aluminum became an increasingly important material used to build cruise ships, yachts, military ships, and light boats. This is due to new technologies employed in its production, which allow obtaining aluminum alloys with different technical and mechanical features.

In the naval industry, the different aluminum alloys find widespread and diversified use, which proves the outstanding versatility of this metal.

naval aluminum

As we mentioned earlier, there are different aluminum alloys that are suitable for the naval sector to build civil and military ships. These must respect specific quality standards, among which yield strength and corrosion resistance are included.

Notably, there are two types of alloys that must be considered:

  • Naval aluminum of the 5000 series – such as the 5083 and 5456 alloys – which offers resistance to corrosion and thermal stress
  • Naval aluminum of the 6000 series – such as the 6061 and 6082 alloys – which is particularly compatible with treatments like welding and anodizing

Also, lightness is an innate quality of these alloys and brings numerous advantages: not only it increases the fastness of the ship but also reduces fuel consumption and consequently guarantees overall savings on costs.

Do you need more information on naval aluminum?

Ask Profall

Why is aluminum better than steel?

Through the years, aluminum has increasingly replaced steel in the naval sector – if possible – thanks to the advantages it brings. We have talked about lightness and corrosion resistance – that steel doesn’t guarantee at the same level – but are there any other reasons why aluminum is the metal of choice?

  • Its versatility, which makes it perfect to build high-speed boats and allows aluminum to be combined and treated with different materials, also using innovative technologies.
  • Its fire resistance, since – unlike steel – heat doesn’t compromise the innate strength and properties of aluminum.
  • Its eco-friendliness, because aluminum is a material with reduced environmental impact. Also, once its life cycle is completed, it can be recycled.
  • Its cost, because aluminum is much less expensive than steel, and it makes it the best choice for the naval industry.

Thus, the combination of lightness, resistance, sustainability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness makes aluminum an excellent choice as naval metal.

naval aluminum

The aluminum extrusions manufactured by Profall

Profilati Alluminio is an Italian company that manufactures naval aluminum extrusions and much more. The industrial sectors where our products are positioned are countless, and that’s thanks to the know-how we gained and which allows us to meet the most diversified needs of our customers.

In our catalog, you will find two types of profiles:

  • standard profiles, which are extrusions with simple shapes, sizes, and dimensional tolerances
  • special profiles, which are extrusions with more specific shapes, sizes, and dimensional tolerances
  • image-Aluminum corner extrusion with even sides
    Aluminum corner extrusion with even sides
  • image-Aluminum corner extrusion with uneven sides
    Aluminum corner extrusion with uneven sides
  • image-aluminum double duct profiles
    Aluminum double duct profiles
  • image-Aluminum flat bar
    Aluminum flat bar
  • image-Aluminum flat bars with rounded edges
    Aluminum flat bars with rounded edges
  • image-Aluminum H section
    Aluminum H section
  • image-Aluminum rectangular tubing
    Aluminum rectangular tubing
  • image-Aluminum round bar
    Aluminum round bar
  • image-Aluminum round tubing
    Aluminum round tubing
  • image-Semicircular elements
    Aluminum semicircular elements
  • image-Aluminum square bar
    Aluminum square bar
  • image-aluminum square tubing
    Aluminum square tubing
  • image-Aluminum T-track
    Aluminum T-track
  • image-Aluminum u channel
    Aluminum U channel extrusions
  • image-aluminum z bar
    Aluminum Z bar
  • image-Borders with screw attachments
    Aluminum borders with screw attachments
  • image-Aluminium curve profiles
    Aluminum curve profiles
  • image-Drainers and water deflectors
    Aluminum drainers and water deflectors
  • image-Aluminum glazing extrusions
    Aluminum glazing extrusions
  • image-Aluminum picture frames
    Aluminum picture frames
  • image-Borders for motor vehicles
    Aluminum trim profiles for motor vehicles
  • image-Corner elements with special cross-sections
    Corner elements with special cross-sections
  • image-extruded aluminum handles
    Extruded aluminum handles
  • image-Handrail-extrusions
    Handrail extrusions
  • image-Special U-profiles
    Special U-profiles
  • image-Transition strips with shank
    Transition strips with shanks

If the naval aluminum you’re looking for is not present in our catalog, you don’t have to worry about anything. Our engineering team is able to customize any profile and design it with every characteristic you need.

You can send us the technical drawing of the naval aluminum profile you’re looking for and, after the feasibility analysis and prototyping steps, we will proceed to the pre-series production of the piece and its delivery in 2 working weeks – everywhere in the world.

We offer a complete and unique service that is hard to find elsewhere on the market!

Choose now to count on aluminum specialists

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