structural shapes are also known as semi-finished products and consist of metal bars (extruded) which, after suitable cutting and assembly with tools, form the basis for the finished product (whether windows and doors
, or curtain walling).
Extruded sections represent the main part of semi-finished products obtainable from aluminium
. The extrusion process, where the material is forced by compression to pass through the holes of a die, ensure great freedom in design as well as considerably fast and cost-effective production.
Designing of aluminium
profiles is a basic step in the manufacture of windows and doors because the profiles determine the technical performance of the door or window:
Sealing of the door/window against external agents
Thermal and acoustic insulation
Resistance to particular agents
The families of profile series are subdivided according to type of window they are to be used for, such as: series for casement or sliding windows, or for partitions in offices, or curtain walls, etc. Obviously the most extensive category is aluminium side-hung profiles used in fabrication of doors, windows or shutters.
In turn the profile series can be classed according to their size or their composition: in fact we can have standard profiles or thermal break profiles.
The choice of the profile depends not only on cost-effectiveness or reasons of style, but also on the dimensions and consequent required performance in which case the advice of a reputable window fabricator will be essential for those not acquainted with the subject.
Aluminium profiles of the thermal break type are those in which the profile consists of two parts, namely: an inner part and an outer part united by plastic bars (normally made of polyamide) which interrupt their thermal bridge.
Adoption of this technology improves the heat insulation class of the window and minimizes the condensation effect, which depends solely on the difference in temperature between inside and outside as well as on the percentage humidity in the environment.
Thermal break solutions also include the Aluminium-wood profiles which offer a dual advantage: they allow a style closer to traditional furnishing while they also offer the plus factor of weather tightness and easy maintenance of aluminium ( in this case just the outer part of the window). Moreover the customer can choose between various colourings of the aluminium and different types and colours for the wood.
drilling, with special dies to prepare the anchoring points
assembly: the profiles are joined to form the window frame using the so-called assembly fittings (screws, bolts, brackets) and the operating fittings (handles, hinges)
inserting of cladding panels (double glazing or metal panels)
Companies operating in the fabrication and production of aluminium and pvc windows can be subdivided into three groups, namely:
- transformation companies, with just production: they carry out the distribution phase, design and installation of windows;
- design and transformation companies: they are involved with the design of the aluminium and pvc profiles which they then fabricate outside;
- integrated companies: they perform all phases in the production, except for surface treatments.