February 27, 2023

Feature article highlights how designers/engineers can affect their products' environmental impact through low-carbon prime aluminum and scrap content

Wauconda, IL – The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) has published the 2023 Buyers' Guide, spotlighting aluminum extrusion production resources of AEC members. The newly updated Guide provides alphabetical listings of Extruder Members, including press information, extruder plant capabilities, certifications and staff contacts, all under one cover. In addition, Supplier and Producer Members are cataloged in distinct sections with complete contact information and web addresses for easy access. The Guide's easy-to-use sections include a Geographical listing of Extruder Members and a comprehensive capabilities chart featuring each Extruder Members' plant locations and manufacturing data such as press maximum circle sizes, finishing, fabrication, and other capabilities. The digital version of the Guide is accessible online at www.AECguide.org and the printed Buyers' Guide is available to designers, material specifiers, engineers, architects and others upon request.

The Buyers' Guide is one of the Council's most popular publications and promotes extrusion use with value-added content touting the benefits of designing with aluminum extrusions for countless applications in key industries. AEC emphasizes that partnering with the chosen extruder's team can best achieve the greatest cost-value benefits according to specific product needs of the customer. The option of sourcing locally is made easier with member listings for each plant location, and the geographical listing of Extruder Members.

Additionally, the Guide includes a feature article that highlights aluminum extrusions' supportive role in reducing the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a product through the careful sourcing of aluminum billet – the feedstock for the aluminum extrusion process.

The article notes, "Aluminum billets are produced using either primary aluminum exclusively or a combination of primary aluminum and pre- and post-consumer aluminum scrap. Virtually all primary aluminum is imported, with carbon content being a function of the power source for smelting. One major lever to impact extrusion GWP is the use of recycled materials in the billet. Reducing the prime aluminum content from 47% (the AEC Aluminum Extrusion 2022 EPD baseline) to 30% virtually offsets the carbon contribution from the whole extrusion process. And, reducing prime aluminum to 10% offsets the contribution from extrusion, finishing and thermal enhancement."

The second major lever is to change the source of the primary aluminum used in the billet, to a lower carbon-intensive smelting source. (i.e., using aluminum produced using hydro power versus coal power).

In addition, "AEC members are increasing their investment in remelt capacity. More than 625,000 metric tons of secondary aluminum billet capacity is expected to go online through 2024."

To read the full article, download the digital 2023 Buyers' Guide or request a printed copy in the Resources/Publications section of AEC.org.

The AEC Buyers' Guide digital e-book is also available for download at aecguide.org.


About AEC
The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) is a progressive trade association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America.  AEC is committed to bringing comprehensive information about extrusion's characteristics, applications, environmental benefits, design and technology to users, product designers, engineers and the academic community.  Further, AEC is focused on enhancing the ability of its members to meet the emerging demands of the market through sharing knowledge and best practices.  For more information, visit aec.org and follow AEC on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.