If you are new to the world of metal canopy manufacture, you may be wondering whether roll formed or extruded aluminum fabrication would be best for your canopy system. Whether you are a contractor, architect, building manager or business owner, factors such as strength, material cost, and production time come into play — and may be of most concern to you.
The roll forming process uses a pair of rolls to fabricate the metal. Metal sheets are passed through the rolls several times until the desired shape or profile is achieved.
The extruded aluminum process produces components by pushing the metal through a die or mold of the desired cross-section.
Roll forming is a faster process that uses less material, which can make it more cost-efficient for very large projects. On the other hand, the roll-forming dies and setup are more complex, more intricate, and thus more expensive.
Most industry experts agree that there are clear advantages to extruded aluminum. For one thing, the dies used in the extruded aluminum process involve a single piece of metal that is simple to fabricate and thus less costly than a roll formed die. The extruded aluminum process also allows the flexibility of adding slots and other openings during production; in roll forming, an additional post-process is required — which adds to the production time and cost.