Capalex Metal Extrusion

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Chris Holden

Capalex specialise in making small and tightly toleranced extrusions and are manufacturing the metal tubes for the pen packaging. In essence the process of extrusion involves taking a large cylindrical billet of material (in our case Aluminium), heating it and then pressing it through a die in the shape of the final cross-section that is desired.

Extruding tubes such as ours with such a thin (1mm) wall thickness is quite a tricky process as the material can prove to be quite unstable whilst heated. We also want the best surface finish possible which means drawing the tubes from the die at a slower speed to avoid streaks. All this being said our job is still pretty straightforward compared to the intricacies of the aerospace, electronics and medical parts they have produced in the past. With over 30 years experience Capalex are AS9100C accredited company, which means they work to the highest international aerospace standards and provide full traceability on the materials that they use.

We have already received samples of the tubes and are really happy with the quality. Now that we've seen the process and met the people we can give the green light to produce a full run. A big thank you to Graham Bell who is project managing our job and gave us a brilliant tour of the factory. Also, thanks to Alan Buckland (Production Manager), James Jewell (Tool & Die Technician) and Jason McGlasson (Machine Shop Manager) for taking the time to talk us through what they do.