American Douglas Metals Your Metals Solution Company Tue, 19 Jul 2022 15:27:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 American Douglas Metals 32 32 THE HISTORY OF ALUMINUM Tue, 19 Apr 2022 14:55:07 +0000

Aluminum is one of the primary materials we work with every day across the globe. Aluminum alloys are used everywhere today, from cars to building frames. But when did we start using aluminum? Who discovered it?

We’ll discuss the history of aluminum, who invented it, and how its use has changed over the years.

How Does Aluminum Occur in Nature?

It’s essential to understand how aluminum naturally occurs to begin understanding the history. You might have heard that aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, but that statement is slightly misleading. There are no actual aluminum mines in the world because the metal doesn’t naturally occur in a metallic form. That’s why it was never utilized in earlier medieval periods for weapons or armor.

Aluminum is actually trapped within other materials on a microscopic level. Two of the more common sources of aluminum are aluminum sulfate and aluminum oxide. Aluminum metal is created by extracting its molecules from these substances and refining it into the dense form we know.

When Was Aluminum Discovered, and Who Did It?

There isn’t really a clear answer to these questions. That may sound ridiculous, but aluminum’s discovery comes down to what you’d consider a discovery; the point of its theorization or its creation. The scientific community typically credits aluminum’s discovery to a Danish chemist named Hans Christian Ørsted in 1825 because he was the first to physically create aluminum.

However, chemists were already strongly suspicious of aluminum’s existence even further back in the 1700s. They just didn’t have the technology to bring the metal into physical being. When answering the question, “when and who discovered aluminum?” it’s easier to explain it through a timeline.


Chemists were convinced that alumina (aluminum oxide) was the salt of a metal. Alumina had been discovered in the mid-century, and its resemblance to other metallic salts left little room for doubt in their minds. These chemists knew there was metal in alumina, but they didn’t know how to extract it.


Famous for discovering several elements like potassium and sodium through electrolysis, an English chemist named Sir Humphry Davy was confident he could use the same process to make aluminum. He tried to isolate the metal from aluminum oxide but ultimately failed. He and other chemists weren’t dissuaded from aluminum’s existence, but he admitted defeat and moved on to other projects.


Hans Christian Ørsted created impure aluminum metal for the first time and is largely credited with its discovery to this day. He accomplished this feat by utilizing potassium (previously discovered by Sir Humphry Davy). By forcing aluminum chloride to react with a potassium-mercury amalgam, he created a tiny amount of aluminum metal.

While receiving some small praise for his accomplishment within the science community, his achievement initially went without much note. Frustrated, he moved on to other projects. In later decades when aluminum’s importance to the world would skyrocket, he’d receive awards and high praise for his work.


A German chemist named Friedrich Wöhler took Ørsted’s experiment and replaced the potassium-mercury amalgam with pure potassium. His process creates far more aluminum in the form of a powder, but ultimately the aluminum still can’t be used to create physical objects.


Continuing the tour of European chemists, A Frenchman named Henri-Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville developed his own process that resulted in a purer aluminum that could finally be used to create physical objects. By utilizing sodium as a much cheaper alternative to potassium, Deville was able to make aluminum far more affordable.


Aluminum’s next leap forward was actually developed by two people, in two separate countries, at the same time, and neither was aware of the other. Charles Hall (American) and Paul Héroult (French) both discovered a new way to produce large quantities of aluminum using what was at the time, an excessive amount of electricity.

Héroult won the race, filing for his French patent on July 9th, 1886, and Hall filed for an American patent a few months later on April 23rd. The proximity of their discoveries resulted in a legal battle between the two, but ultimately the process became known as the Hall-Héroult in the scientific world.

Charles Hall would later bring his discovery to the attention of an experienced metallurgist named Alfred E. Hunt, and together they formed the Pittsburgh Reduction Company. This small company would become one of 2022’s largest aluminum manufacturers in the world, the Aluminum Company of America, or as we call it, Alcoa.

The Massive Price Drop of Aluminum

Aluminum has had one of the most dramatic drops in price of any material on the planet. When Hans Ørsted created the first fragments of impure aluminum, it was priced at $1,200 per kilogram (2.2 lbs). In today’s money, that’s a little over $34,000 for only two pounds! At the time, aluminum was literally worth more than gold.

Deville’s discovery made the metal financially obtainable for the first time, but it was the Hall-Héroult process that opened up the possibility of mass aluminum production. By 1898, the price of aluminum had fallen off a cliff; it had dropped to $1 per kilogram.

The metal’s lightweight properties and financial accessibility created a rush in North American and European countries. Governments and companies across both continents utilized the metal for vast projects like shipbuilding, locomotives, and even the first airplane.

In just 150 years, the aluminum industry went from small nuggets at the bottom of a chemist’s telescope to being present in nearly every building, car, and product we buy today.

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Making a significant visual impact can come down to the smallest details.  To really make your project pop, you need to highlight its quality by making it appear as flawless as it performs with decorative trim pieces.  Aluminum is one of the most customizable metals on the market today; the metal is light, and there’s no end to the textures, colors, and effects you can achieve with it.  Whether you’re sprucing up a lamp, a car, or even doing some home improvement, aluminum is the best choice for you.

By utilizing aluminum extrusion, we at ADM can create trims of any lengths, shapes, or designs to fit your needs.  Aluminum extrusion is our specialty, and we have a large inventory of molding dies for you to choose from.

Minimal Upkeep

Decorative additions need to look great without constant upkeep.  The last thing you want to do is add additional time and expense just to maintain an appearance.  With wood, you need to book time to treat it and reapply protective layers, because if you don’t, its appearance will dull.  Worse, if the trim is located outside, it’ll eventually rot.

Aluminum doesn’t suffer the same pitfalls.  Depending on whether the trim will be spending time outside, it may not even require treatments to maintain its appearance.  Aluminum edge trim is remarkably resistant to weathering of all kinds, be it scratching, rusting, or denting.

Weather the Outside Elements

When choosing a material to enhance the appearance of a building, for example, you need to take weather resistance into account.  Wood needs to be treated, and plastics can deteriorate when exposed to water over several days.

Incapable of rotting or rusting, aluminum is perfectly suited to outdoor use.  With an additional anodizing layer, moisture of any kind is powerless to affect it.  Whether it’s drizzling or storming, you can rest assured that your trim will be just as fresh as when you first installed it.


When people think of durable metals, aluminum generally does not come to mind.  Because everyone uses aluminum foil, it gives the metal an unearned reputation for being a weaker material.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Aluminum comes in several different gauges, some rivaling the strength of steel.  In the industrial sector, aluminum is used extensively in creating cars, trains, and airplanes.  It’s far more robust than most materials on the market today, so if you need a decorative piece that’s particularly tough, we’ve got you covered.

Highly customizable

Having access to options makes the creative process so much easier. As one of the most customizable metals on the market, aluminum can be changed to fit your specific needs.  Better yet, the visual enhancements increase the resistance and durability of aluminum as well!

We offer finishes that change the metal’s color, increase its resistance to water, as well as embossing services to create unique visual textures.


Finishes provide one of two functions, to provide a different appearance, and enhance the durability of the metal to specific circumstances.  Aluminum is naturally reflective and sleek, giving it an appearance most people find appealing.  But if shiny and grey isn’t the look you’re going for, you have options.  There are two ways to enhance the color of a metal, and those are Paint, or Powder Coating.  In addition, hardening your trim’s defense against rainy weather will keep your metal’s appearance looking fresh for years to come.

Paint – Incredibly durable and rich in color, our high-quality paint is resistant to both outdoor and indoor exposure.(Image of power coated aluminum)Powder Coated – More environmentally friendly than paint and protects against scratches, moisture, and knocks.(Image of anodized aluminum)Anodized – A special protective layer, and our most popular.  We machine the anodized coating into the aluminum, fully integrating the two so the layer cannot chip or peel.  This layer fully protects your aluminum from the rain, but doesn’t color it like the paint or powder coating.


Not only can you change aluminum’s color, but if sleek and flat isn’t what you’re looking for, you can emboss your trim with a design to make it stand out further.  To emboss aluminum, we press the metal against a design die and stamp a pattern onto the surface.  Currently we have effects like driftwood, rustic cedar, and seville.

Shop for Your Aluminum Trim With ADM

We at ADM have been creating aluminum extrusions for over 40 years. We’ve managed to stay in business for almost half a century because we make your needs our top priority.  We ship to any country, customize orders, work through the creation process with you.

For any shape, any design, any quantity, shop with ADM.

To learn more about what we offer or to schedule a consultation, call our main office at +1 (407) 855-6590 or visit our website.

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EVERY DAY USES FOR ALUMINUM PART 2 Sat, 15 Jan 2022 15:35:37 +0000

Every Day Uses of Aluminum

In a previous blog, we discussed how the many unique traits of aluminum give the metal a special place in architecture. From high corrosion resistance, to high-strength and lightweight properties, this economical, eco-friendly metal can be rolled or molded into nearly any shape. Surface properties also give aluminum a leg up on the competition by allowing it to be painted and dyed.

Aluminum’s Versatility

Aluminum is a metal that has long been used in the construction industry. It’s so versatile because it can be shaped into any form imaginable with the use of aluminum extrusions.

 Here in Part 2 of this blog, we’re going to look at some of the most famous examples of unique structures made possible by aluminum extrusions.

 The Empire State Building, constructed in 1930-1932, was the first building to make major use of aluminum components and fabricated structures. So, let’s start with this magnificent, renowned structure.

Empire State Building – New York, New York

One of the most recognizable and iconic buildings ever created, this nearly 90-year-old skyscraper has been an eye-catching piece of the New York skyline with the help of aluminum. Although some of the building is concrete and steel, 730 tons of aluminum were used on the exterior of the building. Aluminum is also found throughout the Empire State Building’s interior, such as:

  • A two-story welcome mural, featuring a dedication plaque, clock, and a scaled artistic representation of the building are all made of aluminum.
  • Metallic accents on floors and building fixtures.
  • A 204-foot TV broadcasting tower that was added after initial construction finished.

Farnborough Airport – United Kingdom

The Farnborough Airport needed to be built quickly and with cost in mind. With the help of aluminum, the project resulted in:

 A sleek, modern, and appealing main terminal and aircraft hangar. The flat-rolled sheets of aluminum allowed for a faster setup of stronger structures than traditional brick or concrete.

  • An easily-expandable design. Thanks to the materials and the way the building was designed, it can physically expanded upon with ease.

Commerzbank Tower – Frankfurt, Germany

Elevated over the skyline of downtown Frankfurt is the Commerzbank Tower, home to Germany’s second-largest bank. With a focus on modern design and architecture, aluminum aided in creating experimental features, such as:

 Sky gardens located throughout the building that allow employees to step outside. The small gardens on outdoor decks improve the beauty of the building, the health of workers, and reduce the building’s ecological impact, allowing more natural light in the building and reducing the need for artificial lighting.

  • Heating and cooling systems assisted by aluminum ducts designed to draw from outside air, improving energy efficiency.

With all the features listed above, the Commerzbank Tower was recognized as the world’s first ecological skyscraper.

Tête Carrée – Nice, France

Literally meaning “Square Head” and ultimately, “thinking inside the box,” Tête Carrée is the world’s first inhabited sculpture. Built by Sacha Sosno, a world-renowned French sculptor, the structure features:

 A framework made entirely of aluminum. The lower three floors, forming the neck, act as supports for the library offices on the upper four floors.

  • An exterior aluminum mesh covering to protect the building. The covering gives the appearance of a smooth, flat surface while giving visitors inside of the building the ability to see through it.

Aluminum Is an Incredible Material

Aluminum has allowed architects to truly think outside the box when it comes to their designs. Without its durable, lightweight properties, some of the buildings we mentioned wouldn’t have been possible.

 If you’re feeling inspired to start your own project, don’t be afraid to give us a call at +1 (407) 855-6590, or click here to visit our website and see how we can help make it a reality!

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Custom Aluminum Extrusion: What You Need to Know Before You Buy Mon, 20 Dec 2021 08:00:30 +0000

First of all, what are custom aluminum extrusions? It’s the manufacturing process of taking aluminum billet (logs), heating them until they’re malleable, and pushing them through a die to create specific component shapes. Though any metal can be put through the extrusion process, aluminum is usually a fantastic choice thanks to its light weight and versatility. This has made it the metal of choice for many industries, including construction and automotive manufacturing. Extruded aluminum, in particular, is commonly used in structural applications because it can be easily bent without weakening or compromising its integrity, making it very durable and long-lasting.

Custom aluminum extrusions are typically used in the manufacturing of equipment. They can be purchased for a number of reasons, including machine guarding and safety enclosures. They’re often chosen because it’s easy to manufacture and install, but there are other considerations you should make before purchasing them – like how much weight they can support or if they need to have an anti-slip surface applied. These extrusions are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, textures, thicknesses, and finishes.

This is a lot to consider, and if you’re not already knowledgeable, it’s easy to make a mistake. American Douglas Metals (ADM) has been fabricating and processing custom aluminum extrusions since 1976. As experts in the industry, we can help guide you in determining the exact specifications for your own extrusion profiles.

The importance of accuracy when creating a custom aluminum extrusion

Accuracy is critical when manufacturing extrusions. The last thing you want is to end up with literal tons of product only to discover the dimensions aren’t correct. That’s why it’s a wise decision to have a company that will go through the steps with you, like ADM. There’s several different factors that go into the extrusion process. While general templates do exist, it’s better to have a custom-made job if your product requires a very specific shape and size.

These aluminum extrusions are made by forcing hot, liquid aluminum through a steel die. Think of the die like a mold. For custom aluminum shapes, a custom die has to be created first. Aluminum can be machined to a higher degree of precision, but this does result in an increased cost. Depending on what you’re using the aluminum for, it may also require additional finishing or heat treating to ensure it’s strong enough. Of course, how exact the specifications need to be depend entirely on what you’ll be using these extrusions for.

There’s also two separate ways the aluminum can be extruded. The Hot heading and cold heading processes are sort of self-explanatory. Hot heading is when the aluminum is heated to a very specific point (generally 25% beneath melting point) and pushed through the die. Cold heading is the same process, but it’s done at room temperatures. Both methods have strengths and weaknesses, but generally, hot heading is a faster process, while cold heading results in a more durable product.

Finishes for aluminum extrusions and what they’re used for

Now we come to finishes. Aluminum extrusions have several different finishes that can be applied to them: mechanical finishes, chemical finishes, anodizing, liquid coating, and powder coating. These finishes are used for a variety of reasons, but each one has a very specific purpose in mind.

Typically, they’re used to make the aluminum more resistant to scratching or corrosion if the material is expected to endure some level of stress. Though finishes are also used to enhance the extrusion’s appearance. The objective could be to give the custom extrusions a more appealing shine or to help paint cling to the material more effectively.

Selecting the right aluminum alloy for extrusion

Just as there are different processes and finishes, so too are there different types of aluminum alloys to choose from. This step is particularly crucial because different aluminum alloys are used for different purposes:

  • 6061-T651 – A great choice for welding and holding a form while remaining easy to machine after a heat treatment. The 6061 also has a good combination of corrosion resistance and strength.
  • 6063-T52 – Weaker than the 6061 with a lower weld strength, it’s still a good choice for more decorative purposes.
  • 7075-T76 – Possesses less corrosion resistance and can’t be welded as well as 6061. However, this is an incredibly strong aluminum alloy that compares very well to steel.

These are only a few choices when it comes to alloys, and some are better for the extrusion process than others. However, they all have their own strengths, and there’s a wealth of choices to make any custom material.

ADM will design what you need for you

It’s a lot of information, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the manufacturing process. We at ADM have been in the industry for 45 years and we pride ourselves on fabricating custom aluminum extrusions to our customers’ exact specifications at competitive prices. Our products are made with the finest materials, and whether you need a custom job or something more standard, we’re equipped for the task. From the exact dimensions right down to the finish, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

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Aluminum Every Day Uses Mon, 06 Dec 2021 14:06:14 +0000

Aluminum is an abundant metal that makes up about 8% of the Earth’s solid surface. It’s so widespread that it ranks as the 3rd most abundant element behind oxygen and silicon. Today, the metal is used every day by most people on the planet because aluminum is versatile enough to be used in all sorts of products. It’s corrosion-resistant, strong, durable, and most importantly, it’s economically priced to help keep costs down. Aluminum is also environmentally friendly because it’s 100% recyclable, so you can do your part for the environment while reducing your operating expenses at the same time.

Most Common uses of Aluminum

In many ways, aluminum is something of a miracle metal. It has so many properties that make it ideal for use, which is exactly why it’s so sought after. Some of aluminum’s characteristics are that it’s:

  • Strong and lightweight
  • Abundantly available
  • Conductive
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Soft to cut but capable of hardening

Aluminum’s excellent corrosion resistance has made it wildly popular in the construction industry. It’s used for the exterior cladding of buildings as well as other exposed parts, like window frames. Despite having the strength to be used as a building material, it’s also light enough to be used in cars and planes as well. Its ability to conduct electricity combined with its soft malleability has also found it a place for short and long-distance power lines. Finally, its abundance has made it the metal of choice for the household. It’s used as aluminum foil for cooking, and every soda in the world uses aluminum cans.

Interesting Facts About Aluminum

Aside from being used in nearly every industry in the world, aluminum also has a lot of interesting facts. For example, it’s used to create lightweight batteries like nearly every rechargeable battery on the market today.

Many different types of aluminum alloys can be used to create high-performance components like engine blocks and transmission housings. For example, its use in transportation can be seen with the aluminum alloy processing used to create engine blocks for F-150 Ford trucks and other similar vehicles.

Today, aluminum use has been extended from a limited number of applications for each alloy type to thousands of aluminum alloys with widely varied properties and compositions suited for many different end-use products.

Aluminum’s Economic Properties

Aluminum’s economic properties make it an ideal substitute for steel because aluminum is more cost-effective while still offering steel’s resistance and durability.

For example, aluminum tubing is a lightweight aluminum structural unit with the added benefit of being corrosion resistant and able to withstand harsh weather conditions like rain and snow. Aluminum tubing is ideal for use in trusses, beams, and columns because it requires less maintenance than steel piping, which allows aluminum to be used as a more economical alternative.

Low Density

Aluminum is a metal that has a low density. The density varies depending on the alloy, but it can be as low as 2.7 g/cm³. Water’s density sits at 1 g/cm³, meaning aluminum is literally light enough to float on water. You can see why ship builders might be interested in the metal.

The formation of an aluminum alloy is similar to the way iron forms steel. Aluminum is combined with other metals to strengthen it and lower its density at the same time. We’ve discussed some basic advantages of aluminum in a previous blog, but here are a few examples of how those traits be put to use.

Enhancing Buildings

One of the most popular uses for aluminum materials is hardening buildings. With half the weight of steel reinforcement and a seventh of concrete, architects have been given the freedom to design structures in ways that were never possible in the past. Structures like the Shard in London, the Opus in Dubai, or the Vancouver House in, you guessed it, Vancouver. None of these structures would be possible without aluminum.

It doesn’t stop with the malleability of building design, though. Aluminum can replace many smaller, expensive materials like brass or steel. The metal can also go through a process called “anodizing,” which creates a porous layer that can be dyed to create unique surfaces. Aluminum can be used to create detailing like wall facades, sculptures, and the metal provides superior insulation compared to stone or brick.

Durable & Recyclable

A lightweight, strong metal that can be used for many different purposes. Its corrosion resistance stops it from rusting or oxidizing like other materials. This makes it the go-to metal for outdoor use where weather conditions are harsh.

As if this miracle of a metal wasn’t impressive enough, it’s also 100% recyclable. So, in addition to doing just about everything you need, you can also feel good knowing it helps reduce landfill waste.

The Metal of Choice for Transportation

The aluminum industry is worth over $200 billion to the economy alone, with the metal being found in nearly everything from planes to cars to high-speed trains. The ubiquitous nature of the metal in these different modes of transportation is typically due to weight reduction. The lighter a vehicle is, the less fuel it burns through.

Auto Industry

While the auto industry still heavily relies on steel, aluminum has been widely adopted to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO² emissions. It’s believed that the average aluminum content in a car will increase by 60% by 2025 as automakers continue to turn away from traditional alloy steel.

Railways & Planes

Aluminum has also found its place in high-speed trains like the Shinkansen in Japan and the Maglev in Shanghai. Shinkansen utilizes the metal as an alloy in their train bodywork, whereas Maglev uses it to reduce friction resistance. Both uses allow the railways to reduce the weight ratio of their trains.

Strengths Compared to Other Metals

Highly regarded for its durable and economic properties, the manufacturing process that goes into aluminum saves companies time and money. The metal’s ability to be produced in sheets or extruded into pre-made shapes provides countless options for use. Aluminum really is one of the most versatile metals in the world, and that’s no exaggeration.

Click here to learn more about American Douglas Metals’ custom aluminum extrusion solutions and get a FREE quote on your next project.

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Addressing the Metal Supply Shortage – ADM Provides On-going Aluminum and Steel Services During a Force Majeure Tue, 20 Apr 2021 21:20:32 +0000

State of the Metal Industry

We are completely aware that many metal manufacturing mills and processing facilities have been expressing a strain on their aluminum, steel, and raw material supplies due to the ongoing metal shortage.

There are many underlying factors that have affected their ability to obtain materials and keep up with the growing demand for metal production. Factors like worldwide COVID-19 related business shutdowns, slower imports, and reduced number of worksite capacity all have created the ongoing shortage and economic downturn we are facing today.

This industrial strain is also being felt around the world as many are looking to import supplies in order to meet the demand by other industries that are experiencing similar shortages such as technology, aerospace, automotive, energy, and so on.

Though import activity is increasing, many North American metal manufacturing mills are facing long delivery times for offshore purchases resulting in many companies unable to receive finished products until the 3rd or 4th quarter of the fiscal year.

Despite their inabilities to obtain aluminum or other metals until the following quarter, the prices on domestic steel items have risen more than 160% since last August. There are a high number of companies that are researching and speaking with mills and production facilities to no avail.


Your Metal Solutions Company

Our team of experts offers more than customer support – their level of service will surpass a simple automated voice service. Our team understands and is empathetic towards any roadblocks you may be facing during this critical time.

They are experts with a deep knowledge base of the ongoing market and material on hand to best suit your needs. Our team will provide insights on how to meet the demand while offering other services to help your business.


We Are Ready To Answer Your Questions

American Douglas Metals Building

ADM is more than willing to assist any potential and returning clients with any services needed on their product orders. We are in constant contact with our vendors to ensure a reliable source of aluminum, steel, and metal products and competitive pricing are available.

During this critical shortage with prices skyrocketing, we want our customers to know that we are working to get your orders processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.  In a market of scarcity, we provide flexible manufacturing services and timely distribution to get your essential metals to you or on-site.

We are currently conducting research and observing the current industry markets to do all that we can to provide the proper resources needed to our clients. We are also reviewing industry resources and offering various alternative metalworking services to our clients during this time. We are in constant communication to maintain the metal supply needed to process placed orders.

We are ready to assist you with all inquiries and are always here to partner with you. Call 1-800-432-3423

Due to the current market, ADM is offering alternative metalworking services
to assist with your project needs.


Contact an ADM Team Member for Further Assistance.

High-Quality Metal Production

At ADM, we offer a wide range of premier metal services for a variety of aluminum and steel products. From stock shapes to custom cut pieces and a state-of-the-art metal processing facility, we offer our partners and customers an all-in-one metalworking shop. Discover our products and services for metal manufacturing.

About American Douglas Metals

American Douglas Metals (ADM) was established in 1976 in Buffalo, NY by Dwight Hanny and Stephen Powers. They began offering aluminum products to companies large and small that were neglected by the diminishing distribution markets in the Western New York area. Today, ADM is a third-generation, family-owned, and operated organization with offices, metal processing facilities, and metal warehousing centers in more than 11 cities throughout the East Coast.

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Hot Or Cold? The Difference Between Each Flat-rolled Technique Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:59:36 +0000
Depending on the project, work order, and customization of a certain finished product, ADM utilizes different types of techniques to ensure the highest quality of sheet metal available. The metal fabrication industry is truly an exciting place for those who have ideas and are not sure how to proceed to development.

different sizes of rolled steel

Let’s say you are in need of a flat rolled carbon steel product to create a certain component to finish a machine, there are a variety of applications needed to be done before you can receive your finished product.

There are two different types of flat-rolling techniques used in the metal fabrication process–hot and cold. We have compiled a list of the differences between each in order to help metal manufacturers get the desired finish needed for a project.


Hot Rolled:

This means that the sheets of high-carbon steel or stainless steel were processed into a coil at a temperature of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit, often called the recrystallization temperature. This is done that way to make the type of metal more malleable and easier to roll into a coil.

This process is done with the use of a large heated rectangular billet that is to be flattened into a large roll. It is kept at a hot temperature and the hot steel is run through compression rollers to create the flat-rolled sheet. It is then wrapped into a coil and left to cool.

Out of the two choices, this is considered the cheaper alternative to rolling techniques as it requires less processing than cold-rolled metal.

Holl-rolled sheet metal are not necessarily used for projects that require precise designs and dimensions as the steel does shrink and scale while cooling. Most projects that would utilize this process for their final product are industries like construction that require beams and poles.

To prevent corrosion and prolong the longevity of the final product, many hot-rolled items are pickled and oiled as a surface finish. The pickling process is not difficult, it consists of bathing the oil in an acid to “pickle” it and a dried oil is applied to prevent rusting.

Hot rolled pickled and oil (HRPO) steel is a form of hot-rolled steel without the scale and the pickling process removes it, thus making the final product more desirable and corrosion resistant.


Cold Rolled:

Compared to hot rolled steel, cold rolled products are processed similarly but with an added step to achieve more exact dimensions. After the steel cools down to room temperature, it is run through the rolling process again to modify the surface area.

The cold rolled sheets are better for projects that require smoother surfaces, well-defined edges and corners in the manufacturing process. The only downside is that there is more pressure required as the material itself is not as malleable as when heated.

Cold rolled sheets are used to make domestic appliances and other products that require precision. Some cold rolled sheets are also coated in various finishes to help enhance the anti-corrosion properties of steel.


Which One Works Best For Your Project

Depending on what you are trying to build and the end goal of the designated product, different types of flat rolled steel products have their own benefits. American Douglas Metals (ADM) has extensive aluminum, carbon and steel products ready to be flat-rolled into the product you need for any project.

Our extensive stock is available in the following formats:

  • Cold Rolled
  • Galvanized
  • Galvannealed
  • Galvalume
  • Acrylume
  • Painted
  • Embossed
  • Hot Rolled Pickled and Oiled

As a full-service carbon and stainless steel products supplier and service center, ADM offers quality and reliability to exceed the needs of diverse industrial and manufacturing applications across the globe.


Reach out to one of our representatives today regarding available products
and services, get started on your next big project with us.

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Making an Imprint on Metalworking: 3 Facts You Didn’t Know About Embossing Mon, 01 Feb 2021 17:56:20 +0000

Embossing refers to the creation of an impression of a design on raw materials. This art of pattern pressing has existed for over thousands of years and is commonly used today in manufacturing to create designs or impressions on metal items.

We use this technique in the industry to create imprints on metal coils, cut-to-length sheets, and other metal fabrication materials. But have you ever been interested in how this method came about and how it has evolved?

We thought we would take a look at three indicative aspects of this widely-used metal fabrication process.

Embossing Derived From India

According to research conducted, metalwork such as embossing can be traced back to India and the use of bronze casting.

Originally metalsmiths in that area utilized this technique for over five millennia to create forms with visions or concepts into copper and tin. These non-ferrous metals were eventually mixed to form bronze. This eventually adapted and was used widely with gold and silver to add finer detailing to the bronze plating.

Based on artifacts found tracing back to early Indian history, metal embossing was used to create designs in water vessels made of copper and silver.

For the past 500 years to today, this technique utilizes a series of metals such as brass, bronze, copper, iron and bell metal in India.

Basic Tools Were Used

In the earliest times of man, an embossing press  or an emboss stamp was not used to make designs into vases and other raw materials. Some of the most simple tools were used to create designs used in currency and artifacts like:

  • Metal Sheets
  • Lac
  • Scissors
  • Gar Burners
  • File and Buffer
  • Hammer
  • Sheets of paper
  • Chisels

Depending on the work, size and request, it would take some craftsmen between 2 months to a year to finalize the work on art onto a metal sheet. To some craftsmen today, this method is still used to create authentic works of art and jewelry.

Henry Ford Didn’t Want To Use Embossed Parts

At the time of Ford’s rise in the automotive industry, some automaker companies were utilizing stamp components for their vehicle assembly. At first, Henry Ford was resistant to this process after his engineers recommended using stamped car parts.

But his mindset changed after the release of the 1908 Ford Model T; he then wanted to create more affordable cars within an effective time frame to meet the demand of customers.

In 1913, Ford installed his first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire vehicle. He broke the process down into 84-steps and trained each of his workers to do one step of the process while a machine stamped out the parts automatically and faster than before.

We Use It to Create Everyday Items

Embossing is not only used to create specific designs in metallic vases or car parts; it plays a large role in the manufacturing process and is used to create items we use everyday.

Silverware with designs, panels, drink cans, lighters, computer parts–these are a few examples of metal materials stamped for our convenience.

Did you know, custom embossing is used on a large scale to create household appliances like washers and dyers?

Embossed materials work well to disperse liquid more effectively, reduce friction and static, increase metal surface area for heat transfer application, and improve traction.

We Use It to Create Everyday Items

At ADM, our metal embossing capabilities create professional, industrial-grade embossed metals for your application. In order to achieve unique designs in our metal fabrication, we offer embossing services for aluminum and steel products.

Our metal embossing capabilities include:

  • 64” Wide Embosser
  • 11” – .063” Gauge Range (gauge ranges may differ depending on material)
  • 25,000 lb. Maximum Coils
  • PVC Application
  • Stucco (Directional) Embossed Pattern
  • Diamond Embossed Pattern
  • Custom Embossed Pattern

ADM also offers a limited supply of embossed patterns such as:

  • Driftwood
  • Pebble
  • Rustic Cedar
  • Seville

With a full-service metal fabrication center, all metal embossing materials can be cut-to-length (CTL) or slit to your exact project specifications.

Interested in customizing a component for your machine or imprinting
a custom embossed pattern on your next project?

Reach out to American Douglas Metals (ADM) today to request additional information on how we can help fulfill your project needs.

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What Aluminum extrusions do you need? Mon, 18 Jan 2021 20:03:54 +0000

Different types of extrusions commonly created and their uses

Big projects, depending on the details, sometimes require a small, custom piece to keep everything stable. Whether it is a bracket, bearing, T-slot, or anything with a designated shape, it can all be achieved through an extrusion process.

An extrusion process puts raw material, such as steel or aluminum, through a custom die to produce a desired shape.  There are many different types of extrusions and extruded aluminum profiles available to fit into large scale projects and everyday household items. 

Types Of Extrusions

Metal fabricators everywhere are thoroughly familiar with the types of extrusion presses used to create a custom aluminum piece. A key benefit in using this process is that no matter the project size or specification, there is an extrusion that will fit your project needs.

Here are some commonly used extrusion techniques to fabricate a specific part needed (no matter the shape) for any project.

Direct Extrusion:

Often referred to as a Forward Extrusion, this process involves a piece of material forced in the direction of a feed through high pressure from a ram.  The ram pushes the material forward toward a die during an extrusion to create the final product. This process does allow the use of hot and cold temperatures and is commonly used in the metal manufacturing process.

It is often used to create pipes, framework, rails, and engine rings.

Indirect Extrusions:

This process is the opposite of direct extrusions mentioned above and can be referred to as a backward impact extrusion. This technique allows the material to flow toward the direction of the plunger movement while being pushed into the container.

This type of extrusion is used to make cylindrical shapes such as, food cans, drink containers, and aerosol cans.

Hot Extrusion:

This process involves adding heat to the material to keep it from hardening (but not close enough to melt), which makes it easier to push through the die. Using a hot extrusion takes less time as compared to the cold extrusion processes and uses a larger amount of material.

Cold Extrusions

Both hot and cold extrusions can be used to create T-shapes, C-shapes, I-shapes, and H-shapes from aluminum.

Your Choice for Aluminum Extrusions:

Aluminum extrusions have several applications in a wide range of industries, including – electronics, automotive, general engineering, mass transit, telecommunications and more.  As an advanced engineering material, the benefits can make a difference in your project’s budget without losing quality in your work.

Sheet metal fabrication is a business we have expertise in since 1976.

The metals you choose can impact the strength, longevity and quality of your finished project. Based on the types of manufacturing you partake in, this can be a critical choice. Choose a professional that understands aluminum and precise designs of manufactured pieces.

Our metal service center enables us to produce, fabricate, stock and ship custom aluminum extrusion profiles in a variety of formats ready for use.

Click here to learn more about our American Douglas Metals and our various extrusion solutions.


To speak with an American Douglas Metals (ADM) representative regarding our available products or services, please fill out the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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This is Going to be Huge: North American Partnership with Italian Company Master Italy Srl Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:23:20 +0000
New Alliance Expands ADM’s Product Line with State-of-the-Art Window and Door Hardware

Something exciting has been brewing here at American Douglas Metals (ADM)—after a long time in development, we’d like to announce our newest partnership with Master Italy Srl, a leader in window and door hardware and accessories manufacturing.

We are pleased to be commissioned as Master’s North American Distributor and Partner to represent and distribute their vast window and door product line in the United States and Canada. With our 16 year history servicing the window and door market, the collaboration was a natural fit.

“Partnering with a company like Master Italy—who’s as dedicated to providing quality window and door service and products as we are—is refreshing,” said ADM’s Vice President Kevin Blake. “With this new alliance, the window and door market in North America can now get state-of-the-art hardware and accessories, in addition to ADM’s prompt and professional service that the market has come to expect from us.”

“ADM’s market expertise and customer focus is a perfect match to our commitment to providing quality hardware for windows and doors,” said Giorgio Grattapaglia, North American Manager at Master Italy. “Master is pleased to partner with an experienced and well-respected U.S.-based company to distribute our products in the U.S. and Canada.”

We are very proud to be the North American distributor and partner of Master Italy. All products will be stocked at our warehouse locations in Buffalo, NY, Orlando, FL, and Acworth, GA for easy access to the North American market.

To learn more about this partnership, please contact us at 1-800-432-3423.

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