Aerovent excels in supplying fans for the aluminum extrusion industry

Aerovent excels in supplying fans for the aluminum extrusion industry

Extruded aluminum products are all around us, but rarely noticed. From window frames to the front grill on a truck, extruded aluminum is becoming increasingly popular in many industries such as the automotive and construction industries.

For over 50 years Aerovent has been supplying fans to Granco-Clark, a leader and innovator in the aluminum extrusion industry.

Extrusion Process

The aluminum extrusion process actually enhances the properties of aluminum, because it allows the creation of a final product that is stronger and more resilient. It allows for the fabrication of products to various specifications and sizes, while being flexible enough to allow for design alterations, augmentations, and additions.

Aluminum extrusions start with an aluminum cylinder called a billet. These billets are available in a wide variety of alloys, pre-treatments and dimensions.

The extrusion process involves aluminum being forced through a die with a specific shaped opening. This is made possible by preheating the billet to a certain temperature and then applying pressure. The heated and malleable metal is forced against the container wall and the die by a hydraulic ram. Then as pressure increases, the soft (but still solid) metal has no place else to go and begins to squeeze out through the shaped orifice of the die to emerge on the other side as a fully formed shape.

The newly formed extrusion is supported on a runout conveyor as it leaves the press. Depending on the alloy, the extrusion is cooled after emerging from the die through the use of fans or water quenches. This is a critical step to ensure sufficient metallurgical properties after aging. The extrusion is then transferred to a cooling table.

Some extrusion alloys reach their optimal strength through the process of aging, also known as age-hardening. Natural aging occurs at room temperature. Artificial aging takes place through controlled heating in an aging oven, which is sometimes referred as precipitation heat-treating.

The extrusion process facilitates costefficiency of the use of aluminum by creating finished products that are either complete as a unit or can interlock or join with other strong metallic parts.


“Granco Clark and Aerovent have been doing buisness together for over fifty years,” said Greg Masters of Air Handling Equipment. “It started in the early 1950’s when Don Beair and Dick Masters of Air Handling Equipment, worked with Aerovent to come up with a special high temperature extended shaft fan for Granco to use in its Die Box Ovens.”

The 18S7 design is what they came up with and for the last fifty years every Granco die box has included one of these fans. All through the fifties and sixties Granco used Aerovent for all of its axial fan applications, which included many high temperature (600°F.) tubeaxials. With the advent of the gas shortages of the 70’s, energy conservation, and new pollution control laws the use of the Aerovent fans forexhausting high temperature air from ovens diminished.

Granco began using centrifugal blowers more and more to re-circulate the hot air back into the ovens as well as for extrusion cooling applications. By the 1980’s the only Aerovent fans Granco still used were the 18S7 extended shaft fans for their die box ovens.

While the volume of Aerovent fans that Granco purchased decreased the relationship between Aerovent, Granco, and Air Handling Equipment Co. through the Masters family remained strong. Aerovent was able to help Granco with replacement parts and fans including Air Kits and high temperature fan wheels from now defunct fan companies. Much of the replacement parts business came through Aerovent but many different manufacturers were used and Air Handling Equipment was able to save Granco time and money by not having to buy complete new fans or systems.

Coming Full Circle

This kept us working closley with both Granco’s engineering and purchasing departments. Then a fortuitous thing happened. Granco’s Blower Representative retired and the new rep neither knew a lot about high temperature fans nor did they seem to consider Granco Clark a high priority customer.

That’s when the purchasing department at Granco contacted Air Handling Equipment Co. about the possibility of Aerovent supplying high temperature centrifugal blowers. This is when Aerovent’s “can do” attitude paid off. Working with Julie Oakley, Aerovent’s Sales and Flakt Manager and engineering, it was decided that we could supply the high temperature fans.

A drawing and a quote was submitted and Aerovent waited for the first order. In January of 2000, Aerovent received its first order for a 1000 F. oven re-circulation fan from Granco. This model 22MH OW was designed for 2,400 cfm against 28” S.P. at standard conditions.

Granco has since ordered several more high temperature fans of various sizes. The success with the high temperature fans has given Granco Clark confidence in Aerovent to the point where they have begun to order DWDI fans for run-out cooling applications. It looks at this point as if Aerovent and Air Handling Equipment Co.’s fifty year relationship with Granco Clark is really just getting started.

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