Pennex has become a leading provider of extruded aluminum solutions for automotive applications by offering unparalleled value and services. What started as an extrusion-based operation has evolved to include aluminum billet production, technical support services, wide-ranging fabrication capabilities, and a world-class quality assurance system. 

This combination of in-house capabilities and systems rivals that of companies many times our size, without all the issues common with large organizations. It’s what we refer to as the Pennex Advantage: large company capabilities and expertise with small company service and attention to detail. Once you have experienced the Pennex Advantage for yourself, you will find it difficult to work with anyone else!

custom automotive aluminum components

Automotive Aluminum Applications

With extensive extrusion and fabrication capabilities, Pennex is able to produce aluminum components for a broad range of automotive applications. Whether you are interested in taking advantage of aluminum’s unique predictability and energy absorption properties, converting from another material to an aluminum extrusion to reduce weight, or utilizing the benefits of the extrusion process for a brand-new application, we can help.

Some common applications of aluminum in automotive manufacturing include:

  • Structural and chassis
  • NVH
  • Impact protection and crash management
  • Powertrain


Benefits of Using Aluminum in Automotive Manufacturing

Aluminum offers some valuable advantages to automotive manufacturers. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Performance: Aluminum is only about one-third the weight of steel. Because it is so lightweight, aluminum vehicles offer some distinct performance advantages. For example, they can accelerate faster, break more effectively, haul heavy loads with ease, and generally offer greater efficiency. All these advantages result in a vehicle that offers superior performance.
  • Gas mileage: Another advantage of using a lightweight metal is that it can improve a vehicle’s gas mileage substantially. Consumers pay close attention to a vehicle’s fuel economy when purchasing a vehicle since great gas mileage means fewer trips to the gas station and less money spent. Impressive gas mileage will also help manufacturers meet increasingly stringent expectations and mandates regarding fuel economy to reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Safety: Aluminum also offers safety advantages for vehicles. Improved break performance can help drivers avoid crashes. If a crash is unavoidable, aluminum can absorb more energy in a crash than steel can. Perhaps the most convincing evidence of aluminum’s safety advantages comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has given a consistent five-star rating to all the aluminum-intensive vehicles they have tested.
  • Durability: Aluminum-bodied vehicles offer superior durability because they are stronger, more weatherproof, and more resistant to corrosion than steel. For consumers, this can mean fewer repairs and a longer vehicle life. It also means vehicles can maintain a pristine appearance more effectively, an advantage that can appeal greatly to sports car owners in particular.
  • Recyclability: Aluminum also offers an environmental advantage over steel. One of these advantages is the superior gas mileage we discussed above. Another advantage is that most of the aluminum used in vehicle manufacturing is recyclable. On average, close to 90% of the aluminum on a retired car gets recycled. Preventing materials from ending up in landfills is a major way to contribute to a more sustainable world. This is an important factor for eco-conscious consumers.


Overall Aluminum Capabilities

Pennex is home to one of the premier aluminum extrusion facilities in North America. Our Leetonia, OH, facility was designed and built to specialize in producing complex, tight tolerance profiles. Such capabilities mean we can offer unmatched flexibility in fulfilling your design requirements, solving manufacturability issues, or identifying and realizing cost reduction opportunities. We can even work with you on custom fabrications. Our in-house experts can create custom alloys tailored to your needs, so you never have to settle for aluminum products that don’t fit your specifications exactly.

Extrusion Capabilities 

  • Alloys: 6005/6105, 6005A, 6061, 6063, 6082 and custom
  • Maximum Profile Width: 16”
  • Maximum Weight per Foot: 20 lbs/ft
  • Better-than-industry-standard tolerances
  • Elevated mechanical properties

Fabrication Capabilities

  • High-speed cutting
  • End and vibratory deburring
  • Piercing, punching, shearing and notching
  • High-speed CNC machining
  • Tube chamfering and turning
  • Robotic work cells

Quality Assurance

Complementing Pennex’s industry-leading aluminum extrusion and fabrication capabilities is a world-class, IATF 16949:2016 -certified quality system. The foundation of our system is stringent process controls and careful cross-training of plant personnel. We meticulously track and analyze all operational data. Doing so allows us to identify and capitalize on opportunities for improvement. It also means that critical production data can be easily collected and organized for various quality assurance submissions.

Our quality assurance capabilities include:

  • Tensile testing
  • Compression testing
  • Flare testing
  • Fold testing
  • FAI reports
  • PPAP reports
  • Capability studies

Take Advantage of Our Technical Support and Expertise

Before a single piece of aluminum billet is extruded, Pennex can provide you with advanced technical support. Whether you are new to automotive aluminum extrusions or have years of experience, our engineers and metallurgists are prepared to answer all your technical questions. From proper alloy selection to extrusion process modeling, we can help you maximize the benefits of working with aluminum extrusions.

We also possess significant expertise with secondary processes such as fabrication, CNC machining, and surface treatments. So, no matter what level of product development assistance you are looking for, Pennex has the technical resources to help, including:

  • Material selection
  • Design feasibility reviews
  • Extrusion process modeling
  • Prototypes
  • Group training