Rolled Aluminum vs Extruded Aluminum for Windows: Key Differences and Comparisons
Banner Image

Rolled Aluminum vs Extruded Aluminum for Windows: Key Differences and Comparisons

Are you contemplating fitting your house with aluminum windows but are stuck between choosing roller aluminum versus extruded aluminum for your windows?

Both of these are clad windows; they are made of wood but the exterior is coated with aluminum, however, there's quite a difference between rolled aluminum and extruded aluminum. Let's dive into that.

What is Rolled Aluminum?

Rolled aluminum is a thinner version of extruded aluminum made to be able to be molded into any desired window profile. Think of this as an aluminum foil where the aluminum is made quite thin to wrap around the frames and sashes of your window.

What is Extruded Aluminum?

Unlike rolled aluminum, extruded aluminum is quite thick. Extruded aluminum has a better finish to withstand damage, fading and chalking.

But this is not all that differentiates these two aluminum. More on rolled aluminum vs extruded is as follows:

How is Extruded and Rolled Aluminum Manufactured?

Both rolled aluminum and extruded aluminum go through some form of aluminum fabrication process. Here, aluminum is being created to come out in a particular shape.

Rolled aluminum comes from passing slabs and billets of aluminum alloys below large steel rolls. The aluminum is then forged into a thin layer and rolled continuously until the end product is a complete roll of sheet, foil, or plate of aluminum.

Here is the picture: You have aluminum alloys going through two heavy opposing steel rolls highly pressing against each other turning the heavy aluminum foil into a thin layer of aluminum sheet.

Extruded aluminum, on the other hand, is the case of your heated aluminum billets being pushed through a die that is in a particular shape. The result is large aluminum extrusions in different kinds of shapes based on the cross-section of that die the original die was pushed against.

Imagine this as a situation where you are pushing toothpaste out of its containment, the result is a long line of paste in the shape of that toothpaste containment.

Which one lasts longer?

The structure of extruded aluminum makes it stronger and more durable as compared to rolled aluminum. Think of extruded aluminum as having used more material in its fabrication. Rolled aluminum on the other side has used less material making it quite malleable to fit into various shapes of your liking.

Is any surface finishing done?

Rolled aluminum goes through two aluminum rolling processes, one through the breakdown mill to reduce the aluminum ingots into thin sheets. The second part is second through the finishing mill only meant to coil the sheets into a final large roll of sheet. Nothing much is done to the aluminum surface to make the surface appealing.

For extruded aluminum, there are defined finishing processes. The extruded aluminum finishing processes include mechanical finishing like buffing and polishing to end up with a smooth surface, treating with acid or alkaline solutions to make it adhesive to paint that helps to reduce corrosion, anodizingpowder coating, and sublimation where a particular exterior appearance is given to the aluminum.

The end result of surface finishing is aluminum material for your window that is durable and looks good.


How are they used?

Both rolled aluminum and extruded aluminum for windows have varied applications. Your aluminum extrusions can actually substitute wooden window frames. One top extruded aluminum window brand is the NT Window Twinsulator characterized as strong and highly energy efficient.

Rolled aluminum can be used as a wrapping for your wooden windows. Note that wood is in danger of warping,a especially from contact with water after long periods. Rolled aluminum provides an extra protective layer to protect your windows from such eventualities increasing the longevity of your windows.

Deciding Between the Two

On the rolled aluminum versus extruded aluminum for windows debate these two window materials serve enormous purposes in making your house better and stronger. Your goal as a homeowner is to reduce the amount of time and funds you spend on maintaining your home. Extruded aluminum keeps your house safer because of its strength and durability.

Your house will look better from the good finishing aluminum extrusions go through. All this comes at a cost but take this as a long-term investment because see, extruded aluminum is ten times stronger than rolled aluminum for windows.

Price considerations

Extruded aluminum definitely costs more than rolled aluminum. Extruded aluminum has more going into it from manufacturing to finishing making it quite an investment for any homeowner. There is a guarantee of strength and durability, its appeal, and applications.

Rolled aluminum is a more cost-effective option, especially for larger building projects. There is not much finishing done to it. It is however a strong option when used for your window shutters.


December 27, 2023


We don't currently serve your area but do want to help you plan your project. Try our Build & Price tool to get an idea of window & door costs within DFW. Your area may be higher or lower but at least you'll have some idea of the price.
Thanks for stopping by.

Build & Price

Back To Top
Get a Quote