Twisted Profile

1. About the Project

Below we provide a brief synopsis of the project:

  • King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Designer: NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V)
  • Consultant : Dar Al Handasah Group
  • Main contractor: SBG (Saudi Bin Laden Group)
  • Aluminum & Glass Contractor: United Arab Aluminium Company
  • Extrusions supplied by: Gulf Extrusions Co LLC

Key Statistics:

  • Total area of Project – 100 sq km.
  • 100,000 sq m of glass & aluminium

Unique Design Feature:

  • 40,000 sq m of Rain Screen Louver System
  • Aluminium extrusions system has blades transiting from closed to open over a distance of 6m
  • Supports the façade by providing wind load connection

Location of the system: In the boarding bridge area & in front of the glass facade

2. Technical Challenge:

  • Design, Extrusion and Fabrication of Twisted profile
  • Required twisting of 430mm wide and 6m long Aluminum profile from 00 to 600
  • After several failed trials outside, the project team reached out to the pioneers in Aluminum extrusion with the challenge
  • Gulf extrusion designed the profile and extruded it. Gulf Extrusions also developed and built the machines to twist the profile
  • The Twisted profile from Gulf extrusion has been selected as the most innovative Aluminum Product by the most prestigious Aluminum event, Aluminum 2014, Dusseldorf

3. Solution & Planning - Making of the twisted profile:


Internally, Gulf Extrusions studied the project specifications and came with a special extrusion design for the project. Then the right alloy required for twisting was chosen.

The twisting process:

The three stages:

Stage 1: We studied the stress distribution in the profile and designed a special machine with pneumatic cylinders. The machine had three clamps which held the profile. Design challenge was to create supports on the panel to distribute the stress created by the twisting load; Had to secure the panel and the connecting grooves from any strain– Solved by incorporating ribs designed to crack when strained and thus protect the profile.

Stage 2: We found that the twist was not consistent and because of the spring effect of the profile, the aluminium fought its way back to its initial position. The solution was to redesign the machine with hydraulic cylinders, reduce the number of clamps to two and we had to trick the metal by twisting it in stages. We had to twist in stages of 300 , then 250 twice and we took it back to a full 00. By this we were able to achieve the 600 twist.

Stage 3: After successfully twisting the profile, we had the last challenge which was to release the profile from the clamps. So we redesigned the clamps to be ‘Y’ shaped and we were able to release the twisted profile smoothly.

The clients and the stakeholders were extremely delighted to see the final outcome and this project is yet another testimonial which reaffirms the leadership and know-how of Gulf Extrusions in the field of Aluminium Extrusions.

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