Extrusion machines implement alignment guides and shaping dies to form continuous, uniform shapes from raw material. As the continuous shape exits an extrusion machine, the machine cuts the shaped material at regular short intervals or, in the case of plastic tubing, very long intervals.
Plastic, rubber and ceramics are common extrusion materials for automotive and construction applications. There is also copper and aluminum extrusion machinery. Machines for extrusion even process other metals, like steel for railings and titanium for aircraft.
There is both hot and cold extrusion machinery, and both work very hard in the shaping process, often at high pressure. There are also a lot of variables that affect the quality of the extruded product. Here are some product defects to watch for:
1. Product surface cracking results from excessively high temperatures, friction or speed, or from product sticking to the extrusion machine's surfaces.
2. Product piping (where impurities flow to the center) results from excessively high friction or temperature variations in the extrusion machine parts.
3. Interior product cracking results from a defect in the shaping process in the die of an extrusion machine.
Buy hot extrusion devices for heavy-duty applicationsHeat makes various materials more malleable. However, in the case of metals, hot extrusion requires temperatures ranging from 600 to 4000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure anywhere from 500 to 100,000 psi. The disadvantage of hot extrusion is the cost of manufacturing and maintaining equipment that can handle such harsh conditions. The application will determine if hot extrusion is necessary.
Buy cold extrusion devices and save on maintenance costsCold extrusion has many advantages over hot extrusion. For instance, oxidation is lower and cold working produces higher product strength. With cold extrusion it is also easier to achieve closer tolerances and quality product finishes. When possible, cold extrusion is usually preferable and less costly.
Repair your extrusion equipmentExtrusion machines have a lot of moving parts and involve high forces, temperatures and pressures. This means you should not be surprised if your need repairs.
- You'll probably need to purchase equipment to stamp, bend and drill your product post-extrusion. Many companies that manufacture extrusion machines can also custom design this machinery for you.