Extrusions: the Process

The process of creating an extrusion is one that has been tested over decades of technological advances. While the basic process may seem simple, there are variations that can create products and parts that can be used in virtually any industry. Here are just a few things to know about how the overall extrusion process works:

  • Add the raw materials to the extrusion line. The first step in an extrusion is to provide the processing machinery with raw material.  Bins filled with beads of plastic materials, such as natural rubber, nitrile, or acrylic, are attached to the extrusion line.  Having the material enter the processing chute as a bead means that there is a consistent stream of plastic which allows for a high quality final extrusion.
  • The plastic enters the screw. There is a large screw at the beginning of the extrusion line that is placed in a barrel.  This creates not only a steady stream of plastic to be processed, but the friction helps to start the melting process that is needed to complete an extrusion.
  • The plastic is liquefied. Heating elements in the barrel of the screw, as well as friction from the screw itself, melts the plastic beads.  This ensures that the plastic melts at an even rate, neither overheated nor under heated, so that the highest level of extrusion can be completed.
  • Screen and breaker. Before the plastic gets to the die, the plastic moves through a screen and breaker to ensure that the plastic is moving in a solid flow.  Once that is completed, the plastic hits the extrusion die and is quickly formed into the correct shape.  Cutting and cooling are next in the process.  Cooling the plastic allows it to follow close tolerances.

Call Extrudex today for assistance with your new products and rapid prototyping.  Call today to speak to one of our extrusion engineers.