Are you considering a new project that will take advantage of extrusion processes? Do you have a complex design in mind that you are concerned won’t adapt well to the limits of extrusion technology? If you have either of these questions then it is critical that you understand that common mistakes with extrusion designs can be easily avoided.
One of the most common mistakes in extrusion designs is that they are simply too complex. Overly complicated designs can be made, but may not have the durability that you had hoped would be part of the project. Carefully consider the amount of complexity in your design as you work through the engineering process.
Overly complex designs, such as those that have cut out areas, those that have multiple bore holes or those that are very small can create additional fees for you. The challenge with these types of designs is in the way that plastic extrusions are made. The plastic extrusion process is one where a batch of raw plastic is forced through a screw, heated and then molded using a metal die. Once the plastic is molded, it is cut and cooled into the proper size.
Hollowed out areas can be another mistake in extrusion design. When extrusions are created, they need an area where they can be supported interiorly in order to create a new space or hollow. Additional hollowed out areas beyond a single bore hole can be challenging to accomplish without a great deal of hand work. Without the supportive structure of the die, hollows can collapse or not meet the required wall thickness or specification.
Overly tight tolerances are another common extrusion design mistake. In fact, which less than 3mm tolerances can be met, that may cost extra in the processing fees. During the process of heating and cooling, the plastic may change in size. Tolerances above 3mm can be easily managed, while those that are smaller may require more runs and more expense.