The technology used to create extrusions is some of the most sophisticated in manufacturing today. With concerns over efficiency, processing time, overall cost and the use of environmentally friendly materials, engineers have spent a considerable amount of time developing extrusion processes that serve customers quickly and in a cost-effective manner.
For an extrusion process that only uses a single material, a profile extruder is generally the preferred technology to complete the job. A single material profile extruder takes the material and feeds it from a hopper into the equipment, where it is heated and then forced through a single die. There is a wide variety of capability in the single extruder. A single material profile can be as large as a four foot diameter tube and can be as small as a drinking straw or even smaller. As you can see, there is great versatility in the single extruder.
For projects that utilize more than one material a co-extrusion process is chosen by the engineers. For each part that is different, a new extruder is needed. If a rubber hose needed to have a yellow stripe on it, two different extruders would be needed in order to complete the job. Other types of projects that require co-extrusion would be adding a different type of material onto another plastic material or adding flexible parts to a rigid framework.
Once the extrusion is complete, the product must be cooled otherwise it will lose the correct shape created during the process. There is a wide variety of cooling options for extrusion processes. These include the use of an air rack, cooling tank, vacuum tank or sizing table. These can be added at different points during the process while shapes of the plastic are established and other materials are added to the final product. The most common way of cooling extruded parts is by using a cooling tank that circulates water over the parts as soon as they are pulled out of the extruder. A support is used to hold the parts in place so they don’t lose their shape. Parts can either be sprayed or immersed in order to be cooled.
New technology can help your company to achieve the extrusion outcomes that you are looking to accomplish. Call Extrudex today for more information on plastic extrusions.