The employment of aluminum extrusion in product manufacturing and design is rapidly increasing, and with good reason. Maybe you've heard about this manufacturing process and are interested in what it entails or are looking to launch a business in the industry; either way, you've come to the right place. There is plenty to learn about aluminum extrusion, but today we’ll lean more on choosing an aluminum extrusion press.
Here we go!
What is Aluminum Extrusion?
This procedure involves driving aluminum through a particular cross-sectional cylinder form called a die. The extruded aluminum has the same appearance as an expanded component with an almost similar width as the aluminum die opening.
Generally, this process comprises rotating an aluminum bar into a continual part of the even cross-section by driving it to run under high pressure via a die opening.
How Does Aluminum Extrusion Work?
Aluminum extrusion calls for pushing the billet via a die aperture with a somewhat slender cross-section area than the billet. The extruded materials all take up the shape of the die’s crack.
Generally, aluminum can be extruded into any shape using huge hydraulic presses that apply pressure of 15,000 tons or less.
This process can be done indirectly or directly. The most popular and preferred technique is direct extrusion. When it comes to indirect extrusion, it involves keeping the die head stationary through the entire process as the moving ram pushes the aluminum bar through the die.
On the other hand, direct aluminum extrusion produces numerous shapes, including solid rods, hollow tubes, and bars. The design of the die can be adjusted or changed to offer a wide range of solid and open shapes. Keep in mind that when employing direct extrusion, the bar is the one that's usually emotional.
As of indirect extrusion, the bar or billet remains in position as the ram motions the die. This technique leads to the exertion of pressure on the billet while stationary. To keep the billet stable, friction should be as minor as possible.
Due to aluminum's qualities, it is an affordable material with incredible functionality and a magnificent appearance.
However, the cross-sectional shape of the final product is designed before beginning extrusion. This boosts performance, improves assembling, lessens weight, and decreases finishing expenses.
Choosing an Aluminum Extrusion Press
Like most machines, you don't just buy the first one you see unless it is perfectly functional and exactly what you need. There is a process to it, and since aluminum extrusion presses cost an arm and a leg, it will be an immense loss if you buy one that isn't right for your needs.
Here are five steps to follow when choosing an aluminum extrusion press:
A quality aluminum extrusion press will serve you for over five decades; choosing the best one is imperative. Here is how to do it:
Type of Extrusion Presses
Aluminum extrusion presses come in three types:
● Direct pressing
● Back pressing
● Firmware & mandrel
Choose the Media
This first step should be selecting the media based on the market and the objectives of your particular niche market. Most modern presses feature compression molding minus mandrel and flash.
With this press, the converse extrusion die at the hollow ram's end moves correspondingly with the container. However, there isn't a proportionate motion between the container and the aluminum bar.
Due to how this press works, there isn't friction between the aluminum bar's surface and the container. Additionally, the pressing force lies between 20 and 30% or less. This decreased effort makes extruding small profiles easier and reduces performance temperature, which results in increased pressing speed.
During the molding cycles, the temperature profile is more even, and any contamination from the bar’s surface doesn’t affect or become part of the profile. Nevertheless, it is vital to scalp blank. This means you should treat the aluminum bar’s surface.
Firmware & Mandrel Pressing
Manufacturing flawless pipes calls for perforating the mandrel for the openings in an aluminum bar or hollow ballet and mandrel. In both designs, the faultless hollow profile will sport improved microstructure, a more even structure, and better mechanical features. This is acquired using a conventional press.
Investing in a press is expensive, but it is worth it and can quickly produce top-quality products.
A direct flow press is the most common option for extruded aluminum manufacturers.
Selecting the Container’s Diameter
This is quite a tricky step. Here you have to consider the optimum linear mass and confined circle profiles that will be pressed on your machine. You can also weigh in the profile’s history, though the market might shift course in the future. However, a helpful tip is that presses expand the container's diameter nowadays.
The container's diameter is usually 25mm or more than the diameter of the most substantial profile or profile classification. Prevalently, you can continuously extrude aluminum profiles bigger than the billet's diameter when you utilize a die sporting a speculum.
On the other hand, this technique is more convoluted and needs pricier dies, though it allows for a handful of applications.
Choosing Media Efforts
After choosing the diameter of the container, it's time to choose the media efforts. Choosing a pressure within the 60 – 80 kg/mm2 range is vital. The pressure is attained by splitting the press force by the container cavity's area. It's generally larger than the billet's diameter by 3%.
Choosing an Optimal Preform Length
The billet's maximum length diameter is 152mm for a machine with a 1200 to 1600 force and 750 to 850 mm preform diameter. On the other hand, for billet's length diameter of 178mm and machines with 1600 to 2000 force, the preform diameter is between 850 and 1000mm.
Size of the Die Stack
The matrix set's thickness dictates the matrix's deflection under load, which impacts the capacity to regulate profile dimensions and divergences from them.
The matrix’s deflection is decreased in relation to the matrix set length’s third power. All the same, the bigger the die assembly, the more expensive it is.
Further, press manufacturers and specialists should determine the size of the press tool for best results.
Systems & Parts of an Aluminum Extrusion Press
An efficient aluminum extrusion press should have all the right components to work efficiently and boost productivity. These parts are as follows:
Forged or Cast
Older aluminum extrusion machines were made of steel or cast iron, including the most vital parts like containers, the primary ram, and rear and front crossbars.
Presently, most parts are built using forged steel, and with good reason. Forged steel offers superior control for different defects; therefore, the manufacturer can consistently deliver quality.
Front Plate’s Thickness
The press's front plate is supposed to be impressively thick to reduce die reflection. The front cross member's stiffness should be excellent to restrict the matrix's deflection when under load, at 0.25 – 0.40mm or less.
Pre-tightened Tie Rods
Two pairs of columns link at the rear and front cross members. Typically, previous aluminum extrusion presses fatigued fast, though the new models are significantly better at handling demanding projects. This is thanks to the unique sleeves and pre-loading of the whole length.
When the press is idle, manufacturers experience loss, eventually affecting performance. Recently, the idling cycle has significantly decreased due to computer control, enhancement of hydraulic systems, adjustment in press construction, front-loading technology, and so on.
Manufacturers usually list the idle cycles period of the press, so make sure to weigh this in before making a purchase. For more information, you can ask for an idle chart. Keep in mind that the shorter the idle cycles, the better performance you’ll get.
The extrusion press’s hydraulic system has to be chosen carefully. Here are some factors to consider:
Choosing a reliable manufacturer with excellent customer ratings and reviews is always best. Also, they should have spare parts and gear maintenance services. It would be best to understand the services they offer and what benefits will come with your purchase, like warranty, customer care, installation services, etc.
Additionally, the manufacturer should be able to consider your preferences and produce a customized aluminum extrusion press.
The number of major pumps for your hydraulic system is something else to consider. The more main pumps, the better the performance and the shorter the idling period.
Location of the Pumps
The location of the pumps can vary, with some on the press's floor, the oil tank, or in a separate room or pit. Their positioning impacts the hydraulic setup's serviceability, noise level, and effectiveness.
Cooling Oil & Oil Filters
Adequate oil filtering is vital to the lifespan and regular running of the hydraulic system. For this reason, you should ensure the heat exchange design, temperature control setup, and filters are compatible with your plant's conditions.
Pipes & Accessories
The pipes and other accessories are the last things to consider regarding the hydraulic system. These help decrease water hammer and oil leakage in the system.
Automatic Press Control
All current aluminum extrusion presses have an automated control system. It would be best to know the specific parameters in the control system, to better understand how much control you will have over the press.
Integration & Features
The current automated control setup can be incorporated into your business’s computer system to accumulate and store information and approve orders. The abilities of such setups are tremendous and ever-growing. Ensure the system you choose will boost your aluminum extrusion press system.
Exclusive displays can inform you of possible problems before they occur. For example, on some modern extrusion presses, you can check on the alignment state of the container to the ram.
Additionally, Remote Display Network lets you check the press’s status and report any deviances from the standard operation. With these systems, you can perform diagnostics of the machine efficiently from anywhere.
Container Alignment System
The container alignment system is on the exterior of the press’s frame. These setups make aligning the container's axis easier in the horizontal and vertical planes.
Cooling & Heating the Container
Aluminum extrusion presses, precisely the larger ones, offer differential heating in the container in some zones and regulate the temperature of many measurement points. It is practical to split the container into the upper and lower zones. The upper zone heats up more than the lower section.
Additionally, some manufacturers provide a container that can be cooled to decrease the temperature when it surpasses the set restriction.
Container and Ram Replacement
When working with over one billet diameter, offer the design for a swift change of the ram and container.
Type of Die Carrier
Die carriers come in two major types:
Here is what to consider:
Blanks Loader Types
The loader is usually a carriage for less modern presses, which drives the workpiece to the press's center line. They have robotic loaders or apply the load from the top for short-running or compact presses.
Detaching the Discard
The detachment systems of the discard should comprise a pneumatic chip for swift ejection of the discard’s cut.
The above are the major components, though there are some optional ones including:
It is possible to press aluminum without the vent; the container remains open throughout the precipitation of the aluminum bar to reduce or eliminate the period of the air release cycle.
Aligning the Die
Bracing the die in the vertical and horizontal directions when shearing the residue to offer an even and smooth cutting area is vital.
Choose Wangeshi to be your aluminum extrusion solutions provider!
Launched in 1997, we have over 20 years of experience in this industry and have worked with numerous clients, including international businesses and local ventures.
We supply both raw materials and aluminum profiles and ensure to provide a complete product line, including aluminum extrusion presses. Besides, we are quick to adapt and catch up with the trends in this business, so we adequately serve you and offer you up-to-date products.
Our aluminum extrusion presses are purposefully engineered to meet the modern business’s needs, increase productivity and boost efficiency. It is also an energy-saving option, engineered by some of the best brains in our R&D team.
Wangeshi aluminum presses are majorly utilized in the high-end profile, including building materials, aerospace, vehicles, and automotive lightweighting.
On the other hand, these aluminum extrusion machines provide a swift change extrusion barrel gadget and can easily replace extruding rods and improve this process's efficiency.
Contact us to know more about our products or to request a free quote!