What is the Equipment Used in the Extrusion Process?

Views:170 Author:Site Editor Publish Time:2023-07-14 10:42:05 Orgin:Site
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Post-pandemic economic growth has generally exceeded consensus expectations. This growth is largely fueled by industries that utilize aluminum extrusion products. As these sectors continue to thrive, demand for aluminum extrusion profiles has also shot up.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that launching an aluminum extrusion profile manufacturer is among the most lucrative business opportunities right now.

Since you are here, you likely have already caught wind of this opportunity but are stuck on what extrusion equipment to get to launch your aluminum profile production enterprise. Don't fret. Here are insights into the equipment you need in the extrusion process.

 

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Primary Equipment for Aluminum Extrusion Production

To start creating various aluminum extrusion products, the following equipment are a must-have:

 

Multi-Billets Heating Furnace Featuring Hot Log Shear

This special equipment is utilized in the pre-process of extrusion. It’s utilized to heat, shear, and feed the aluminum billets in the extrusion machine. Billets are large aluminum slices cut from a massive log and used as raw material in extrusion.

The oven and the hot log shear are designed to preserve heat throughout the pre-process of extrusion. There are also fully automatic multi-billet heating ovens featuring hot log shear that combine various other functionality such as engineering, hydraulics, thermometry, and photoelectric systems.

This oven with hot log shear equipment comprises a log feeding transport rack, hot shears, a furnace, and an electric control system. Wondering how the equipment works? The aluminum billets are sent into the furnace via the transport rack.

Once the heating is complete, the hot billets are sheared with the hot log shear. The hot pieces are then pushed into the extrusion press. 

Newer multi-billet heating furnaces with hot log shears come with numerous advantages over older models, such as:

●Reducing aluminum waste

●Improve aluminum profile production by 5% to 8%

●Cut down energy consumption by 25%

●Allows free replacement of aluminum billets with other billets of different allows without any delay, saving a great deal of time

●The equipment can quickly get to ideal temperatures, saving energy

●The equipment has an automatic sensor that sounds the alarm when there is no material on the feeding table

●The hot log shear can cut billets vertically and horizontally, not just in one direction.


Aluminum Extrusion Press 

The extrusion press is the principal machine and power unit in the aluminum extrusion profile forming. Unlike other equipment on this list, the press has numerous components. It mainly comprises the front platen and back platen joined together by tie rods. Let's explore the various press components and their use.

Mass Cylinder – A chamber and cylinder into which hydraulic fluid is pushed to generate the necessary ram pressure and movement.

Hydraulic Pressure – This is the pressure generated by the hydraulic fluid pushing the ram to move it forward and is rated in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI).

Ram – A steel rod connected to the main cylinder and features a dummy block on the end, which enters the rack/container and exerts pressure on the hot billet.

Dummy Block – A steel block attached to the ram stem and designed to fit tightly to the container walls to prevent the aluminum billets from leaking backward as it pushes them toward the die.

Container/Rack – A chamber that holds the aluminum billets as they get pushed through a die on one side due to the pressure from the ram and dummy block entering from the other side. The container sits within the container housing and is often lined with a non-reactive liner.

Tool Stack (Die Assembly) – There's a solid and hollow option. The solid option is made up of the die ring, backer, die, bolster, and sub-bolster. Keep in mind that sub-bolsters aren’t utilized in Newnan or Carthage. On the other hand, the hollow option comprises the die ring, die cap, die mandrel, sub-bolster, and bolster.

Die Holder – A container for the die.

Die Lock – Holds the die firmly in place within the container.

Cradle – Keeps the billet in place as the ram pushes it through the extrusion.

Run Out Table – A table situated directly at the press leadout equipment’s exit that helps support and guide extrusions.

Press Leadout Table – A table supporting the press leadout equipment.

Canister – Aids guide the extrusions from the die and has a similar number of holes as the die itself. Some extrusion equipment manufacturers are abandoning them because they are challenging to handle and costly.

Platen Pressure Ring – A rigid steel ring placed into the platen to hold the die stack in place. The ring needs to be replaced periodically as pressure from the main cylinder causes it to stress and wear.  


Direct vs. Indirect Extrusion

If you have come across the terms direct and indirect extrusion, the difference between them occurs in the aluminum extrusion press. Direct extrusion involves the die being held stationary while a moving ram pushes metal through it.

On the other hand, indirect extrusion involves the billets sitting stationary while the die assembly at the end of the ram pushes against it to generate the pressure necessary for the aluminum to flow through the die.

 

Mold Heating Oven

The mold heating oven can either be a resistance wire furnace or an electromagnetic oven, although the latter is more common in modern aluminum press setups. The oven is for heat treating the newly made aluminum extrusion profiles before they are put to work. Heat treating the aluminum molds increases their strength and hardness. 

 

Benefits of Using an Electromagnetic Mold Heating Oven

There are numerous benefits to using an electromagnetic mold heating oven over a resistance wire furnace. These benefits include: 

 

1. Energy-saving


Electromagnetic mold heating oven enables energy savings ranging from 30% to 70% in comparison to conventional resistance wire mold oven. Electromagnetic ovens utilize high-temperature nanometer insulation to reduce heat dissipation through convection during mold heating. As a result, it reduces the energy amount required to heat the molds.

 

Ordinary resistance furnaces typically lose a lot of heat through convection. The oven's surface is usually scorching hot and is a burn hazard. It's a heatwave from the oven even 1 to 2 meters away. In contrast, you can touch the outer surface of an electromagnetic oven without feeling a burning sensation. 


2. Employee Protection


The use of nanometer insulation in electromagnetic mold heating ovens enables the heating to take a significantly shorter time, and there's way less heat released to the surroundings. Therefore, the ambient temperature is massively reduced, improving employees' working environment. Moreover, since the outer surface of an electromagnetic oven doesn't get burning hot, there is less risk of employees accidentally burning their hands. 


3. High Efficiency


Electromagnetic ovens feature a high thermal energy conversion mode (magnetic energy heating) that significantly enhances the conversion efficiency of electric energy to heat. This enables rapid heating of molds as there is no waiting for preheating, thus cutting down the operating time for staff and improving work efficiency.

 

4. Enhanced Stability


In most electromagnetic furnaces, only the electromagnetic coil while the mold stays motionless. Since this extrusion equipment doesn't have to move the coil around, it performs stably, which gives it a long life. Mostesistance wire ovens have to move the mold around during heating and often deform, especially with heavy molds, which reduces their lifespan.

 

5. Improved Safety


Electromagnetic mold furnaces have several safety features, such as over-temperature protection, timeout protection, and self-test output.

Over-temperature protection leverages two temperature-measuring thermocouples inside the oven to stop the mold from overheating. Timeout protection prevents output devices such as motors from overworking. In addition, self-test output enables early detection of faults in the electromagnetic oven. 


Puller Machine

The puller machine in an aluminum extrusion setup is responsible for pulling the molds on a track to a cooling table. When the molds leave the extrusion press, they are usually about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit hot. Extrusion pullers help to get these hot molds to a secure cooling location efficiently.

 

There are two types of extrusion pullers, single and dual systems. The single systems consist of one puller working on one track, while dual systems involve two pullers working on two separate tracks. Dual systems are best for modern high-speed, short-cycle extrusion presses as they are faster and have minimal scrap. Keep in mind that pullers are not a must-have in an extrusion setup, and you can rely on workers to move the hot molds to a cooling location.

However, without pullers, you will need more workers, which will increase your cost of production. Moreover, your hot molds will be more susceptible to twisting and bending problems during quenching.

 

Quenching locks in the phases and elements in the microstructure of the aluminum alloy, thus, strengthening the molds. Investing in high-quality extrusion pullers will minimize the twisting and warping of molds during quenching. 

 

Cooling Bed

As the name suggests, the cooling bed allows the newly made aluminum profiles to cool down and oxidize further. This extrusion equipment comprises the run-out table, conveying and feeding device, straightening system, and material storage device. It also has a fixed-length transmission and a finished sawing table. Most cooling tables allow for both automatic and manual operation.

 

You should know that the cooling table's conveyors can be a belt, belt + chain, or a hydraulic walking beam system. A single worker often operates the straightening/stretching system, with the stretching length and tension figures displayed on a screen before them.

Additionally, you can opt for an automatic collecting device to make recovery and reuse of sub-standard aluminum molds much easier. 

 

Aging Furnace

The aging furnace comprises a track, charging skip, and the furnace body. It aids with the artificial aging of aluminum profiles. Aging aluminum aids it to become stronger; however, natural aging typically takes a lot of time.

Artificial aging leverages heat to age the metal much faster and help it achieve higher strength than naturally aged aluminum. It often involves heat treating the aluminum profiles at about 180 degrees Celsius for 4-5 hours.

 

Other Nice-to-Have Aluminum Extrusion Equipment

It's no secret that the manufacturing world is evolving rapidly due to clients increasingly having unique needs. The more aluminum extrusion equipment you have in your extrusion plant, the more likely you are to meet these unique client needs.

The following are some nice-to-have extrusion equipment you can add to your extrusion plant to boost your productivity and quality while reducing labor and enhancing your ability to satisfy unique client needs.


Integrated CNC & Cutting Center – This CNC machining center can perform milling, drilling, and cutting operations at the end and heat of aluminum profiles. It has an automatic magazine and utilizes a push-feed system for extruded profiles. Moreover, it features a gripper handling for traversing and clamping the face of the operating unit. 

5 Axis CNC Machining Center – This CNC machining center features a moving gantry structure for milling, cutting, drilling, and thread cutting on aluminum bars and large pieces. It enables you to access all five faces of a prismatic workpiece. Thus, allowing you to eliminate additional setups and processes needed to complete the same work. This CNC machining center is also surprisingly affordable, and payback rises with the ability to create intricate workpiece contours and features. 

Automated Double Head Saw – This equipment can work with a single head and double head, and its profile cutting length can be manually adjusted. It also features a support arm sitting amidst the two heads and a vacuum system for cutting without depositing debris.


Need Reliable Aluminum Profile Extrusion Machines?

Welcome to Wangeshi, a globally renowned supplier of aluminum extrusion manufacturing solutions. We have been providing top-notch aluminum extrusion equipment to enterprises like yours globally for over 20 years.

Our well-established research and development (R&D) facility ensures our offerings always lead the industry with innovations. Check out our website for additional insights on our aluminum extrusion machines.


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