In the product designing and manufacturing industry, we get to see that there has been seen a significant increase in the use of the process of aluminum extrusion. According to some recent reports and research, it has been noted there is growth in the aluminum global extrusion market, accelerating with a compound rate of around 4%. However, a lot of us might have already heard about this process and must be wondering what it is and how it works. In order to know about the process, we need to know about the steps that are involved in it.
What is the Aluminum Extrusion Process?
Aluminum extrusion is a type of process in which the material named an aluminum alloy is forced through a die that has a specific cross-sectional profile. In order to push the aluminum through the die and to make it emerge from the opening, a powerful ram is used. When it comes out, it is in the same shape as that of a die. It is then pulled out a long runout table. At the basic level, the process of aluminum extrusion is relatively easy and simple to understand; however, the force that is applied can be similar to the force that you usually apply when you are trying to squeeze out toothpaste with the help of your fingers. For instance, when you squeeze the toothpaste, it emerges in the shape of the opening of the tube. The opening of the tube usually serves the same purpose as an extrusion die does. With the solid, circular opening of the toothpaste, we get to see that the toothpaste flowing out is in the form of long, solid extrusion.
The types of shapes that can be extruded:
When we talk about the type of shapes that can be extruded using this method, there are mainly three different categories, that are as:
This is the shape that is a rod or beam-like structure with no enclosed spaces or openings.
These are the shapes that are made with one or more voids. These could be in the form of a square or rectangular tube.
Semi-hollow tubes are the type of tubes that are partially enclosed. These could be in the form of ‘c’ channels with a narrow gap.
There are various different applications in many industries. These are in the form of the architectural industry, automotive industry, electronic industry, aerospace industry, and various other industries.
What equipment Is needed to set up an aluminum extrusion factory
Setting up an aluminum extrusion factory is a really complicated task, as there are certain steps that need to be kept in mind. In order to follow those steps, one requires a lot of equipment as well. With a lot of research and experience, it was noticed that there are mainly six types of essential products that are important in order to set up your own aluminum extrusion factory. These are in the form:
1. A long billet Heating Furnace with Hot Log Shear
It is a type of equipment that is used for the purpose of heating, shearing, and feeding the aluminum extrusion machine. It is designed in a way that is based on three main parts:
- Billet racks
- Furnace body
- Hot Shearing Machine
2. Aluminum Extrusion Press
When we talk about the aluminum profile extrusion press, a lot of us must be familiar with the fact that it is the main type of machine that is considered the power unit for the extrusion profile formation.
3. Mold Heating Oven
The mold heating furnace is designed in a way that helps to heat the mold.
a. Puller Machine
These are the machines that perform the function of pulling, sawing, and adjusting lengths. Although it is not a must for the aluminum extrusion product line, it is important in a way that it reduces the needing to add on extra workers and helps fix the twist and bend problems that usually can happen during the operations. Thus, it is suggested to add the puller to the product line required.
b. Aluminum Profile Cooling Bed
Cooling beds are the type of beds that usually consist of
- run out table,
- the material conveying device,
- finding a device,
- straightening system,
- material storage device
- fixed length transmission
- finished sawing table
- fixed length table
The function part is to perform functions like cooling, feeding, straightening, sawing, etc.
c. Aging Furnace
The aging furnace is the part that is composed of a track, a charging skip, and a furnace body. It is the part that is essential for aluminum profile hardness by applying heat.
These were the 6 parts that are essentially used in order to set up an aluminum extrusion factory. However, once the equipment is arranged, there is a certain setup that needs to be followed. These are in the form of
- Step 1:
In the first step, the extrusion die is prepared and moved to the extrusion.
- Step 2:
In the second step, an aluminum billet is preheated before the process of extrusion is performed.
- Step 3:
In this step, the billet is transferred to the extrusion press in order to perform the process of extrusion.
- Step 4:
In the fourth step, the hydraulic ram pushes the billet material into the container of the extrusion process, expanding the material in a way that is pressed up against the extrusion die, taking the shape of the container.
- Step 5:
In the fifth step, the extruded alloy material emerges through the die as it is being pressed up against the extrusion die.
- Step 6:
In the next step, the extrusions are guided along the runout table and quenched y a puller which guides them through the runout table.
- Step 7:
In this step, as soon as the extrusion reaches the full table length, it is sheared to the length of the table.
- Step 8:
After shearing to the table length, the extrusions are mechanically transferred from the runout table to the cooling table.
- Step 9:
In this step, the extrusions that are being cooled are moved to the stretcher and are stretched into the alignment.
- Step 10:
In the final process, the extrusions are then moved to the finished saw and cut to the length.