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Advantages of Extrusion
Aluminum extruded parts can be produced with exceptionally smooth surfaces and accept a variety of paints and plating finishes.
The simplicity of the extrusion process yields 80-90% lower tooling costs that other processes like injection molding or die casting.
Modern extrusion presses and processes produce close tolerance extruded shapes that are durable and dimensionally stable.
Hot extrusion is done above the material's recrystallization temperature to keep the material from work hardening.
Cold extrusion is done at or near room temperature. The advantages of cold extrusion versus hot extrusion are higher strength, closer tolerances, and the lack of oxidation.
With friction extrusion, force is applied to push the charge against a die.
Anodyzing (Type II or Type III)
Extrusions can be anodized before they are cut and are limited by the length of the anodizing line. Type II anodizing creates a corrosion-resistant oxide finish on aluminum parts. Parts can be anodized in different colors—clear, black, red, and gold are most common. Type III is thicker and creates a wear-resistant layer in addition to the corrosion resistance seen with Type II. Anodized coatings are not electrically conductive.
This is a process where powdered paint is electrostatically sprayed onto a part which is then baked in an oven. This creates a strong, wear- and corrosion-resistant layer that can be more durable than standard wet painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available to create the desired aesthetic.
Extrusions can be wet painted in a wide variety of paint formulations and colors.
A chromate conversion coat can be applied to protect aluminum from corrosion and improve adhesion of paints and primers. Chemical film conversion coatings are electrically conductive.
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Applications for Extrusion
Building and Construction
Extrusion is often used for commercial facades, flooring trim, windows and doors, curtain walls, and railings.
Parts of appliances, air conditioning units, marine and fitness equipment, and furniture can be extruded.
Aerospace and Automotive Components
Auto and aerospace companies often make hydro formed shapes, trim, electric vehicle components, and more using extrusion.
Overview: What is Extrusion?
How Does Extrusion Work?
Extrusion works on the same principle as squeezing toothpaste from a tube where metal or plastic material is heated and pushed through a die. It is the manufacturing process of choice when producing high volumes of material with a constant cross section. Once the desired cross sectional profile is determined, the material and temper is selected based on strength or stiffness requirements. Then, a hardened steel die is cut to the shape of the profile and the alloy is forced through the die by the extrusion press. The extrusion profile can be almost any shape and be either solid or hollow with one or more hollow sections.
Extrusions with hollow sections are created with a multi-part die. The material is forced around piercing mandrels supported in the first die which forms the inner profile. The material separates, and then is forced or “welded” back together by the second die which forms the outer profile.
The Extrusion Process, image from Open University
The size of the extrusion press is determined by smallest circle that will fit around the profile. The larger the circumscribed circle, the larger the extrusion press required.
Both plastics and metals can be extruded. Aluminum represents roughly 80% of extruded metal parts. Polyethylene is the most commonly extruded plastic.
Why Use Xometry's RFQ Service For Extrusion?
Xometry partners with the most sophisticated extruders with the latest extrusion technology to deliver high quality, high production, low cost extrusions.
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