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What is Extrusion?
Extrusion die making dates to the late 18th Century when lead was softened by heat and hand pressed through a pipe onto a die with a plunger. The process quickly evolved with mechanical aides that made use of water pressure allowing for greater amounts of force. While the process has continued to advance, the basic steps have remained constant.
Extrusion is a process used to create parts of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material is pushed, by an extruding screw or ram, through a die of the desired cross-section. The method is typically suitable for long parts with a uniform profile. Some machining may be required after the initial extrusion. The extrusion method is similar to injection molding or die casting, rather than the material being forced into a cavity, is passed linearly through a 2D shaped Die to form the part’s profile.
This process is suited for plastic, elastomeric, and metal materials. For plastic or elastomer extrusion, the plastic material is fed into an extrusion screw which heats and rotates forcing the material through the extrusion die. For metal extrusion, a billet of material is forced by a hydraulic ram through the die. The billet is often heated and a lubricant is used to decrease the force required.