WebRTC Expert Feature

November 10, 2021

The Extrusion Process in Different Industries




The extrusion process isn’t new. The first patent of this method dates from 1797 by English inventor Joseph Bramah. The original purpose of this process was to create pipes from soft metals. Nowadays, this process is used in several industries, from the military to food and drugs. In this article, we’ll talk about some industries that depend on extruded products.

The Evolution of the Method

The first methods ever developed were warm or hot extrusion. Here, a block is heated to a specific temperature. Then it’s forced through a die with the desired shape. However, other methods don’t involve heating materials. These are called cold extrusion, friction extrusion, and microextrusion.

Construction

The construction industry relies extensively on custom extrusion products. Those products include rods, elevator shafts, pipes, channels and many other items. Companies like Impol are able to deliver specific special alloys based on their client’s needs to a high degree of technical standard as well as a high output.

Aluminum is one of the most common materials extruded by this sector. One of the main advantages of aluminum is the possibility to reuse it and recycle it.

The process is used not only for heavy-duty purposes but also for creating furniture and decoration pieces. Polycarbonate is another popular material for creating interior decoration pieces.

Automotive

The automotive industry also has several applications for extrusion products. Custom extrusion here serves for creating window frames, car doors, and many other parts. Aluminum is once again the material of choice because of its lightweight, which benefits a car’s overall performance.

Electronics

Extrusion products in the electronic industry also involve a lot of aluminum items, like PC cases, frames, power units, laptops. The list is endless. Still, this industry needs custom extrusion components made from different components, like copper and copper-aluminum alloys. Those materials are necessary to manufacture circuits, microchips, and more.

Food and Pharma

We see extrusion products on the shelves of supermarkets every day. Pasta, snacks, texturized protein, chewing gum. Pretty much every industrialized product has gone through an extrusion process at some point. This industry uses mostly hot and cold processes for shaping food. The pharmaceutical sector also counts on the extrusion process to shape drugs in varied forms. The hot-melt process has been widely used for this purpose.

Defense

Military and defense industries wouldn’t exist without the ability to extrude metals and rubber. From weaponry to joint parts, pretty much every item must be extruded in those industries. Plastic and rubber items are also extensively used in this industry. Those materials have proven their ability to function under high temperatures and humidity.

Different Processes

Here are the most common extrusion processes today, followed by a short explanation of each.

  • Warm: this method was developed in 1956. It involves heating the materials much above room temperature.
  • Hot: this method uses materials heated to high temperatures so that they can be shaped.
  • Cold: as the name suggests, this method doesn’t involve any heating. Instead, products are shaped at room temperature.
  • Friction: It’s a recent method, patented in 1991. It’s designed for the creation of microstructures.
  • Microextrusion: this method is commonly used in drug release and implantable medical devices. It was patented in 1990.






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