Profile Extrusion Equipment
Profiles may consist of a single material or multiple materials. Single material profiles utilize one extruder that forces material into a single die. Multiple material profiles require more than one extruder to feed material into a central die. Profiles can be as large as a 4 foot diameter sewer pipe or as small as a drinking straw. Though the size of an extruder and the length of the line will vary greatly according to product size and the process steps necessary to achieve an end product; the overall process is basically the same for both single and multiple materials.
If two or more materials are required to make a product the co-extrusion process is used. For example, if a white drinking straw has 2 colors of stripes on it, a total of 3 extruders are needed. Each extruder feeds a material into a central co-extrusion die. Other examples is the appllication of a weather resistant cap-stock onto a base that is not weather resistant, adding flexible barbs to a rigid frame member or various other combinations. For each additional material that is combined an additional extruder is always needed.
Regardless of size or how many extruders are used, they are combined with additional pieces of equipment to form the
extrusion line. The equipment employed after the material exits the actual extruder is referred to as “Downstream” Equipment.