Profile Extrusion Equipment
Profiles may consist of a single material or multiple materials. Single material profiles may include things like 4 foot diameter sewer pipe or drinking straws. Though the size of the extruder and the length of the line will vary greatly, the process is basically the same. In this case a single material is fed into a single extruder and through the forming die.
If two or more materials are required to make the product, a co-extrusion process is used. For instance, if the drinking straw has 2 colors of stripes on it, a total of 3 extruders are used and each one feeds a material into a central co-extrusion die. Other examples are applying a weather resistant cap-stock onto a base that is not weather resistant, or adding flexible barbs to a rigid frame member, or various other combinations. Obviously, another extruder is needed for each additional material that is combined.
No matter how what 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 extrusion exits the actual extruder is referred to as “downstream” equipment.
Downstream equipment is generally divided into three categories: