Die Cleaning and Polishing Production Experience
Craig Johnson, CJi Systems Inc., Spokane, Washington, USA;
Jim Gale, Western Extrusions Corporation, Carrollton, Texas, USA
Track: EXTRUSION EQUIPMENT - Die Heating and Preparation
ABSTRACT—Cleaning and polishing dies is a critical step in all extrusion plants. The latest extrusion
die-cleaning technology, based on the proven wet blast process, provides a quicker, more effective and
consistent cleaning action than conventional systems. Experience from existing installations has shown
that the new system minimizes the need for final hand polishing – saving considerable time and
labor. Wet blasting removes deep-seated contamination without impinging on, or damaging the
underlying substrate, and also eliminates the need for time-consuming pre-cleaning. Because the process
uses water and compressed air as the carrier for the abrasive media, it is less aggressive than dry blasting, which can remove material from a surface, or cause substrate damage. With wet blasting, the water acts as a buffer and lubricates the particles on impact, enabling very fine and smooth finishes to be produced without surface damage. The process is self-contained, with machines working in a closed loop. Western Extrusions Corporation commissioned a Cougar Radial EX machine in 2011. This paper highlights
Western’s production experience and includes explanations of the process, the equipment, and the results.
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