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Die Cleaning and Polishing Production Experience

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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.

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.