Thermal Management Practices For Aluminum Extrusion
Bill Barron and Tom Larrick, Williamson Corp.
Track: EXTRUSION PROCESS - Temperature Measurement
ABSTRACT --- The aluminum extrusion process is a thermoforming operation using a combination of
heat and pressure to transform aluminum billets into functional products. Historically,
processes have been operated manually at conservative levels using intermittent
measuring techniques and accepting product variability and waste. The operator’s
experience was key. Now new technology allows one to fully characterize the
thermoforming parameters of the process, learn more about what is happening in real
time, and take the extrusion process to the next level of managed automation. Second
tier benefits include microstructure analysis, physical properties of the profile, and
surface and dimensional characteristics. This paper presents a roadmap for the
thermal management process that optimizes productivity, helps the operators do a
better job with quantitative monitoring of key parameters, and delivers a consistent
quality product with less scrap. Actual field data is presented to illustrate the
importance of a thermal management system.
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