How To Stop Profile Warpage

Faster! Every company wants to run faster to obtain additional product out on the same production range and from the same volume of labor. Plastic profile extrusion companies are no exception. You can easily speed up the extruder to drive more pounds or even to buy a more substantial extruder to get more output. However, when extruding plastic material profiles, the output is usually controlled by the cooling of the account and the ability to contain the part in the right shape while it has been cooled. It is hard plenty of to cool simple forms like spherical pipe and tubing more quickly however the difficulty increases when the complexity of the account increases. Window profiles and other complex parts are very difficult to great uniformly, and when the parts usually do not nice warpage and bow is the result uniformly.

Like the majority of materials, plastics shrink as the temperature of the plastic decreases, but they usually shrink a lot more than other materials. Plastics shrink at one cost when they will be in the solid (frozen) state, but they shrink much more when they are still smooth or in the molten talk about. The nagging difficulty for the profile extruder is managing this shrinkage when cooling the popular plastic, appearing out of the extruder, all of the real way right down to room temperature. Let¡¯s take the easiest example of a flat sheet where one side cools faster than the other. When soft both sides are shrinking at the same rate even now. Even if one side is cooling more quickly and shrinking more rapidly the other side continues to be pliable more than enough to come along with the additional shrinking side. However, once one part cools past the crystalline heat or its glass changeover temperature, a couple of things happen. First, that materials stiffens and is no longer pliable more than enough to follow the other area and the pace of shrinkage falls significantly. It is as if the stiffened side is not any longer shrinking while the other pliable part continues to shrink. Therefore, as the pliable side proceeds to shrink it really is pulling on the stiffened area and triggering a bow in the direction of the side that cooled previous. In this example, and in other basic profiles, the portion will bow in the direction of the materials that cooled last. In more complex profiles the right parts may twist, distort, or warp in every types of fashions depending on which sections of the right part cooled last. We¡¯ll cover more upon this later.

In addition to this nagging problem is the truth that plastics are good thermal insulators, and therefore they don¡¯t transfer heat very fast. That means it is difficult to pull all of the heat from the part in the first place, let alone doing it uniformly. Thermal conductivity is a way of measuring how fast substances transfer heat. Steel has a thermal conductivity of 43 while Aluminum¡¯s higher high temperature transfer is 250 & most plastics are way down at values between 0.1 and 0.3.


Considering these issues with cooling profiles it should not be astonishing that historically account extruders often used air to cool parts.

Air racks are straight forward tables or perhaps frames with plates / tutorials and fixtures that contain the part in shape as it is being pulled slowly across the table. Fans are usually used to improve total cooling while compressed surroundings jets happen to be added where specific additional cooling is necessary. Metal fingers, cables, and jigs mounted on the table with clamps or vise grips are accustomed to push the part into shape since it cools very slowly.

Air is quite inefficient, meaning SLOW, which in this case is good because slow gives the operator time and energy to make changes and get the component just right without warping or other distortion. Complex profiles or parts with diverse wall thicknesses on varied sections of the part may need customized cooling. The operator can direct even more cooling to where he needs it with compressed surroundings nozzles or retard cooling in other areas by insulating a section to retain it from cooling too fast. Since thicker sections cool more than thin sections slowly, specific actions should be employed to avoid warp. The operator will need to direct a lot more cooling on thicker sections to encourage them to interesting to the same heat simultaneously as slimmer sections on a single profile. Likewise, in the U-channel or merely an internal corner will fascinating slower than another corner and will require even more directed cooling. Output costs are limited by between 100 - 250 lb./hr. using air because it is so slow.

Even today, some may even now use weather cooling when:

Profiles are very complex

Using materials with completely different thermal conductivities

Size of production runs do not justify more costly tooling


When more significant output rates are required, then cooling with water is used. There are many ways to run a part through water based on many variables.

Submersion Tanks

For very easy shapes the part could be extruded outrageous of a long water tank and be pushed down under the normal water by rollers or sizing plates. This can only be used for parts where it doesn¡¯t matter that underneath of the part hits the water first (and is cooled primary) while the leading comes down in to the water an instantaneous later.

Vacuum Tanks

Extruding larger or even more complex shapes straight into the water container is a wonderful idea that runs into the simple problem of gravity pulling normal water out of the tank through the hole that the component must go through in to the tank. Even tiny gaps between the sides of the part and the sides of the entry plate will allow water to leak out. This problem is usually solved by applying vacuum to the entire inside of the tank to hold the water in. Of course, this requires a particular tank that is strong enough not to collapse from the differential drive of vacuum on the inside and air pressure on the beyond the tank.

Other Options

Another option is to make a little vacuum sleeve around the entrance to suck off any water trying to stream through the gap between part and entrance plate. Recently, profile extruders will place a dry vacuum calibrator while watching water tank to perform the same thing. This vacuum calibrator is often as short as 3¡± for less essential profiles or as long as 10 toes for parts which have to become hardened to extremely precise dimensions prior to going into the water container for more cooling. Dry vacuum calibration is not as efficient as normal water cooling nonetheless it is the value that must be paid out when tighter control of the sizes is required.

Water Temperature Choices

It¡¯s pretty obvious that vacuum tanks are actually closed totally. With an open normal water tank it is extremely difficult even, if not unattainable, to get into the tank to place fingers and jigs to force the part into form as is done on an surroundings rack. Additionally it is difficult to immediate cooling water or to insulate sections of the part from cooling. However, you'll be able to reduce the proficiency of cooling (i.e. slow it straight down) to mimic the considerably more uniform cooling practical with an surroundings rack by heating the water. This is often done with parts which have a strong inclination to warp and specifically with higher heat range engineering components. In this case a temperature control product is required to control the temperatures of the water at a establish value. The higher the water temperature may be the slower the cooling and then the less complicated it is to attain uniform cooling. Controlled temperature drinking water between 80¡ã F and 130¡ã F is typically used in the initial tank until colder drinking water can be used to comprehensive the cooling. Of course, with the desire for speed, the colder the drinking water the more quickly the cooling, thus most account extruders shall use cold water at temperatures between 50¡ã F and 55¡ã F every time they can.

Water Flow Characteristics

Even nonetheless immersing the complete profile in water provides faster and better cooling it could not be the very best cooling method. Unless the water is being agitated to provide turbulent flow around the proper part, then your layer of water following to the part will warmth up and that warm water following to the component will slow down the cooling. The same phenomena may occur on simple styles like round pipes or tubing to reason uneven cooling and bowing. We all know that high temperature rises and heated water is normally no exception. This is great for the water up coming to the vertical areas of a part going through the water. The water is without question heated by the component and this warm water will rise along the part drawing cool water behind it to help single screw extruders expand cool the part with a continuing renewing of cool water against the portion. However, warm water on the bottom surface area cannot rise as because the part is in the manner easily. It does slowly progress and draw cold water behind it but less efficiently than what is going on on the sides. The very best is even more of a trouble because despite the fact that the heated water is not obstructed from moving up and away from the portion, the only water that is used to replace it's the heated water upgrading the sides of the part. The top is not cooled as quickly and pipes or other parts will generally bow up (bend upwards). Sizing plates in the tank help break up this movement but only allow cool water onto the very best of the part soon after the sizing plate. Turbulent circulation of water on the tank supports this problem.


Spray cooling is an improvement over immersion cooling and another real way to remedy the cooling challenge. Spray nozzles will be evenly distributed around the part and down the container to ensure a frequent replenishment of temperature controlled water to the surface of the part. This spray likewise ensures considerably more uniform cooling by spraying water equally into U-channels and inside corners in comparison to outdoors corners and straight walls. Parts with a simple cross section can be sprayed with cold water and run at excessive rates of production. The challenge of uneven wall thicknesses must be addressed separately still. If spraying cool water alone isn't sufficient to attain the uniform cooling that's needed to prevent warping, the drinking water can be heat controlled to decelerate the cooling and reduce or eliminate warping. Normal water is required in a sufficient volume to create the turbulent movement in the tank that is needed to split up the insulating coating of warm water.

Some people declare that spray cooling is significantly much better than immersion cooling as a result of evaporative cooling effect. That's where the normal water sprayed onto the popular part is quickly considered steam and evaporates having off a lot more heat than the normal water can hold off when immersed. While this effect is real, it really is only true once the surface of the plastic is above about 250¡ã F. This only happens in the very first seconds and even tenths of seconds of the component entering the cooling tank. With the high productivity of cooling of the normal water and more importantly the low conduction of temperature from the plastic to the surface, the surface temp quickly drops below 250¡ã F. and stays there in order that forget about evaporative cooling occurs. Even now, the frequent replenishment of cold water to the area is an improvement in the proficiency of the drinking water cooling, with the added good thing about certainly not requiring vacuum to hold the water in the tank. Spray cooling possesses extra uniform distribution of cooling drinking water over the surface and also continuous replenishment of cold water on the surface with the added good thing about using lower flow rates of drinking water.


So, the plastic component shall tell you when it is not getting cooled uniformly simply by bowing, warping, or distorting. With simple shapes the right part will bow in direction of the wall or section that cooled last. In more technical shapes the contortions might not be as easy to figure out with as many as 6 to 10 different wall structure sections cooling at diverse rates. Directing more cooling to sections that certainly would great slower because they are: thicker, inside corners, otherwise shielded from circulating or spray water shall lead to control of warpage. Now the trick is to quickness it up and resolve the issue all over again.

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