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How To Stop Profile Warpage


Faster! Every company wants to run quicker to obtain additional product out on the same production line and from the same volume of labor. Plastic profile extrusion businesses are no exception. It is easy to increase the extruder to push more pounds or even to buy a more substantial extruder to get more output. Nevertheless, when extruding plastic material profiles, the end result is usually managed by the cooling of the account and the capability to contain the part in the right shape while it is being cooled. It really is hard more than enough to cool simple designs like round pipe and tubing more quickly however the difficulty increases when the complexity of the account rises. Window profiles and additional complex parts have become difficult to great uniformly, and when the parts do not neat uniformly warpage and bow may be the result.

Like most materials, plastics shrink as the temperature of the plastic decreases, however they shrink a lot more than other materials usually. Plastics shrink at one amount when they happen to be in the sturdy (frozen) state, but they shrink much more when they are soft or in the molten state even now. The issue for the account extruder is controlling this shrinkage when cooling the popular plastic, coming out of the extruder, all the way down to room heat. Let s take the simplest example of a flat sheet where one part cools faster compared to the other. When soft both sides will be shrinking at the same rate even now. Even if one aspect is cooling more rapidly and shrinking faster the other side is still pliable more than enough to come with the other shrinking side. Even so, once one side cools past the crystalline heat range or its glass transition temperature, a couple of things happen. First, that materials stiffens and is not any longer pliable plenty of to follow the other side and the cost of shrinkage goes down significantly. It is as if the stiffened side is not any shrinking while the other pliable aspect continues to shrink much longer. Therefore, as the pliable part goes on to shrink it really is pulling on the stiffened side and triggering a bow in direction of the side that cooled previous. In this case in point, and in other straightforward profiles, the part will bow in the direction of the material that cooled last. In more technical profiles the parts may twist, distort, or warp in all types of fashions based on which parts of the component cooled last. We ll cover more upon this later.

In addition to this problem is the fact that plastics are good thermal insulators, and therefore they don t transfer temperature very fast. Which makes it difficult to pull all the heat out of the right part in the first place, let alone doing it uniformly. Thermal conductivity is normally a measure of how fast components transfer heat. Steel includes 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 compounding extruder these issues with cooling profiles it will not be surprising that historically account extruders often used weather to cool parts.

Air racks are basic tables or perhaps frames with plates / courses and fixtures that contain the part in condition as it is being pulled slowly across the table. Fans are generally used to improve total cooling while compressed oxygen jets will be added where specific additional cooling is required. Metal fingers, cables, and jigs mounted on the table with clamps or vise grips are accustomed to push the part into shape as it cools very slowly.

Air is very inefficient, meaning SLOW, which in this case is good because slow provides operator time to make modifications and get the part just right without warping or other distortion. Complex profiles or parts with diverse wall thicknesses on different sections of the part might need customized cooling. The operator can direct extra cooling to where he desires it with compressed oxygen nozzles or retard cooling in other areas by insulating a section to maintain it from cooling too fast. Since thicker sections cool more gradually than thin sections, specific actions should be employed to avoid warp. The operator should direct a lot more cooling on thicker sections to get them to cool to the same heat as well as slimmer sections on the same profile. Likewise, inside a U-channel or merely an internal corner will awesome slower than another corner and will require extra directed cooling. Output prices are limited to between 100 - 250 lb./hr. using air since it is so slow.

Today even, some may still use surroundings cooling when:

Profiles have become complex

Using materials with very different thermal conductivities

Size of production works do not justify more costly tooling


When larger output rates are required, then cooling with drinking water is used. There are many ways to run a component through water based on many variables.

Submersion Tanks

For very easy shapes the part can be extruded outrageous of an extended water tank and be pushed right here the drinking water by rollers or sizing plates. This can only be used for parts where it doesn t matter that the bottom of the part hits the water first (and is cooled initial) while the top comes down in to the water an instantaneous later.

Vacuum Tanks

Extruding larger or more complex shapes directly into the water container is a wonderful idea that runs into the simple problem of gravity pulling drinking water out of the tank through the hole that the component must go through into the tank. Even little gaps between the sides of the part and the sides of the entry plate will allow drinking water to leak out. This problem is usually solved through the use of vacuum to the complete within the tank to hold the water in. Needless to say, this requires a particular tank that's strong enough not to collapse from the differential force of vacuum inside and air strain on the outside of the tank.

Other Options

Another option is to make a small vacuum sleeve around the entrance to suck off any normal water trying to circulation through the gap between part and entrance plate. More recently, account extruders will place a dry out vacuum calibrator while watching water tank to accomplish a similar thing. This vacuum calibrator is often as short as 3 for less vital profiles or provided that 10 legs for parts that have to be hardened to extremely precise dimensions prior to going into the water container for more cooling. Dry out 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 measurements is required.

Water Temperature Choices

It s pretty obvious that vacuum tanks are actually closed totally. With an open drinking water tank it is extremely difficult even, if not impossible, to find yourself in the tank to put fingertips and jigs to drive the part into condition as is done on an air flow rack. Additionally it is difficult to direct cooling water or even to insulate sections of the right part from cooling. However, you'll be able to reduce the effectiveness of cooling (i.e. slow it down) to mimic the even more uniform cooling practical with an oxygen rack by heat the drinking water. This is often done with parts which have a strong inclination to warp and specifically with higher temperatures engineering materials. In cases like this a temperature control device is required to control the temp of the drinking water at a placed value. The bigger the water temperature is the slower the cooling and therefore the less complicated it is to achieve uniform cooling. Controlled heat range normal water between 80 F and 130 F is sometimes used in the initial tank until colder normal water can be used to comprehensive the cooling. Needless to say, with the desire for quickness, the colder the normal water the quicker the cooling, so virtually all profile extruders will use chilled water at temps between 50 F and 55 F whenever they can.

Water Flow Characteristics

Even even though immersing the entire profile in water provides faster and better cooling it could not be the best cooling method. Unless the water is being agitated to give turbulent flow around the proper part, then your layer of water following to the component will heat up and that hot water up coming to the portion will slow down the cooling. The same phenomena may occur on simple styles like round pipes or tubing to reason uneven cooling and bowing. Everybody knows that heating rises and warm water is undoubtedly no exception. This is great for the water next to the vertical surfaces of the right part going through the water. The water is heated by the part and this heated water will rise across the part drawing cold water behind it to further cool the spend the a continuous renewing of cool water against the part. However, warm water on underneath surface cannot surge as easily because the part is in the manner. It does slowly progress and draw cool water behind it but not as much efficiently than what is taking place on the sides. The top is extra of a trouble because despite the fact that the heated water is not obstructed from upgrading and from the part, the only real water that is used to replace it's the heated water moving up 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 support break up this move but only allow cool water onto the top of the part soon after the sizing plate. Turbulent circulation of water on the tank supports this problem.


Spray cooling can be an improvement above immersion cooling and another method to answer the cooling challenge. Spray nozzles are evenly distributed around the component and down the tank to ensure a constant replenishment of temperature controlled water to the surface of the part. This spray likewise ensures more uniform cooling by spraying water equally into U-stations and inside corners in comparison to outside corners and straight wall space. Parts with a straightforward cross section could be sprayed with cold water and work at large rates of production. The challenge of uneven wall thicknesses still needs to be addressed separately. If spraying cool water alone isn't sufficient to attain the uniform cooling that's needed to prevent warping, the normal water can be heat range controlled to decelerate the cooling and reduce or eliminate warping. Normal water is required in an adequate volume to create the turbulent flow in the tank that is needed to break up the insulating layer of warm water.

Some people declare that spray cooling is significantly better than immersion cooling due to the evaporative cooling effect. That's where the water sprayed onto the sizzling part is quickly turned to steam and evaporates transporting off significantly more heat than the water can take off when immersed. While this effect is real, it is only true when the surface area of the plastic material is above about 250 F. This only happens in the 1st seconds or even tenths of seconds of the component entering the cooling tank. With the high performance of cooling of the drinking water and more importantly the very low conduction of heating from the plastic material to the surface, the surface heat quickly drops below 250 F. and stays there in order that no more evaporative cooling occurs. Still, the consistent replenishment of cold water to the surface area is an improvement in the productivity of the normal water cooling, with the added benefit of certainly not requiring vacuum to carry the water inside the tank. Spray cooling does offer extra uniform distribution of cooling normal water over the surface and also continuous replenishment of cold water on the top with the added good thing about using lower flow rates of water.


So, the plastic part will tell you when it is not getting cooled uniformly simply by bowing, warping, or distorting. With simple shapes the right part will bow in the direction of the wall or section that cooled last. In more technical shapes the contortions is probably not as convenient to find out with as much as 6 to 10 different wall structure sections cooling at distinctive rates. Directing extra cooling to sections that naturally would awesome slower because they are: thicker, inside corners, otherwise shielded from circulating or spray water shall result in control of warpage. Now the trick would be to velocity it up and fix the issue all over again.

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