How do I properly clean and maintain my extrusion tools?
  1. When production stops, remove the tooling from the extrusion head before the coating material hardens.
  2. The correct procedure to remove the extrusion guide from the extrusion head is to cut the wire, leaving a small section inside the wire guide. This will prevent the flowing material from getting into the tool.
  3. To remove the tool from the extrusion head, always use a tool with a soft surface (such as nylon or wood). Tap the tool from the back and never from the front where the insert may be located. Place the tool on a safety tray when you remove it from the extrusion head.
  4. Once the wire guide is out of the machine, pull the wire out in the direction of the extrusion line.
  5. Try to remove the insulating material from the tool when it is still warm and soft. You can clean carefully with a wire brush. Avoid leaving marks on the tool body.
  6. When the insulating material is cold and has become hard, heat the tools in an oven with a controlled temperature (200-250°C; 392-482°F) to soften the insulation or use a fluidized bath to remove it. Never use a torch as this can seriously damage the tool structure (e.g. mounting, welding, insert).
  7. Once the insulating material is removed, clean the extrusion tools in an ultrasonic cleaning machine using water and washing liquid.
  8. Dry the tool carefully, removing all watermarks and coat the tool with lubricant oil.
  9. Store the tool clean and lubricated (e.g. in a wooden case, tubes) for future use.
How do I choose the right material for my tip?
  1. Use wire guides (tips) with diamond inserts for diameters smaller than .075” (1.90 mm).
  2. Better consistency of the cable is obtained when using a diamond insert. The concentricity of the cable is maintained longer because the wire guide is subjected to less wear.
  3. The lifetime of a wire guide with a diamond insert is approximately 20 times or more than a wire guide with a TC insert or solid carbide.
  4. There are two clear advantages of using a diamond insert versus TC tools:
    1. Tool cost savings (per length of coating) of 25% can be achieved in a short period of time. Less tool inventory is needed because of the longer tool life.
    2. Longer life will mean less machine downtime required for changeovers.
How do I inspect my extrusion tip?

  1. Follow the removal and cleaning procedure mentioned in “How do I properly clean and maintain my extrusion tools?
  2. Inspect the extrusion tip diameter (A) using a check pin. Confirm the hole size is within specifications. You may want to use a microscope to check if the hole is still round.
  3. Inspect the end of tip (B).  The wear should be even and free of irregular damage
  4. “Nose” section (C) should be polished and even
  5. “Tail” section (D) must be clean and fee of damage that could move the tip out of alignment
  6. Confirm the core tube/receiver (E) is clean and free of damage that could move the tip out of alignment (the core tube/receiver is the holder that holds the extrusion tip)
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