Thu, 30 November, 2023
Prolonging the Lifespan of Aluminum Extrusion Dies: A Technological Leap Towards Sustainable Manufacturing with FORGE
The extrusion process, a cornerstone in aluminium manufacturing, involves the shaping of aluminium alloys into desired profiles by forcing the material through a die. This method is pivotal for creating a myriad of products ranging from construction materials to intricate automotive components. Dies, subject to high temperatures and pressures, undergo wear due to the abrasive nature of the aluminium alloy being processed. The choice of die steel, application of wear-resistant coatings, meticulous die design, and control of extrusion parameters are paramount in mitigating wear effects. Regular maintenance and inspection of extrusion dies, including polishing or re-coating as needed, play a crucial role in sustaining optimal performance. Effectively managing wear not only ensures the longevity of the dies but also maintains the precision and quality of the extruded aluminium profiles, contributing to the overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the extrusion process.
However, the relentless pursuit of enhanced material strength, particularly in alloys with comparably high silicon ratios, poses a significant challenge to the durability of extrusion dies. These demanding alloys, while offering unparalleled strength, contribute to accelerated wear and tear on the dies, necessitating frequent replacements to avoid catastrophic failures during processing. This dilemma not only leads to increased production costs but also raises concerns about the sustainability of manufacturing practices, as the premature disposal of worn-out dies adds to environmental waste.
Founded in Gebze in 1990, ASAS is one of the most remarkable industrial enterprises in Turkey with its 5 state-of-the-art production facilities in Akyazı, Sakarya region and over 3000 employees and export to over 90 countries. Based on its stable financial growth trend since its establishment in 1990, ASAS was listed No 53 out of Top 100 companies in ISO 500 Turkey in 2022 and became one of the leading manufacturers in Europe. ASAS generates solutions and adds value to all sectors where it operates, thanks to its innovative products, technology, R&D Center which is a first in its sector, and its services. In addition to the aforementioned details, extrusion accounts for 41% of ASAS' total sales, and ASAS internally manufactures all the steel dies essential for the extrusion process.
Enter FORGE, a project that seeks to revolutionize the extrusion industry by addressing the longevity of aluminium extrusion dies. The key contribution of our company to FORGE lies in the application of novel coatings to these dies, aiming to significantly extend their lifespan. By leveraging high-technology coatings, we mitigate the adverse effects of high-strength alloys on die longevity, offering a viable solution to the industry's sustainability challenges. These coatings act as a protective shield, reducing wear and corrosion, and enhancing the overall durability of the extrusion dies. The benefits are two-fold: not only does this approach promote a more environmentally responsible manufacturing process by reducing the frequency of die replacements, but it also ensures consistent and reliable production, ultimately bolstering the economic efficiency of the entire aluminium extrusion industry. FORGE stands at the forefront of this technological leap, forging a path toward a more sustainable and resilient future for aluminium extrusion.
Defining a profile produced using high silicon hard aluminium alloys is the focus of the ASAS side of the project. Then applying the FORGE die coating to the die is a very important step in increasing the durability of aluminium extrusion against the harsh conditions. The project extends beyond just determining the profile and applying the coating; Extensive production trials will be carried out before and after coating to rigorously evaluate and measure the impact on die life. Additionally, an integral component of this initiative includes conducting stringent quality testing on final extruded products. These tests aim to verify not only the durability of the die but also the overall effectiveness and suitability of the FORGE die coating on extrusion dies. The holistic approach undertaken on this project, coating application and quality assurance, provides a comprehensive examination of the extrusion process, adding valuable information to the field.
The ‘FORGE’ project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant agreement 958457.