Aluminum extrusion: staff training

Trained staff make the difference

The full potential of a modern aluminum extrusion line can only be achieved if, when it is driven by professionally trained personnel. Very important, people, who are working on it, not only to understand how the forging and other equipment, but also understood bases extrusion technology of aluminum alloys, You know how it is managed and how they can influence it.

The performance of most press lines could greatly improve, if their operators understand fully all the factors of the extrusion process of aluminum. They should know the factors, which impose restrictions on the press-process, and understand, what their press control capabilities, increase compression rate and, thereby, shorten the cycle time pressing.

Trained workforce

That is why it is important to conduct regular training for operators of the press line. Many plants operators pressed aluminum extrusion line almost do not receive any training, Moreover, that they were in the beginning of the show which buttons they have to press and when. Even the foremen and masters, who presided over the press, spotters matrices and quality controllers often do not possess the elementary concepts, for example, of metallurgy of aluminum alloys.

Most often, all training is to press on the job training. Usually it conducts training work, who himself studied at the same workplace. At the same time, obviously, that the various press line workers need to have different amounts of knowledge and skills depending on the job, they perform. It is therefore important, that all personnel must press a regular professional training held, which would highlight specific aspects of the production of extruded aluminum products - bars, bands, profiles and pipes.

Plant management must clearly understand the purpose of these training programs. Ultimate their goal - to get trained workforce, which is capable of performing complex manufacturing operations in full. Production problems will always occur, but many of them can be easily addressed by staff, if he owns the basic principles of technology and metallurgy of aluminum alloys.

Typical training courses for staff lines for aluminum extrusion are as follows.

“A introduction to metallurgy of aluminum alloys”

  • Chemical composition of the aluminum alloys, which are used in the plant
  • Effect of different alloying elements on properties of pressed parts made of aluminum alloys
  • The aging of aluminum alloys
  • The structure for pressing aluminum ingots
  • Structural changes during the homogenisation of ingots of aluminum
  • Structural changes in the ingots during heating before compression
  • Structural changes in the course of pressing
  • Effect of cooling rate on the press moldings at their final mechanical properties
  • Structural changes during aging operation, artificial and natural

Aluminum Alloys

The need for rapid cooling at the outlet of the profiles of the matrix alloy 6xxx series, such as 6060/6063 (AD31), often restated operators extrusion presses. Another kind of problems arise when artificial aging profiles. Soft, enough strong material, usually the result of insufficient cooling at the press, differences in exposure profiles before aging, underaging or overaging. Low mechanical properties can be corrected again aging, but only if the profiles were nedostarennymi. If the cause of low strength was insufficient cooling or overaging, it is no longer possible to do anything.

“The basic principles of extrusing aluminum”

  • A typical curve "pressing force - ram movement" for the pressing cycle
  • Press cycle stages: simple, the breakup of the ingot, the beginning of expiration, pressing, pressing end
  • Influence of maximum force to press the pressing speed
  • Changing the temperature during the pressing
  • The ratio between the speed and the pressing force
  • The relationship between the pressing force and temperature
  • Methods for measuring the temperature and the typical measurement accuracy

“An extrusion press”

  • Description of the hydraulic press and its control system
  • Control of the furnace for heating ingots (billets) and other furnaces
  • Proper application profiles for the transmission system of the press line
  • Correct setting drinking hot and cold cutting

“Extrusion dies”

  • The types of matrices used
  • the passage of metal through a matrix management
  • Typical problems in the pressing profiles
  • factors, that affect the service life of the matrices
  • matrices for the care and support of the pressing tool

Short, essentially, informally

Staff training should not be only in the classroom on the basis of teacher-student. Press operators often have many years of practical experience and can bring a valuable contribution to the discussion of issues under study. The training itself should not be too long. Two hours, along with the discussion is the limit for most people trained. Short periodic sessions with frequent repetition of the main provisions are the most effective.

Source: Alan F. Castle, Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar, 2000