Extrusion is a compressive deformation process in which a block of metal is squeezed through an orifice or die opening in order to obtain a reduction in diameter and increase in length of the metal block. The resultant product will have the desired cross-section. Extrusion involves forming of axisymmetric parts. Dies of circular on non-circular cross-section are used for extrusion. Generally, extrusion involves greater forming forces. Large hydrostatic stress in extrusion helps in the process by enhancing the ductility of the material. Metals like aluminium, which are easily workable, can be extruded at room temperature. Other difficult to work metals are usually hot extruded or warm extruded. Both circular and non circular parts can be obtained by extrusion. Channels, angles, rods, window frames, door frames, tubes, aluminium fins are some of the extruded parts.
Direct extrusion, also called forward extrusion, is a process in which is the billet moves along the same direction as the ram and punch do. Sliding of billet is against stationary container wall.Friction between the container and billet is high. As a result, greater forces are required. A dummy block of slightly lower diameter than the billet diameter is used in order to prevent oxidation of the billet in hot extrusion. Hollow sections like tubes can be extruded by direct method, by using hollow billet and a mandrel attached to the dummy block.
Extrusion force, which is the force required for extrusion, in direct extrusion, varies with ram travel as shown in figure above. Initially the billet gets compressed to the size of container, before getting extruded. Also, initially static friction exists between billet and container. As a result the extrusion pressure or force increases steeply as shown. Once the billet starts getting extruded, it length inside the container is reduced. Friction between billet and container now starts reducing. Therefore, extrusion pressure reduces. The highest pressure at which extrusion starts is called breakthrough pressure. At the end of the extrusion, the small amount of material left in the container gets pulled into the die, making the billet hollow at centre. This is called pipe. Beyond pipe formation, the extrusion pressure rapidly increases, as the small size billet present offers higher resistance. As the length of the billet is increased, the corresponding extrusion pressure is also higher because of friction between container and billet. Therefore, billet lengths beyond 5 times the diameter are not preferred in direct extrusion.
Direct extrusion can be employed for extruding solid circular or non-circular sections, hollow sections such as tubes or cups.