Archive for February, 2012

Extrusion Dies

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Extrusion dies are used to force a medium threw them creating different shapes. Perhaps the simplest way to imagine what  an extrusion die is to think of toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube of toothpaste. The round shape of the nozzle part of the tube shapes the tooth paste in a rounded fashion. This is essentially what an extrusion die does. Many things can are extruded, from liquorish and other candies to sausages. However what we are concerned about is the use of extrusion dies in manufacturing.

Carbide Extrusion Die

Extrusion Die image provided by Raven Carbide Die


Typical items that are extruded include pipes, tubing and rods. Extruded parts can be used for the manufacturing of musical instruments, automobile exhausts and even flag poles. There is an extremely wide range of items that are created using an extrusion process, but the basic principle remains the same. Hard materials, such as metals, are forced through a carbide extrusion die or for softer materials steel may be used. Carbide is frequently used for extrusion dies due to its ability to resist wear, creating long lasting dies. Some common metals that are extruded include steal, copper and nickel, as well as a many different alloys. Less commonly extruded metals include lead, brass and even gold.

Extruded items can be shaped into different cross sections by the different shapes present in inner diameter. Round, oval and square are common shapes, while star shaped or hexagonal are less common. Basically any desired shape can be extruded though. A quick look around your home, school or business will reveal countless items that use extrusion dies in their manufacturing.


Why use Tungsten Carbide Dies?

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The simple answer to that question is hardness. Tungsten carbide is about three times harder than steel and it is denser than titanium. What this means for people who use dies is that a tungsten carbide die will have a much better rate of wear when compared to dies made out of other materials. When dies last longer that saves companies money in not having the cost of replacing them and in not having down time for machinery waiting for new dies to be installed.

Tungsten carbide has a Moh’s hardness rating between 8.5 and 9.0. Diamond has a hardness rating of 10, however, diamonds aren’t as versatile and are obviously a very expensive proposition for die material. Tungsten carbide is generally formed using diamond powders and grinding wheels however, as something harder than tungsten carbide is needed to cut, polish and shape carbide dies and tooling.

The tungsten carbide used for die making comes in a wide variety of grades; these different grades have different properties and therefor different applications. The amount of tungsten compared to the amount of carbide in these grades is what makes this difference. By adjusting the tungsten to carbide ratio, dies with better wear properties or greater resistance to impact can be manufactured.

In the end, superior hardness combined with the versatility of tungsten carbide result in its use in many industrial applications. Products produced using tungsten carbide dies include tubing, nails and nuts. Actually, a list of these products would be very, very long, and that’s where the versatility part of the equation comes in to play!