Impact extrusion services produce components by using a die and high-impact pressure. Rams force small amounts of materials through dies, often in tubular or specially-shaped cross-sections. Because very significant material deformation occurs, impact extrusion services often use relatively soft metals such as aluminum, lead or tin. Applications include the production of collapsible tubular sections or cans. Long extrusions with a constant cross-section have a high strength-to-weight ratio and confer two important advantages. First, these metal extrusions minimize material waste from part machining. Second, they maximize the use of expensive materials. Impact extrusion services also produce long extrusions for decorative and aesthetic purposes.
Impact extrusion services offer services such as design assistance, die and tool fabrication, prototyping and short-run production, high volume production, assembly services, and specialty packaging. Supplier that offer design assistance can help with concepts, costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations. They may also be able to assist in upgrading or redesigning, re-evaluating or modernizing existing products to improve performance and/or reducing manufacturing costs. Impact extrusion services that specialize in die and tool fabrication are also available. Short-run production is used to produce prototypes or develop samples for market testing. High-volume production is offered by impact extrusion services with dedicated equipment and run-time. Assembly services and specialty packaging services are available from some suppliers.
Impact extrusion services often meet quality requirements or standards such as AS9100, ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 16949, QS 9000, and MIL-SPEC. In addition, they may provide secondary operations such as machining, grinding, electrical discharge machining (EDM), abrasive jet cutting, heat treating and stress relieving, welding, anodizing, electroplating, painting and powder coating, and printing and labeling. There are two primary types of EDM cutting: wire and ram. With wire EDM, the electrode is a thin wire made of an alloy such as brass. With ram EDM, the electrode is a specially-shaped piece of graphite or copper alloy. Impact extrusion services that offer either type of EDM cutting can produce parts with tight dimensional tolerances and high finish quality. Water jet cutting or abrasive jet cutting, another available secondary operation, is also offered by some impact extrusion services.