by Ben Chouchaoui, Windsor Industrial Development Laboratory
An extrusion die is a purpose built tool designed by cutting shapes in plates to reflect an intended extruded rubber product. In advance of an extrusion project, a process engineer designs the die according to specifications of the project and those of the customer, and installs it on an extruder. Often, an extrusion die is made from hard metal, like steel, polished and with sharp edges. Once all plates of the mold or die are created, rubber is forced through them under high pressure in a high temperature zone.