An Illinois company uses nitrogen gas — instead of straight cooling water — to take the heat out of extruded profiles.
Material Enhancement Inc. of Effingham, Ill., calls its patent-pending technology the Cryogenic Extrusion Chiller System. The system converts liquid nitrogen to a gas, in the process capturing a refrigerant, which flows through a distribution system and circulates at a high volume.
A microprocessor controls the heat-exchange rate to the cool nitrogen gas, preventing thermal shock to the profile.
According to MEI, the profiles retain impact properties and dimensional tolerances, while maintaining a high extrusion speed and cooling rate — from 50-200 percent faster on rigid profiles and up to five times faster on foam and wood composites.
MEI said the cryogenic system can replace an entire downstream cooling system, although the company typically recommends running conventional water cooling for the vacuum calibration part of the process.
The company also has extrusion systems that can be added onto an existing downstream water-cooling system, to give extra cooling capability.
Tel. (217) 347-2901, fax (217) 347-3378.