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Crosshead Extrusion

Crosshead extrusion is a common term in the wire and cable manufacturing industry.  However, for specialty and other custom plastic applications, Pexco also makes use of the technology, which effectively draws a wire through a melt extrusion which in turn coats and envelopes the wire.  

What is Crosshead Extrusion?

Crosshead extrusion refers to operating some sort of material or substance, often metal or wire, through a "crosshead" and extruding over said substrate.  The metal material, for examples, crosses with the melt flow at the head of the extrusion process, hence the name.   In this scenario, a smaller machine runs to the side of the primary extruder, whereby the flow of plastic is manipulated to allow a solid material, say a copper wire or some fibrous material, to feed into the plastic melt and become part of the extrusion.  Crosshead extrusion is used when such other materials cannot pass through the machine's screw and barrel, unlike a chopped fiber set in the masterbatch for reinforcement properties.  There may be single layer extrusion crossheads, co-extrusion crossheads, or multi-layer extrusion crossheads.

The above-pictured crosshead extrusion by Pexco is a medical extrusion application.  Here one sees two thermobonded tubes in a finished plane with two thermobonded crosshead extrusions.  This tube profile is a single die set whereby the wire tension is set to the rate of all the tubing extruded so as to both optimzie tolerances and maximize and not undermine the conductive performance of the wire.  The application is womens' health.  

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