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What is an Extruder Screen?
Extruder screens are a necessity for any extruder of polymer or plastic. We are going to explore all things extruder screens in this article, from definitions to pricing to how they are made.
One of our most commonly made “customized filters” is an extruder screen. Sometimes these filters are also called screen packs, both mean the same thing.
The material generally starts in pellet form. Those small pieces need to be run through some sort of manufacturing operation or they need to be extruded into a desired state.
The material needs to be processed through melt and filtration operations to be sure the material is clean and pure. This is where a melting system with extrusion screens comes in.
Extruder screens are either single-layer or multi-layer wire filtration systems that are welded together and made into specific shapes and sizes.
The melted material is forced through a wire mesh screen in order to remove any contaminants before continuing on to the next process.
Different layer configurations and micron ratings (mesh opening sizes) can be used depending on the level of decontamination required, pressure requirements, or characteristics of the material being filtered.
These screens are changed out frequently during a filtration process, and typically are not able to be cleaned or reused.
Extruder screens are manufactured to lots of different specs. The mesh that makes up the screen will be the exact opening size for your process and the size and shape will be dictated by your machines.
Here is how an extruder screen is made:
- Wire mesh specifications with an appropriate micron rating are chosen
- Materials are layered and joined together in a spot welding operation
- Spot welded material continues on to a punching operation utilizing compound tooling
- The resulting Extruder Screens are separated from skeleton/waste material
- Finished Extruder Screens are cleaned
- Clean Extruder Screens are shrink-wrapped in preparation for shipping
There is a misconception that since extruder screens are not reusable, they are easy to make or a “cheap version” will do. This is not the case.
Extruder screens are a key part of any polymer or plastics extrusion process.
There are a few key components to an extruder screen that we want to cover. These components should help you select the best manufacturer for your processes to offer long-lasting and reliable screens.