Extruding is almost always less expensive than fabricating shapes by welding. Sometimes the cost of a welding jig is significantly higher than an extrusion die for the same shape.
To protect the delicate finish of freshly extruded aluminum, Kevlar has become an indispensible material in the world of extrusion handling systems. Here at Albarrie we manufacture nonwoven padding, composites, endless belting, roller covers and compressed rollers out of this amazing material. With all of the varied applications that exist for Kevlar in and out of the extrusion industry, you might ask yourself; “what the heck is this stuff anyway?”
The molecular formula for Kevlar is [-CO-C6H4-CO-NH-C6H4-NH-]n. It is synthesized in solution from the monomers 1,4-phenylene-diamine and terephthaloyl chloride in a condensation reaction. This produces a liquid-crystalline material that is than mechanically drawn to orient the polymer chains in the fiber’s direction. This expensive, difficult process produces a material that if five times stronger than steel. The brilliant mind behind this process is Stephanie Kwolek. She patented Kevlar in 1966 when working for the DuPont Corporation’s Buffalo, New York facility. She would go on to get 28 patents during her 40 year career as a research scientist. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1995. Talk about a perfect female role model. I’ll bet pop star Lady Ga Ga doesn’t have 28 patents. Kevlar was first used as a steel replacement for racing tires in the early 1970’s. It was then put into service as a material for body armor and protective clothing. We love it in the extrusion industry because of its high degree temperature resistance, extreme abrasion resistance and when needled to form a nonwoven cloth, very gentle on aluminum finishes. Here at Albarrie we have developed unique, innovative products out of Kevlar. Most notably our compressed rollers know as Fullback. When our top quality Kevlar needle felt is compressed, it increases the toughness and life of a roller exponentially.
So now you know. Kevlar does not grow on bushes, nor is it made in hollowed out trees by elves. It is made by brilliant people and shipped to us so we can make brilliant products that increase your quality and bottom line.
By: Nick Rossi
Lewiston Maine Office