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Story 025 – 1901 – People Quality

Powerful pioneering with long-term effect

From 1901 the extrusion process sets new standards

The extrusion process, developed in England, enabled completely new products in the manufacture of wires, profiles and tubes from 1901 onwards. It thus made a major contribution to Wieland's development, and a large part of today’s production quantities is still produced by extrusion and cold forming.

Until the end of the 19th century, tubes and profiles were produced using methods that were strongly influenced by craftsmanship: using a forging hammer, by drawing tubular hollows, by deep-drawing rolled sheet metal, or by soldering strips. Since about 1880 it has been possible to form lead and tin into tubes and wires using hydraulic presses and a die - among other things for the production of ammunition.

This technique did not work for a long time with copper and copper alloys, mainly because the alloys at that time contained too many impurities. It was not until 1874 that the chemist Alexander Dick succeeded in alloying brass with small amounts of iron and manganese in his London laboratory. This improved hot forming considerably - and at the same time increased the subsequent material strength.

Mr. Dick founded the Delta Metal Company in London to market his developments, as well as a branch in Düsseldorf under the name Deutsche Delta-Metallgesellschaft Alexander Dick & Co. (DDMG). There, in 1893, he succeeded for the first time in pressing his alloy "Delta Metal IV" into profile bars and tubes using a converted lead tube press. In 1894 he applied for a patent for his "Squeezing Machine", and one year later the first extrusion press on the continent went into operation in Düsseldorf.

The licensee for Germany was the company Asten & Lynen, however, they were not able to cope with either the machine or the process. Philipp and Max Wieland were the ones to recognize and seize a unique opportunity: They joined DDGM as partners - and thus became owners of the patents as well as of the rebellious 450-MN (Meganewton) machine. In 1901, this machine was brought to Vöhringen and successfully put into operation there. Convinced of the fantastic possibilities of the extrusion process, the brothers immediately ordered a much stronger 925-MN press (Press 1) from Krupp-Guson, followed by a second one in 1904 (Press 2). The small machine which was purchased first was moved to the DDGM plant in Düsseldorf. A good investment, as extrusion press 1 remained operational until 1970! Above all, Wieland made a significant contribution to the introduction and further development of the revolutionary extrusion process following the takeover of DDMG.

A groundbreaking innovation at the time: Extrusion presses 1 and 2 at the Vöhringen plant. The enormous pressing pressure of 925 Meganewton was generated by hydraulic cylinders.

The first extrusion press operated in continental Europe by Alexander Dick in Düsseldorf in 1895 can now be admired at "Deutsches Museum" in Munich – albeit only as a model.

Securing market advantages: Wieland advertised immediately after the acquisition of the first machine in 1901 for "formed rods with profiles of any cross-section manufactured using a patented pressing process".