In 2019, the demand for plastics was at an all-time high. Plastics produced amounted to about 368 million metric tons.
This means roughly 12 pounds of plastic per person in the world. Because plastics are so commonplace, most people likely don’t think about how it is made.
Understanding the plastics extrusion process is fascinating. It involves extreme temperatures and chemicals. And they render different shapes from the inert material.
What Is Plastic Extrusion?
Plastic extrusion is converting plastic pellets or granules into molten plastic form. It is then turned into a variety of other products.
A variety of materials can perform extrusion. These materials include thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers.
Plastic Extrusion Explained
The die is the key to shaping the extruded plastic. The operator must have a keen eye for detail. This ensures the finished product meets the desired specifications.
The process begins with plastic pellets fed into a heated barrel. Melted and mixed pellets travel through the barrel.
The molten plastic passes through a die. The die shapes the melted plastic into the desired product, cooled, and cut to the desired length.
Through custom plastic extrusions, you can customize finished products in any color. They can either be opaque or translucent.
Types of Plastic Extrusions
Tubing extrusion is a plastic extrusion used to create tubing. And also hollow cylindrical shape ones. The melted plastic when pushed through a die with a circular opening produces a tube.
Blown film extrusion is an extrusion process where the air inflates the plastic to give it shape. The extruded plastic through a die is then blown up like a balloon.
Extruded sheet film when used to create thin, flat sheets of plastic for a variety of purposes.
Over jacket is a type of extrusion used to improve the dimensional stability of products. Products that are over-jacketed have an outer layer of material bonded to the product.
This outer layer provides a stable surface resistant to warping. It is resistant also to bowing, and other kinds of deformations.
Plastics Extrusion Guide
To avoid wastage during this process, it is crucial to use a die that is the exact size and shape of the desired object. Also, ensure that the plastic sheet or rod is straight and free of any defects.
Once the die is in place, a screw-like device forced the plastic through it. Then, trimmed the excess material.
Using the wrong die, extrusion can be a very wasteful process. Also, proper calibration of the machine is necessary to avoid wastage.
Put the Plastics to Better Use
This type of manufacturing process is responsible for creating many of the items that we use on a daily basis, from food packaging to car parts.
If you’re interested in learning more about plastics extrusion or other types of manufacturing, continue to browse the rest of our blog.