The Plastic Industry: The Birth Of Plastic Products

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Adhesive tape, window frames, piping, wire installation, and even plastic sheeting are all products of plastic extrusion. Have you ever heard of such a thing? This much overlooked process is basically plastic that is melted, shaped into a continuous profile, and cut to length. It sounds easy, but this is the process that helps develops a very large amount of essentials ever hour. Some products are quite complex, and some require special treatment, as parts can be very small and fragile at times.

As previously noted, there is a very wide variety of essentials that require this process. To quickly cover the technical side, the raw plastic is placed in a heated extruder cavity. On certain occasions ultraviolet (UV) inhibitors may be thrown in to the raw plastic beads as well. When inside the extrusion machine, all plastic beads and corresponding materials move through the extruder cavity towards a screw, that forces the plastic through the cylinder (extruder cavity).

When handling the extrusion machine, temperatures reach about 200 degrees celsius on the inside of the cavity. The temperatures often need to be very high to reach the required melt temperature of varying plastics. To reduce any chance of overheating, workers will sometimes use three individual heaters set to gradually increase the temperature in the cylinder. Also in order to moderate the preferred temperature, the machines will most of the time use cooling fans.

After the plastics pass through the cylinder, they are reviewed on a digital screen used to filter contaminants from the plastics. The hot plastic then must be cooled. This is often done in a water bath, however it must be closely watched to ensure the products quality. When the cooling is done, the product is coiled, or cut to length. This process may differ, as the purpose of all plastics vary greatly.

While plastics can be controlled at hot temperatures, they also can withstand many years (up to 700 years) under ground and under water. This can be very beneficial for landscaping and agricultural purposes. Most irrigation systems use a complex piping system that would be non-existent without going through this extrusion process. While making these plastics for underground purposes and such, many color variations arise and shapes as well.

All plastic products have this process in common, and the industry will continue to grow. Extrusion processing involves intricate durable parts, and fragile pieces that are hard to shape through stamping or hammering. So I believe that it is safe to say that this is a crucial step in the plastic industry.

The word extrusion, comes from the latin word extrudere, meaning to thrust out. The latin phrase refers to the process where the material is forced through a die or separate dies to efficiently shape the product of that operation. These dies, usually all vary in size and temperature. As some plastics will require special extrusion processing. Plastics are divided into categories based on quality mostly, so this always changes the preferred temperature and shape.

There is a wide variety of materials that extrusion is used with on a daily basis. Americans will use up to 4 million bottles of water in just an hour! Now, it's rather obvious that bottles of water are not the only product in need of this crucial process.With that being said, take a second to think about how much this process is actually needed. Think about the amount of plastic wasted each day, as well.

 

Now that you've been briefly informed on the process known as plastic extrusion, ask yourself this. Where do you think we would be without the help of plastic extrusion companies? There has always been a high demand for these plastic molded parts, and this process is quite overlooked.

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