Test Your Knowledge on Polymer Extrusion!

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After a long hard day it's time to sit back and learn today's word of the day. Next on my List of words is Polymer Extrusion! Polymer Extrusion is a widely used manufacturing process of raw plastic that plenty of people still do not know about! It's used in the productions of wire insulation, piping, adhesive tape and plastic sheeting. Polymer Extrusion begins by the melting of raw plastic beads. Colorants and UV inhibitors are added to the plastic beads as it is fed into the extruder. The plastic in the extruder cavity moves towards a screw mechanism that forces the plastic out. The plastic is at a very high temperature as well.

The temperature inside the cavity is a high 400 degrees F. The cavity needs to constantly be this temperature to match the exact melting point of the plastic beads. Overheating is a problem within the extrusion process.

To prevent the overheating, three heaters are inside of the extruder. This is actually quite interesting. The three heaters are used throughout the process to gradually melt the plastic and not to overheat or burn the plastic.

Everything about Burnt plastic is not fun! Friction and pressure also have a huge part within the extruder cavity. Sometimes the pressure and friction will be so great there is no need for the heaters.

The heaters are shut off and the desired temperature is kept by the amount of pressure within the cavity. After the molten lava leaves the heater cavity, it moves through a specially designed filter to remove any contaminants out of the plastic.

It must be tricky trying to filter molten plastic but it's interesting how Plastic manufacturers use the filter to do it. After the molten plastic goes through the filter it's time for the special die. The die the plastic goes into is responsible for giving the plastic its profile.

Plastic Product Manufacturing is a constantly growing business just by the convenience of products the extrusion process delivers. I have a friend who used to be a Polymer Manufacturer and explained how patience in this process is key.

After the plastic is put into the die, it must be cooled most often by a sealed water bath. Extreme care must be put in place and sometimes when dealing with plastic sheeting special cooling rolls replace the water bath. It helps prevent collapsing of the plastic.

After the bath or cooling rolls the plastic is finally spooled, coiled, or cut to length. Clay and other types are food are examples of extruded things that came out of the plastic.

The plastic extrusion process is an interesting bit of knowledge once learned. Most plastic manufacturing companies use different techniques according to their extrusion machine and budget. The end plastic products is a wise investment put into our lives.

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