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By MIKE HAYNES 1,429 views

What is a plastic extrusion?

Have you ever heard the term ‘plastic extrusion’? Even if you have heard about plastic extrusion, you might not know what actually this process is unless you are a part of the manufacturing unit. In simple terms, plastic extrusion is one of the essential manufacturing processes that involve the conversion of solid plastic mass into usable items. Make use of high-quality China injection mold.

This process is especially used in carrying out three vital plastic producing processes such as:

  • Injection molding
  • Extrusion
  • And, blow molding

Each of the above-listed processes is different. For instance, while blow molding and extrusion are continuous processes, the other one is a discontinuous process. Note that all the primary processes play an integral role in converting raw plastic into a useful product. Let’s discuss the extrusion part in this post.

Functions of Extrusion

Extrusion is the continuous part of a manufacturing process, which involves the conversion of plastic powder, mass, and pellet into a molten state. The melted plastic is then re-shaped as per the manufacturer’s requirement. As soon as the molten plastic gets a shape, it is sent to the next operations where the part is cooled, coiled, and cut. Extrusion can be classified into a set of sub-processes that are cast or blown film, pelletizing, pipe, or profile. Here’ what you can obtain from processing your parts through these processes.

  • The manufacturer can convert the plastic sheet into food storage boxes and liquor cups.
  • Films can be used for preserving food from hazardous contaminants and boosting its shelf life. It can also be used to design grocery bags.
  • Plastic pipe is a great way to ensure safe drinking water in your premises, probably the water free of lead contaminants and other hazardous elements that can make it unfit for drinking purpose.

Even though all the sub-processes discussed above differ in terms of their applications and working, they all have special components i.e. extruder. The duty of the extruder is to convert the solid plastic mass into a molten state. Let’s have a look at the two most common types of Extruders:

Single screw extruder: It is one of the most commonly used extruders in the current era. Not only it is capable of treating a wide range of plastic parts but it is the manufacturer’s first choice for executing any plastic transformation job.

Twin screw Extruder: It can again be classified into two types i.e. counter-rotating and co-rotating. While the former one involves the technology that drives the extruders to rotate in opposite directions the other one involves the rotation of twin extruders in the same direction.

Whichever method you choose, the final output will be the same i.e. the melted solid plastic. Although the entire process involves injection molding and blow molding, extruders are considered the heart of this process. Why not? The injection molding process will not give the desired output if plastic parts are not transformed into the molten state in the first place. Perhaps, this is the reason why screw and extruding are two of the most studied concepts in the plastic extrusion process.

Mike Haynes

Mike Haynes is the executive Vice President of Machine shop. Prior to Machine shop,Mike Haynes is a writer has a deep knowledge about industrial growth,helped many business owners through his blogs.