Many people consider custom plastic extrusions a matchless alternative to plastic fabrication. To create extrusions, a special extruder machine and supplies are required. There are also different types of stock plastic extrusions, including the extruded plastic channel. Because the channel comes in soft and flexible to hard and rigid materials, it is ideal for different jobs.
The plastic extruder machine is comprised of several components, including a barrel, hopper, screw driver motor, and screw drive. Raw thermoplastic is the second aspect of the manufacturing job. Resin plastic in the form of solid beads is most commonly used, but depending on the product, polyethylene, ABS, polypropylene, high-impact polystyrene, and PVC are other possibilities.
The last thing required for a custom extruded part is the die, which is the mold used to shape the plastic extrusion. In most cases, dies have to be custom made. To create custom extrusions, the raw thermoplastic is placed inside the extruder’s hopper. Without additives for the specific application, things like colorants, UV inhibitors, and antioxidants are added at the same time. Through gravity, the resin goes through the feed throat into the barrel, which is a long screw that feeds it forward into the die as it rotates.
At the point, the resin is subjected to high temperatures between 400 and 530 degrees Fahrenheit, helping it melt. To prevent the degradation of the plastic, the barrel gradually increases the heat from the loading end. With the molten plastic at the end of the barrel, it is then forced through a screen pack that removes any contaminants. Next, the molten plastic is fed into the feed pipe going to the die. Once in the die, the molten resin cools and hardens.
For custom extrusions made of plastic, four unique specialty processes are used. These include:
- Blown Film Extrusion – This process is used for making plastic film products, like food storage and grocery bags.
- Coextrusion – With this process, several layers of material go through the extrusion process simultaneously.
- Overjacketing – This process is used to create a protective plastic coating over an item.
- Tubing – The difference between this and the traditional extrusion process is that the dies for tubing have mandrels or interior pins used to create hollow plastic materials.
For standard or custom plastic extrusion products, you can always trust the experts at RPM Industries, Inc. We rank as a leading manufacturer among plastic profile extrusion companies. We also manufacture aluminum and rubber extrusions and moldings. You can visit our website to learn more or contact a company representative by phone.