Plastic extrusions are parts or components manufactured using a high-volume extrusion process. For this, raw plastic is melted and then formed into a continuous profile. Ultimately, this method produces all types of plastic extrusion shapes for a broad range of products, including fencing, window frames, plastic sheeting, weather stripping, tubing, wire insulation, plastic films, pipes, and more.
For making extruded plastic profiles, a manufacturer uses several different types of plastic materials, all of which are excellent quality. The most common plastics for this particular process include polypropylene, polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acetal, polystyrene, nylon, acrylic, polycarbonate, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
The preferred form of plastic depends on the specific part or component. However, most manufacturers use nurdles, which are tiny beads otherwise referred to as resin. These beads are gravity-fed from a hopper mounted on top of the extrusion machine and then travel to the barrel. Before going into the hopper, the operator can add UV inhibitors in pellet or liquid form as well as colorants to the resin if required.
From there, the material goes through the feed throat where it encounters a rotating screw. With each rotation, the screw forces the beads forward into a heated barrel set at the proper extrusion temperature that allows them to melt slowly. By doing so, any risk of overheating is eliminated. Typically, the extrusion machine utilizes cooling fans to ensure the correct temperature.
As the molten plastic exits the screw, it travels through a screen pack that removes any contaminants. Then, the molten plastic goes into the die, which is what defines the size and shape of the product profile. Once the part or component cools, it is ejected. In some cases, extruded plastic profiles go through a sealed water bath.
Throughout the entire plastic extrusion process, an experienced operator oversees everything, thereby ensuring that no problems develop. By working with a reputable manufacturing company, you will gain insight into the form, material, and machine used to produce your finished product.
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The caliber of services that we provide at RPM Industries, Inc. is unbeatable. With years of experience, we follow strict company and industry guidelines to ensure a premium and precision finished product. Our design team can even help determine the exact product profile that you need. For assistance, please visit our website or call us directly.