We’re experts with plastic extrusion and we always love to help others understand just how it works.
How Does It Work?
In the process of plastic extrusion, the selected thermoplastic material is gravity fed into a hopper which in turn allows the material to enter into the barrel of the extruder. Different additives may be added to the material, such as color additives or UV inhibitors, as the material feeds into the barrel.
As the material feeds into the back section of the extruder barrel, the screw collects it and begins moving towards the front of the barrel as it turns. The turning screw continues to push the material as it melts through the barrel until it reaches the appropriate melt temperature for the material and application.
As the material exits the front of the barrel, the screw forces the material to pass through the die. The die will have been specifically engineered to give shape to the intended product. Depending on the type of product being manufactured, other tools, such as a shaping pin, or sizer, can be used in conjunction with water tanks, pressurized vacuum tanks, or misters to help shape and cool the product.
Down stream from the extruder will be a puller which does just as the name applies, pulls the material at a rate similar to the flow of the material out of the extruder. The product will then pass through a cutting machine to cut the finished product into the appropriate lengths.
Depending on the desired product and application, multiple extruders can be combined to blend different materials together through the die to create a product with multiple product characteristics.
The Process Visualized
Extruding plastic parts is a pretty remarkable process that truly allows ideas to become a reality.
The advantages of using the extrusion process is the ability to cut your part to any length with a great deal of flexibility in available materials. The possible applications are endless, especially when combined with our secondary processes.
So is an extruded part right for you? Let us help evaluate the options and the application for your part. We are here to help.
Call For a Quote:
These are samples of flexible tubing we are able to manufacture on our single-screw extrusion lines. With flexibility around colors and overall hardness of material, we have a lot of options to explore with our customers. With simple clamps this tubing solution can be used in a number of applications. Learn more here.
Vinyl Fence Privacy Panels
These privacy panels are produced on one of our co-extrusion processing lines. The Co-Extusion process allows us to use a lower grade or recycled plastic compound on the inside and still provide a high-quality finish on the outside to give the look and UV protection required. Learn more here.
Electronics Packaging Tubes
These tubes are custom made to provide protection to electronic components when shipping around the world. We manufacture these from our single-screw extrusion lines and provide solutions to provide anti-static protection as well as pins and plugs to secure the ends of the tubes. Learn more here.