In the world of plastics and plastic manufacturing, there are currently three main methods used to produce a plastic part; extrusion, injection moulding and blow moulding. Each of these methods is unique, and each offers a distinctive advantage. Extrusion and blow moulding are continuous, while injection moulding is discontinuous.

Let’s look at Extrusion:

Extrusion refers to a continuous process of converting a solid plastic mass, pellet or powder into a melted form, where it is pushed through a die into a predetermined shape. Extrusion is somewhat similar to injection moulding; the central difference is that the extrusion process produces long continuous shapes. Plastic extruders are commonly used to prepare recycled plastic waste and raw materials into filaments that are suitable for blending into resin pellet stock. These pellets are used by the general plastics industry.

What types of items are produced through extrusion?

Extrusion is used to produce:

  • Curtain tracks
  • Rods
  • Fibre
  • Pipes
  • Hoses
  • Wire covering
  • Sheets
  • Films

The Extrusion  Process, explained.

During the extrusion process, raw thermoplastic material, or resin, is gravity fed into the barrel of an extruder from a top-mounted hopper. As the material enters the feed throat at the rear of the barrel, it comes in contact with the screw. This rotating screw forces the plastic resin forward into a heated barrel. The plastic is gradually melted through a controlled temperature process and then travels through a reinforced screen before entering the die. This die has been designed in order to ensure that the molten plastic flows evenly from a cylindrical profile to the profile shape, giving the final product its shape.

Extrusion is a popular manufacturing method and one which is used across the globe- for good reason!

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