Plastic extrusion is a common manufacturing process involving the creation of continuous shapes of plastic. This is created by pressing molten resin through an opening in a die and cutting the product to the desired length, typically yielding tubing, piping, sheeting, and more. Since it is such a popular practice, let’s explore the advantages of plastic extrusion.
The overall process of plastic extrusion is affordable. Since thermoplastics are less expensive and easier to work with than metals or other materials, the cost of the process can be greatly reduced. Additionally, both the materials used and disposal are cheaper than many other plastic manufacturing processes, such as injection molding.
High-Production Volumes and Efficient Run Times
The machines used in plastic profile extrusion can run continuously. This means that manufacturing doesn’t ever really need to stop. Manufacturing using this process can produce large quantities of products in a short period, reducing the risk of inventory shortages.
The flexibility that plastic extrusion offers is nearly unparalleled. Many materials can be used to create various designs. From PVC to polyethylene and so much more, the number of materials used for the creation of these products is vast. Additionally, it is possible to create dies of various shapes and sizes, allowing manufacturers to create the exact product you need with ease.
Finishing and assembly services can easily be added to the fabrication process of profile extrusion. Whether in-line operations are needed or finishing and assembly services, they can be completed with minimal disruption.
In-line operations include:
- Punching: create holes or slits in the plastic product
- Notching: adding notches to the plastic product for easy installation
- Tape Application: adding tape to the plastic product for easy installation and time savings
- Embossing: add a certain finish, design, or lettering to your product
- Wood Graining: give the plastic a wood-graining look
- Sawing: give a smooth cut to plastic product
- Inkjet Printing: add eye-catching or informative graphics to your products
- Labeling: from warning labels to branding, labels can be added to your plastic products
Finishing and Assembly Services include:
- Thermoforming: connect two pieces of plastic through flaring or butt welding
- Off-Line Punching: place holes or slots in the plastic for proper alignment and compatibility with other components
- Metal Embedment: enhance structural integrity by adding a metal component to your plastic product
- Ultrasonic Welding: join two plastic pieces without the need for adhesives or fasteners
- Custom Packaging and Kitting: reduce assembly time by adding all products and components to one package
- Routing: create features that enable assembly and integration with other components
Manufacturing products using profile extrusion allows for consistent cross-sections on all parts, indicating a high level of quality. The process itself maintains tight tolerances and is able to create products that meet stringent standards repeatedly.
When using profile extrusion as your manufacturing process, you are able to utilize co-extrusion, where you extrude two or more different polymers simultaneously. This creates complex products with varying properties in a single piece, ultimately increasing functionality.
There are various co-extrusion processes, including:
- Co-Extrusion: two materials are forced through the same die, merging them into a single structure that yields multiple characteristics.
- Dual Durometer Co-Extrusion: two materials with different properties can be combined to create the right fit for your product.
- Tri-Extrusion: three compatible polymers are pushed through a common die to achieve multiple properties in the same product.
- Crosshead Extrusion: make your product more rigid and strong by encapsulating a piece of metal or wire into your plastic extrusion
Partner with Custom Profile to Experience All of the Advantages of Plastic Extrusion
At Custom Profile, we strive to create high-quality plastic extruded products that meet all of our consumers’ needs. Our extensive capabilities in various co-extrusion processes as well as in-line operations and assembly or finishing services allow us to meet your needs every time.
Contact our team today to learn more about what we can do for you, or to experience the advantages of plastic extrusion yourself.