Methods of Plastic Fabrication
If you are like most people, you probably do not know much of anything at all about plastic fabrication. Believe it or not, it is not as complex as you might imagine it to be. Plastic fabrication is the assembly, manufacture and design of products made of plastic through one of many possible methods. A lot of professional manufacturers actually prefer plastic over other material options, including glass and metal. Plastic is both malleable and affordable which makes it a good option. It is also versatile and durable. In this article, we will go over some common methods of plastic fabrication. These methods include plastic foaming, plastic extrusion, molding processes, plastic lamination, blending and plastic welding.
Plastic foaming is the creation of foam products. They can be formed into many different shapes and sizes. Some common shapes that plastic foaming is used for is solid plank, film, rod, round and bun stock. Polymer composites are shaped in a process involving both chemical and physical blowing. Additives can be added to the material to fit the performance needs of the user. These additives can include antioxidants, fire-retardants and color pigments.
Plastic extrusion is another common method of plastic fabrication. Plastic extrusion is used primarily for the creation of piping, tubing or sheeting components. There are two main common types of plastic extrusion and they are sheet extrusion and profile extrusion. Sheet extrusion uses a screw extruder so melt pellets made of plastic. The molten plastic is then moved through a screw mechanism under pressure, which causes the plastic to be forced into an annular die. Then the plastic cools into thin plastic sheeting. Profile extrusion is similar to sheet extrusion and is used to create a pipe or tube component of a specific diameter.
Molding processes is when plastic is formed into a certain shape by allowing the hot, malleable plastic to cool and harden around or within a mold. There are a few kinds of molding processes. Blow molding is used most often in the creation of containers like bottles or storage tanks. Injection molding is most useful in applications that require a higher melting point, such as dishware and kitchen product productions. Rotational molding is another molding process that results in plastic products that are hollow, such as toys, buoys and kayaks.
Plastic lamination creates a barrier on a material along its surface. This is usually used to increase a products longevity, durability and weather resistance. There are two common types of lamination and they include film and resin. Pressure and heat are applied to a fabricated film so that is adhesion to a moving substrate is possible. This is the process for both film and resin.
Plastic welding is very similar to metal welding in that it is used to bind two or more pieces together. Plastic is melted and then two pieces are connected using the melted plastic to hold them together. Once the plastic cools, it hardens to connect both pieces.
As you can see, plastic fabrication is not as complex as you might have thought. If you are still a bit in the dark, contact an expert like the team over at Ultimax.