6 Types of Plastic Manufacturers

Plastic has become an integral part of our society and the business world. With over 1 million pounds produced each year, plastic is one of the world’s top three most common materials. A general understanding of plastic manufacturers is helpful for evaluating and outsourcing plastic products. This article describes the six main types of plastic manufacturers.

1. Extrusion Blow Molding

Manufacturers use the extrusion process to manufacture plastic products. They begin with a long process of melting raw plastic, or pellets. The melted pellets are fed into a screw that compresses the material and forces it into an extruder. The extruded material is then cooled, which allows it to harden and form a tube.

Compression happens after molten plastic gets transferred from the extruder into a mold, resulting in a round plastic cylinder. Other methods of extrusion include reverse extrusion and over-extrusion. These techniques are used to manufacture products such as fuel tanks, auto bumpers or fenders, and other mechanical components.

2. Thermoforming

This process begins with a sheet of material in a heated press. The sheet is cut, cooled, and then folded or rolled. It can be done using an internal or external thermoset. An internal thermoset allows heat to pass through the plastic, while an external one creates a hard shell around the product. It is ideal when you need to make heavy-gauge products like aircraft windscreens, plastic sidings, and automotive items.

3. Injection Molding

Thermoplastic is superheated and injected into a ceramic mold. The plastic is cooled, hardened, and taken out of the mold. This method creates products that have intricate details. Manufacturers use this method to make things like plastic valves, electronic devices, and cosmetic packaging. Products from this process are used in a variety of different industries, including solar plastics, automotive parts, and military products.

4. Compression Molding

This process integrates two methods of compression molding. The first method is bulk molding compound (BMC). It utilizes a resin paste, glass fiber, and other ingredients. The second method is sheet molding compound (SMC). This method contains pigments, catalysts, polymer resins, and other components.

The materials are placed into the mold and then heated by the press. The heated material is then cooled and removed from the mold. Bottles, medicine packaging, and toys are some plastic products manufactured using this process.

5. Rotation Molding

Manufacturers inject molten plastic into a rotating steel mold. The rotations create a thin, round film of plastic. This process has high accuracy, so items produced through this process have large hollows. Dustbins, mudguards, industrial boxes and totes, and water barrels are some examples of what is produced by the rotational molding process.

6. Custom Rubber Molding

Custom rubber products are made from semi-rigid, porous and breathable materials. The material is placed into the mold and then heated by a molder. The hot materials solidify in the mold, which creates a rubber part. Rubber grommets, gaskets, and rubber seals are some products manufactured using this method.

Looking for a Professional Plastic Manufacturer?

Plastic manufacturers make everything from plastic bottles and product packaging to toys and automotive parts. Whether you’re launching a new product or revamping your business, high-quality plastic manufacturing is a great way to get ahead in the industry. Contact a manufacturer today to learn more about which process would work best for your product.

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