Plastic extrusions are parts or components produced from a molding process. Pressurized molten plastic is forced into a premade mold, where the material cools and hardens. Afterward, the workpiece is removed from the mold, machined and finished, and sold. Plastic extruding is a continuous molding process; the injecting machine can refill the mold over and over again as soon as the hardened piece is removed.
Some of the most common applications for plastic extrusions include:
- Appliance parts
- Automotive parts
- Chemical processing
- Construction elements
- Electronics components
- Food and beverage industry
- HVAC parts
- Plumbing materials
Choosing the right plastic polymers for the extrusion process is critical to the performance of the finished products. Some plastics persevere better while being exposed to temperatures, sunlight, chemicals, contaminants, and other environmental factors. Materials are also available with varying levels of opacity and transparency.
At BD Custom Manufacturing, we work with the following materials to manufacture plastic goods and components:
- Butyrate. This rigid plastic is strong and holds its shape well. It’s an ideal choice for creating plastic extrusions that need to withstand physical force and wear.
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). This is a flexible plastic that can form thin, diverse shapes. It’s exceptionally durable and can resist damage from alcohols, acids, and more.
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is more rigid and resistant to physical damage than LDPE. It features notable resistances to solvents and corrosion.
- Polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG). PETG is a strong, damage-resistant plastic that can be easily extruded. It forms both rigid and semi-rigid components and is a popular choice for barriers.
- Polypropylene. This lightweight plastic resists negative impacts from many common chemicals, as well as heat.
- Polystyrene. While a popular choice for protective containers and convenient packaging. polystyrene tends to break down over time.
- Vinyl. This plastic resists damage from acid, corrosion, and many different chemicals. It’s also popular for its insulative properties and can be used in a variety of construction products when augmented with a stabilizer.
Extrusion Process and Machinery
At BD Custom Manufacturing, we use a variety of advanced equipment to fulfill plastic extrusion orders. The two main pieces of equipment are extruders and dies.
Powdered or granulated plastic is held in a hopper above an extruder channel. To begin extrusion, the bottom of the hopper is opened and plastic flows downward into the extruder channel due to the natural force of gravity. At this point either direct heat or friction from a turning screw will heat the plastic into a molten state. The melted plastic flows through the channel to the die.
A specially designed plastic extrusions die is attached to the end of the extruder’s channel, and the molten plastic fills the entirety of the design at a consistent pressure to mitigate the risk of gaps or bubbles. The die forces the molten material through continuously until the process is stopped or the material runs out. The plastic cools as it leaves the die, after which the extrusion can be cut to length as desired.
Plastic extrusion dies are custom made to take the unique fluid behaviors of plastics into consideration. Designers account for complex shapes, excess molten material, and how to best channel the plastic and force out air.
Plastic Extrusion Services
At BD Custom Manufacturing, we have extensive experience creating plastic extrusions for use in a variety of applications. We also offer a variety of secondary services that enable us to provide true one-stop shopping for our customers, such as:
- Design for Manufacturability (DFM)
- Hot stamping
Why Choose BD Custom Manufacturing For Plastic Extrusion Services
For nearly three decades, BD Custom Manufacturing has excelled in creating precision plastic parts and custom dies. Our experienced team creates high-quality products for a wide range of industries, including consumer products, medical technology, food and beverage, and many others. Visit our About Us page to learn more about our capabilities and history or request a quote to see how we can help with your project.