Plastic makes an appearance in almost everything, from normal keyboards to all the tiny plastic components, showing up in a myriad of different shapes and sizes. How does blow molding production, or plastic production, work?
The Process of Plastic Production
Many of these plastic products begin with a process known as plastic extrusion. Dating back to the late 18th century, the process involves heating small plastic pellets at a high temperature, forcing it into a die for its shape, and allowing it to cool and harden. The use of a heated screw feeder helps force the melted plastic into the die.
After this process is done, many of these forms are reheated again for another process called sheet or film extrusion. The re-melted plastic is then cooled and pressed through calendar rolls to spread and harden, creating plastic sheets.
Benefits of Extrusion Blow Molding
These sheets can be worked yet again in another process called co-extrusion. For this, multiple extruders are melted together and forced into a single die. This allows for the plastic product to have a softer touch, a matted finish, and have gripped surfaces.
The last type of plastic working is thermoforming. This process uses a plastic sheet that is heated until it is soft and forcing it into a mold. Vacuums are sometimes used to force it into the complex forms required.
Since plastics play such a wide range of roles, it is not surprising the amount of processes that occur to mold and shape them. Everything from keyboards to cars, plastic is an important industry.