How plastics are made

Which plastic production technique is used depends on polymer type and finished product application. Several methods are regularly used in industrial manufacture: injection moulding, injection blow moulding, extrusion, extrusion blow moulding and thermoforming.

  •  Injection moulding

The plastic material in the form of granules is poured into a hopper feeding a worm screw housed in a heated tube where it is compressed, mixed and heated. This mechanical and thermal treatment creates a uniform flowing paste that is moved along by the rotating screw towards the outlet nozzle. The material is expelled through the nozzle under the pressure created by the injection screw and fills a cooled, enclosed mould where it takes its shape and solidifies.

Blog RYB_Billet04_Technique_TransformationPlastiques_12-02-15_injection

This process is discontinuous and produces finished or semi-finished thermoplastic products with complex shapes in a single operation, once removed from the mould.

  •        Injection blow mouldingThis procedure is used to manufacture most bottles and vials. Semi-finished objects obtained by injection called preforms are heated before a rod draws them onto the bottom of a mould. A powerful jet of air then presses the material against the mould and cools it down. As is the case with injection moulding, all that is needed to change the shape is a different mould.
  •        ExtrusionExtrusion is a continuous production process. Like injection moulding, the granules are drawn into a heated tube by a worm screw and the uniform soft material is compressed and pushed through a die to give it its desired shape. Extruders resemble machines for making Churros and can produce products with different shapes. This production technique allows very long products such as pipes, window profiles, plastic sheets and panels, etc. to be produced, whereby the pipes and profiles emerge continuously, are allowed to cool and are then cut to the desired length.


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