What are Extruded Polymers? How are They Beneficial?

rubber products

So you intend to start a resin-based manufacturing business! Perhaps, you perceive huge profits in the plastic or resin-based formation process. Maybe, you wish to upgrade your existing polymer forming process. No matter your intentions, extruded polymers should be your choice. Extrusion polymers have their uses in numerous sectors. Items designed through extrusion offer a slew of benefits to producers as well as end-users. If you need more info, read below and find out.

What are extruded polymers?

First of all, let’s understand what a polymer is. It’s a large molecule containing various repeated sub-units. The small sub-units are bind to form a big molecule called polymer. Now that you know what polymers are, you would want to know a bit about extrusion polymers. Essentially, extrusion is a forming method to produce long-sized items of uniform cross-sections, binding softened polymer granules through a die that has an opening. Pipes, rods, sheets, and films are mainly obtained through extrusion. Resin and plastic polymers are mostly used in the extrusion process.

The process of extruding polymers

Now, let’s take a look at the basics of this popular forming method. In addition to getting some fundamental knowledge, you may likely come up with some newer, innovative products to make with this forming process. During the extrusion process, polymers are heated, melted, molded, and cooled. First and foremost, polymers (in a pellet or granule form) are fed through a hopper into the extruder. A feeding screw moves the materials through a die, converting the materials into a continuous end-product.

The extrusion process begins with the heating of polymers and finishes with the cooling of the final product. Firstly, the heating elements placed over the top of the barrel soften up the materials. Thermocouples control the temperature of polymers. When the materials are fed into the machine, thermocouples heat the materials. Once heated, they convert into the liquid, which makes it easy to move through the mold (die). The die shapes the liquid into the intended product.

When the extruded polymers rest into the die and take the form, thermocouples drop the temperature substantially. This sudden cooling leads to the solidification of liquid polymer foaming. The final product, when comes out of the die, is cooled further in a separate bath or tub. The process of extrusion continues till there’s material in the feeding hopper. Although plastic polymers are mainly used in extrusion forming, Elastomers and resins are also molded for making products of desired shapes and sizes.

How extruded polymers are beneficial?

After getting familiar with extrusion polymers and the forming process, you may wish to know how it’s better and beneficial than other techniques. There are many forming methods such as thermo-forming, injection molding, vacuum casting, compression molding, and others. However, extrusion is beneficial over other techniques for various reasons.

Fast production

While all processing methods are fast, extrusion is much faster. Extrusion allows you to enjoy large scale production in a shorter time frame. In today’s world, time equates to money. If you save time, you earn money. It’s that simple. If you value time, you’ll love the extrusion process due to its speed.

All you should do is feed the materials in the hopper through one end. Within no time, you’ll get the product (extruded polymers) delivered at the other end. A higher speed is probably one of the biggest reasons why businesses prefer extrusion over other forming techniques.

Co-extrusion

As opposed to other forming techniques, the extrusion process lets you co-extrude. The operator has to feed two different extruded polymers (in liquid form) with varying thickness into a new extrusion process. The end-product from two extruders is molded, shaped to form a new item. Co-extrusion lets you blend different compounds and materials to make a new single product.

Safety

Instances of accidents are not uncommon in injection molding and other forming units. Operators’ hands getting stuck between the die when removing the product are not unknown issues. However, extrusion is a much safer process. Since the process involves only the feeding of materials and extrusion of the final product, the chances of accidents are almost eliminated.

Also, the enhanced safety measures stop the machine in case of any potential dangers. That averts injuries and damages when the process of extruded polymers is underway. Increased safety also enhances the production cycle and leads to higher output.

Low cost of production

The extrusion machine works speedily 24 hours round the clock. As a result, the cost per unit is low. You get to enjoy the economies of large scale production. Plus, low production cost lets you position your products competitively in the market. As well as surpassing competitors, you beat recession easily.

Durable products

Gone are the days when people were content with low-quality products. Things have changed a lot in the past few decades. Poor-quality products are rejected by end-users. You ought to provide durable products that will last long. It’s here extruded polymers enjoy an edge over products obtained through other forming techniques. Extruded products and the injection molding are strong and stand the test of time and usage with no issue.

Low maintenance

Maintenance is common in any factory. However, too much maintenance is highly undesirable. As well as affecting the production cycle, constant maintenance can dent your profitability. Here, extruded polymers help the manufacturer save on maintenance. The extrusion machine works uninterruptedly without needing constant maintenance. You can continue forming products without denting your time or profitability.

Eco-friendly

Perhaps, the biggest perk of extruded polymers is they’re Eco-friendly. How? The extrusion process works quietly. It doesn’t create any noise which is the issue with other forming methods. Plus, there’s minimal wastage throughout the process. Also, waste is reused in the production process. This, in turn, avoids the instances of plastic waste that makes its way in landfills.

Concluding words

Forming techniques are constantly evolving for resin and plastic molding. However, the extrusion technique is better and beneficial than other forming processes. Products formed through extruded polymers are long-lasting, economical, and quality. For these reasons, end-users and manufacturers prefer extruded items.