How does Thermoplastic Extrusion work?

Thermoplastic extrusion is such a useful way to create custom parts. Thermoplastic plastic pellets and powder can be melted, formed, cooled, and hardened repeatedly without compromising on quality. That’s what makes them great for thermoplastic extrusion.

There are different types of thermoplastics extruders depending on what you are creating. The process for each remains similar:

  1. Plastic pellets or powder is fed into the machine.
  2. It travels through warming tubes to melt the plastic.
  3. The melted plastic is pushed out into a mold.
  4. The plastic cools to a solid form
  5. The shape “pops” out of the mold and the process repeats.

This process lends itself well to elongated rod shapes like lighting covers and tubing, but can be used to create other more intricate shapes as well such as unique art pieces, lighting fixtures, bumpers and guards, or even custom retail displays.

What we, and our customers, love about using thermoplastic in the extrusion process is that it produces less waste. Any plastic that hardens in the feeder and tubes can be remelted and used for the next project, passing along significant cost savings for the customer.

At Plastifab we’ve used many thermoplastics in extrusion (one source plastic), co-extrusion (two plastics combined into one finished piece), and tri-extrusion (three plastics combined into one finished piece). The profile capabilities are almost endless and that really gets us excited.

Let’s chat about how you can use quality extruded thermoplastics to create your one-time or next series of parts today.

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