Plastic Extrusions FAQ

What materials are used in plastic extrusion?

Commodity grade plastic extrusion materials

  • Acrylic (Polymethyl methacrylate-PMMA)
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • GPPS (General-Purpose polystyrene)
  • HIPS (High-Impact polystyrene-HIPS)
  • PVC Rigid and Flexible (Polyvinyl Chloride-clear and pigmented)
  • PP (Polypropylene)
  • LDPE & HDPE (Polyethylene)
  • PETG (Polyester terephthalate glycol)
  • SAN (Styrene Akrylonitrile)
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE’s)
  • Thermoplastic Olefins (TPO’s)

Engineering grade plastic extrusion materials

  • ABS+G (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Glass Fiber Filled)
  • FRP/GRP (GlassFiber Reinforced Polymer/Plastic)
  • Geloy® (Acrylate Styrene Acrylonitrile-ASA)
  • Noryl® (Polyphenylene ether-PPO)
  • Nylon (Polyamide)
  • PC (Polycarbonate)
  • PC/ABS Alloy
  • PEEK (Polyetheretherkerketone)
  • POM (Polyoxymethylene)
  • PSU (Polysulfone)
  • PU/PUR (Polyurethane)

What is PU (Polyurethane) ?

Polyurethane (also known as PU, PUR, and TPU) are elastic-plastic tubes that are naturally resistant to friction, oil, and solvents. That is why they make fantastic additions to the printing, ironmaking, and paper-making industries. They are also naturally resistant to kinking and other issues that can affect plastic tubing, which means they are much less likely to fail when employed on the job.
Polyurethane can also be colored to fit a number of different situations and events. Whether your business needs to color code its individual pieces or you just want to liven up your printing press, polyurethane gives that freedom, while also giving the freedom of being chemical-resistant.

How does plastic extrusion work?

a. Hollow Tubing and Pipe
Plastic extruded pipes are commonly used for PVC sewer and water pipes. Industrially, they are used to transport gasses and liquids that PVC cannot handle.
Larger sewer pipes have an average diameter of several feet. Plastic tubing is found across industries, used to move fuel in small gas engines, oxygen in the ICU, and soda in a drinking straw.

b. Profile Shapes
Extrusion is used to make long cross-section shapes. Extruded shapes include plastic rain gutters, squeegee and windshield wiper blades, and automotive trim.
Vinyl siding is born of extrusion, too. Like similar exterior-grade plastic parts, vinyl siding does not require maintenance and can withstand the elements.

c. Film and Sheeting
Extrusion finds another application in polycarbonate sheeting. This impact-resistant material is used in machine guards and window glazing. Its thickness varies from thin films to several inches.
Moreover, plastic extrusion turns acrylic plastics into thin sheets to replace glass.
Extruded clear plastic films commonly protect foods and modern retail packaging in the short-term. These films use blister packs. Such packs are extruded hard films that are softened by heat then molded into the proper shape.

d. Solid Shapes
Extrusions in love with the shape of plastics. Machine shops use plastic shapes as raw materials.
Shapes can be square, round, rectangular, and hexagonal bar stock. You can find all standard thermoplastics in myriad forms, sizes, and lengths.  
Planks, extruded decking, and other popular structural pieces count as solid shapes, too. Lumber and plastic decking make good use of recycled plastics because they are non-critical and big.
Park benches, fencing, and outdoor furniture are all built with pieces of extruded plastic. They are splinter-proof, weather-proof, maintenance-free, and more durable than any outside wooden member.

Could we ask for a design of tubing?

The extrusion process allows you to make design changes around function and appearance. One popular option is adding customized colors to tubing. You can achieve this either by adding a pigment into the raw resin or adding a special coating.
Another design option is making tubing out of more than one material. For example, mixing nylon with polyethylene increases tensile strength and flexibility. Likewise, customized extrusion can also involve adding fireproof additives to plastics.
Adapting tubing for specific applications is popular, especially for medical devices or machinery. As well as the fire-retardant additives, extrusion can include reflective materials for visibility. Thus, it is ideal for use in emergency services.

How many cycles could a plastic tubing extrusion do?

Different tubing extrusion processes can produce products with various applications. There are three main processes for manufacturing tubes and hoses. Each of these is efficient and helps businesses offer a lot of products to their customers.
Continuous-extrusion tubing pumps the molten plastic through the die without stopping. Suppose you need to make a small batch of custom tubes or hoses. In that case, semi-continuous or film-extrusion processes might be better for your needs.
Semi-continuous extruders produce strands of plastic, separated into lengths based on customer needs. Film-extrusion processes use a flat film that wraps around a hollow tube to form the tubing.
Co-extrusion combines production from two or more materials into one extruder. Of course, excellent quality manufacturing is key to a successful production line. Even the slightest defects are visible. Thus, high quality and excellent end-to-end service are a must.

What are air tubes ?

Air tubes come into play during production processes - think the food and medical industry, and also construction and the development of home products. Air tubes allow gases, fluids, and solids in a vacuum to travel where they need to go during the production process. Air tubes are made of plastic, like all the extrusion products we are going over today, and are thus fantastic thermal insulators and incredibly tough, while also being resistant to bending, breaking, and more.

The LIH KUANG air tube is used in the food industry during the production of ice cream and cheese, in the pharmaceutical industry to produce detergents and solvents, and in home products like shampoo and conditioner. Designed to allow substances to easily travel through it, this extrusion product is one with a long pedigree that shows just how reliable it is.