When you use plastic items in your everyday life, it’s hard to imagine the process that goes into making them. Plastic manufacturers utilize a complex and fascinating process from raw materials to finished products to manufacture plastics. Below, we will look at how manufacturers process plastics and the different steps involved.
Stay tuned for an inside look at the world of plastic manufacturing!
What is a Plastic?
Plastic is a synthetic material made from a variety of different chemicals. Plastic manufacturers combine these chemicals to create long chains of molecules called polymers. Polymers are the building blocks of plastic. When manufacturing plastic, it is started with these long chains of molecules and then manipulates them to create the desired plastic product.
What is a Plastic Manufacturer?
A plastic manufacturer is a company that produces plastic products. This can include anything from plastic straws to plastic packaging. The plastic manufacturing process varies depending on the type of plastic manufactured. However, there are some general steps that all plastic manufacturers follow when making plastic products.
The Manufacturing Process
There are four main steps in the plastic manufacturing process:
Extrusion is the first step in the plastic manufacturing process. This is when plastic manufacturers take the plastic polymers and melt them down into a liquid form. The molten plastic is then pushed through a die, which gives it the desired shape.
Injection molding is the second step in the plastic manufacturing process. This is when they inject molten plastic into a mold. The plastic then hardens and takes on the shape of the mold.
Blow molding is the third step in the plastic manufacturing process. This is when plastic manufacturers blow air into molten plastic to create hollow plastic products.
Rotational molding is the fourth and final step in the plastic manufacturing process. This is when plastic manufacturers place plastic into a rotating mold. The rotation creates a thin film of plastic over the entire surface of the mold. After the plastic has gone through one of these four manufacturing processes, it is then cooled and ready for use in a variety of different products.
How are Plastic Identified?
To differentiate the types of plastic, manufacturers and consumers use plastic resin codes. These codes are numbers that range from one to seven and are typically found on the bottom of plastic products.
Below are the different types of plastic:
- PET or PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate): This type of plastic is typically found in water bottles and food containers.
- HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene): This type of plastic is often found in milk jugs and detergent bottles.
- PVC or V (Polyvinyl Chloride): This plastic is often found in pipes and shower curtains.
- LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene): This type of plastic is often found in shopping bags and plastic wrap.
- PP (Polypropylene): This type of plastic is often found in food containers and plastic straws
- PS (Polystyrene): This type of plastic is often found in plastic utensils and packing peanuts.
- OTHER: This category includes any plastic that doesn’t fall into the other six categories.
What is the Chemistry Behind the Creation of Plastic?
The plastic manufacturing process creates a variety of plastic polymers. A plastic polymer is a long chain of molecules connected to each other. The plastic monomer is the building block of a plastic polymer. It is made up of small molecules that are connected to each other to create a larger molecule. The plastic polymer is then turned into a plastic pellet, made up of tiny connected plastic monomers, creating a larger molecule. It is then melted down and injected into a mold to create the final plastic product.
What Happens to Plastic After It’s Used?
When plastic is no longer needed, it can be recycled. Recycling plastic helps to reduce pollution and conserve resources. Plastic that is recycled is turned into pellets that can be used to create new plastic products. If you have a project and wish to learn more, contact a reputable plastic manufacturer that can provide affordable solutions no matter the size or complexity.