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How Many Types of Plastic Manufacturing Processes Are There?

plastic manufacturing

Plastic makes up so much of the world we live in today. No matter where you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re within arm’s length of multiple types of plastic. Then it should be no surprise that the plastic industry is worth more than $112 billion today and is constantly growing.

When you learn more about the different processes of manufacturing plastics, it will give you a greater appreciation of this material and how it is formed into some of our most used products. 

Here are some of the main plastic manufacturing processes that you should get to know. 

Plastic Injection Molding 

Today, plastic injection molding is one of the most popular ways to manufacture plastic. With this process, raw materials are used to create a prototype, which is then hardened into a mold. After it is introduced to heat and pressure, the mold is left to cool off. 

From there, manufacturers use compressed air to eject the material from the mold to create a finished product. This is a type of plastic manufacturing that is used to create everything from car parts and medical equipment to home items and children’s toys. 

3D Printing Plastics

Today, 3D printing has reached a nearly $14 billion market size. This manufacturing process is used to create almost anything you can think of. It has emerged as one of the leading ways to create plastic products as well. 

The 3D printing process begins with a Computer-aided design (CAD) file, which contains impeccable instructions and design for the finished 3D printer product. From there, the printer uses raw materials to create the finished plastic product layer by layer. 

This is an excellent plastic manufacturing process because it is speedy and you can create a virtually infinite number of products. It’s also one of the most eco-friendly ways to produce plastics. 

Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting is one of the more traditional plastic manufacturing processes. It involves a vacuum-forming machine to create a vacuum and a mold for the plastic material to fill. From there, the material is allowed to heat and harden into form. 

This is an ideal plastic manufacturing process if you have small-scale projects or don’t require speed or as much precision as other methods. 

Rotational Molding

Finally, rotational molding heats molds in vats that are then rotated around multiple axes. The rotational parts generally consist of one side that is hollow and one side that is filled with the raw material. 

Roto molding makes use of heat, gravity, and physics throughout the process of creating a plastic product. 

All of these processes must be done in controlled environments for safety and consistency. Everyone involved should be trained to use the machinery, educated on the dangers of organic peroxides, and prepped on what to do in the event of an emergency. 

Plastic Manufacturing 101 

The tips above are worthwhile anytime you’d like to know more about the plastic manufacturing process. Now that you understand a bit more about plastic manufacturing, you will have a greater appreciation of how the most common and useful items make it to your home or business. 

Begin with this guide and rely on us when you need to learn more about industrial processes, engineering, and all different types of business and technology

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