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What is Extrusion of Plastic?

Plastic extrusion, often referred to as plasticating extrusion, is a continuous, high-volume manufacturing process in which a thermoplastic material is uniformly melted and then compressed to push it out of the shaping die in the form of powder, pellets, or granulates. The pressure in screw extrusion is generated by the rotating of the screw against the barrel wall. The plastic melt takes on the form of the die hole as it exits the extruder and goes through the die. Extrudate is the term for the extruded product.

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What Is the Procedure for Extrusion?


Thermoplastic resins are the first step in the plastic extrusion process. One kind of plastic that can be melted, treated, and then remelted to be used again is thermoplastic resin. Typically, these resins are supplied in the form of pellets or beads for use with the plastic extrusion equipment.

The pellets or beads are available in various shapes and sizes. Beads made of plastic resin are available in what is known as a virgin state. These are unprocessed beads that typically have purity certificates attached to them. Additionally, the beads come in quality ratings that may be bought for certain applications. The amount of waste produced during the extrusion process is decreased since leftover plastic may be recycled into beads that can be utilized once again.

Melting and machinery

Although the apparatus used in extrusion can be difficult to handle, the procedure itself is really simple. The screw, often known as an auger, is the machine’s central component. A gearbox, which is driven by a motor, turns the screw. Friction is aided by the tight, hot barrel that encloses it.

A hopper allows the thermoplastic pellets to enter the machine. The pellets descend into the barrel from the hopper, which is situated at the back of the barrel/screw assembly. The thermoplastic pellets are gradually dragged forward as the screw rotates. As the plastic advances through the barrel, heat from the friction of the screw spinning within the barrel and outside heating causes it to melt. The plastic that has melted is forced into a portion that is meant to measure it out for the subsequent step of the procedure. At this stage of the procedure, pressure pumping might also be applied.


The plastic is prepared for extrusion into a die once it enters the barrel’s metering portion. The die, which is fastened to the barrel, symbolizes the ultimate form or profile that the plastic is supposed to adopt. The die is pressed full of plastic. A mandrel positioned in the center of the extrusion channel will divide the plastic as it advances into the die.

As the plastic passes through the die, pressurized air is pushed into the mandrel structure to prevent it from collapsing. The plastic will encounter a vacuum environment when it emerges from the die. Sizing rings are positioned inside the vacuum to maintain the plastic’s desired form. Water will also be added to the vacuum atmosphere to cool the extruded plastic. The extruded plastic can be sliced or spooled as necessary after it has gone through the vacuum environment loaded with water.