Speaking in general terms, plastic fabrication refers to the method involving an array of processes used for designing, developing and assembling plastic products. It is usually preferred by manufacturers because of its advantages in a wide range of applications. In addition to that, the affordability and malleability of plastic makes it a long-lasting and versatile material for plenty of different items.
There exist several methods of plastic fabrication which are used to create various items suitable for different applications. They have been cited below in detail:
Compounding involves mixing two or even more types of plastic to form an amalgam, which is later transformed into one single part. The ingredients are melted as per required specifications and then shaped using a die, mould or some other shaping equipment. Some common examples include base resins, blowing agents, polymer fillers, purge compounds, pigment master batches and flame retardants.
This method comprises application of heat for melting and joining multiple pieces together. It works best for thermoplastics that cannot be connected with the help of adhesive binding. In case the plastics being used have varying melting points, the single pieces are fused with one another by placing filler material between them. The necessary heat can be generated using a plethora of methods, including contact welding, hot gas emissions, spinning and high-frequency vibrations.
Plastic extrusion method is often utilised to create sheeting, tubing and piping components. Many a times, it is also applied for increasing the efficacy of processing or forming stages like lamination and adhesion. In this technique, plastic pellets are melted with a single screw extruder and then moved via a pressurised screw mechanism.
It can be used to design and develop plastic items in various shapes. The most popular configurations are bun stock, solid plank, round, film, rod and sheet. Either chemical or physical blowing process is utilised for imparting the required shape and characteristics to polymer composites. Sometimes, additives like fire-retardants, antioxidants and pigments are also infused into the base material for modifying product performance.
Besides the above mentioned methods, there are also plastic lamination and moulding processes. These techniques are normally chosen from as per ease of manufacturing and functionality.
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