Plastic Extrusions & Plastic Extrusion Manufacturers

Plastic extrusion, a method through which plastic shapes profiles are produced, is an important process for many industries. In this process, shapes are produced when molten plastic is forced through a die. Basic profiles include strips, channels and trim.

While output speeds and operating temperatures may vary depending on properties of the material, the basic principles of plastic extrusion remain standardized. Extruded plastics begin their journey as a collection of raw plastic materials, suspended above a conveyance channel in a hopper. Then, after the bottom of the hopper retracts or is removed, they fall directly into the channel, where they become molten, thanks to friction caused by a long shearing screw that pushes it and turns. By the time the now molten plastic reaches the end of the channel, it’s ready to be shaped by the die. A plastic extrusion die is a metal plate with a custom-shaped hole in it, through which plastic is forced and formed into a usable product. When the plastic comes out on the other side of the die, it can officially be called extruded plastic material. After the extruded plastic is cooled quickly, so that it will harden and keep its shape, it can be cut and prepared for shipment or sent on for additional processing like painting, labeling, anti-static treatment or other surface treatment.

Some Leading Manufacturers

Preferred Plastics, Inc.

Plainwell, MI | 269-783-4068

Preferred Plastics, Inc. is a custom plastic extruder. We specialize in custom extruded thermoplastic resins and make products for a wide variety of markets throughout the world. We have a team that works cohesively and comprehensively to give our customers the best quality available. Customers have a diverse range of products to choose from as well as access to our secondary services. For more information, call Preferred Plastics, Inc. today or visit our website!

Polytec Plastics, Inc.

St. Charles, IL | 800-739-9066

We have been providing high quality plastic extrusions since 1973. Polytec Plastics, Inc. has the capabilities to produce plastic profiles, tubing, strips, rods, channels, graphic holders, and co-extrusions to meet all your extrusion needs! We process all types of thermoplastic materials and our engineering staff is on hand to assist with product design needs. To learn more about our plastic extrusions, visit our website or call us today!

SFR Industries Inc.

Cadott, WI | 800-369-9410

SFR Industries Inc. is a leading manufacturer of custom plastic extrusions. Our 35+ years of experience in the industry have helped us remain a leader in custom plastic profile extrusions. We serve a variety of industries like residential, commercial, institutional furniture, store fixtures, and more! We are located in Cadott, Wisconsin in a modern 66,000 square foot facility. If you would like more information, contact one of our representatives today!

Absolute Custom Extrusions, Inc.

Stuart, FL | 772-286-9278

Our extruded plastics are manufactured from a variety of materials such as polyethylene, ABS, Polystyrene, Polyurethane and more. We offer a full spectrum of sizes from 1/8″ to 6″ wide and our products can be cut to length. Our materials are selected based on heat, pressure, chemical resistance and other characteristics. We also offer recycled materials resulting in ultimate savings!

Creative Extrusion & Technologies, Inc.

Brockton, MA | 508-587-2290

For over 60 years, Creative Extrusion & Technologies, Inc. has been a leading manufacturer of custom plastic extrusions. We also offer leather and fabric products. We are committed to quality, innovation, and results and most of all, our customers. Our plastic extrusion products are used in industries all over the world. From sporting goods to luggage to automotive and furniture, customers trust Creative Extrusion & Technologies for all their extrusion needs! Call us today or visit us online!

Britech Extrusions

Stuart, FL | 772-286-9278

Britech Extrusions is your source for stock and custom manufactured plastic extrusions. Our stock extrusions come in a variety of shapes, colors, and designs in order to quickly and affordably meet your needs. Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Our highly trained engineers will work with you to create an exceptional plastic product for your applications! With many different extrusion options, we know we can satisfy your extrusion requirements!

GSH Industries, Inc.

Cleveland, OH | 440-238-3009

GSH Industries is an experienced manufacturer of extruded plastic products. As a leader in the custom extrusion industry, we work tirelessly to design and manufacture the very best plastic extrusions on the market. Our designers and engineers have 100 years of combined experience, which they put to use helping customers choose and create the right extrusions for their applications. Check out our website and give us a call to learn more!

Engineered Profiles, LLC

Columbus, OH | 614-754-3700

Here at Engineered Profiles, we are your plastic extrusion experts. For all of your custom extrusion needs, we have you covered with excellent engineering and manufacturing services and unmatched customer support. As our customer, you are our partner, and we will do everything we can to provide you with an affordable, high-quality plastic extrusion solution. Visit our website or give us a call to discuss your applications and extrusion requirements!

As noted earlier, plastic extrusion is a process that plays an important role in many industries, such as automotive, chemical processing, plumbing, industrial water treatment and many commercial industries. Extruded plastics have applications as engine components and functional and decorative auto exterior trim. Plumbing systems, wastewater treatment systems and chemical processing operations all use extruded PVC and plastic tubing. Plastic extrusions are chosen for their various qualities, like how they react or do not react to certain chemicals or their level of transparency. Sometimes, an application requires qualities of more than one material, in which case, engineers may mix two plastics together using coextrusion. The list of plastics available for extrusion services is quite long. It includes, among others, low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), vinyl, polypropylene, polystyrene, PVC, butyrate and PETG. Many of these plastics can be recycled and reshaped and the end of their lifespans. With such allowances, the possibilities of plastic extrusion are virtually endless.

Additional Reading…

How Plastic Extrusions are Made

Extruded plastics are similar to extruded metals, however, the difference, as the name implies, is in the material used. To make extruded plastics, plastic in the form of granules is molded into an array of profiles, PVC channels, plastic strips, and plastic tubing. Extruded plastic parts have a vital role in present day manufacturing and fabrication. Extruded plastics have applications in essentially every commodity, whether it is consumer products or automotive fabrication.

Plastic Extrusion Process

Unlike metal extrusion, extruded plastic can be manufactured, easily and in high volumes, since the manufacturing process is continuous. Moreover, the plastic extrusion process, if observed closely, is more of a misnomer, since the process is more similar to plastic injection molding than extrusion. Plastic extrusion is a similar to the pultrusion process, where plastic is pulled through a die to make profiles and other shapes, but heating is not involved.

Even though the extrusion process is continuous, it can be divided into number of steps, for the sake of understanding.

  • The first step involves feeding the extruder with the raw materials, which are pre-processed plastic grains or resin specifically for extruding. The granules, in the shape of beads, are simply fed into to extruder’s barrel under the effect of gravity through a hopper, without any additional mechanisms. Sometimes, to equip specific properties like UV resistance and color to the product, chemical supplements are mixed before the granules reach the hopper.
  • As the raw material reaches the barrel, a screw, which rotates at certain RPM, pushes the beads forward in to the heated chamber. There are two ways the plastic is melted; firstly by passing the raw material through the heating zones and secondly by the friction and pressure that the raw material encounters. With the combination of the two heating actions, the material steadily reaches the melting point. For some applications, there is no need for heating zones when heat produced by friction is enough to melt the plastic. Regulating heat is the most important factor in the manufacturing process, overheating can degrade the polymer chemical structure. Therefore, heat regulating equipment is used, ranging from fan to special heating regulating jackets.
  • When the molten plastic reaches the barrel end, the release is regulated by a break plate, which performs three functions, removing impurities by a screen, creating back pressure and straightening the plastic.
  • At the end of the process, the molten plastic encounters a die, which based on the tooling, gives shape to the profile. Any imaginable profile can be created with this process, as long as the profile is continuous.
  • The last step involves cooling the product under a controlled environment, so that stress points do not disorient the shape. The most common way include, bathing the product in water. In some more sophisticated methods, a vacuum is created during the bath, and for some requirements, cooling rolls are used.

The versatility of this process makes it most sought after manufacturing process, maybe after injection molding.

Preferred Plastics, Inc.

PlasticPlastic Extrusions – Preferred Plastics, Inc.