Profile Extrusion – What Is It and How Does it Work?

Want to learn more about the profile extrusion process? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about profile extrusion.

What Is Profile Extrusion?

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of extrusion is “the process of forming something by forcing or pushing it out, especially through a small opening.”

Profile extrusion is a specific type of extrusion that involves melting solid, raw plastic material—known as polymers—and shaping them into new solid objects. We can also talk about plastic profile extrusion.

With the help of heat and mechanical shearing, thermoplastic material located inside a plastic extruder turns from a solid to a fluid. The new thermoplastic fluid is then pushed out of the plastic extrusion machine through a customized die opening that changes its shape. As the fluid cools, it turns back into a solid shape.

The profile extrusion process is used to make various objects, including:

  • Bars
  • Rods
  • Tubes
  • Pipes
  • Profiles
  • Flat products, like sheets
  • Flexible film for bags and commercial packaging
  • Monofilaments
  • Wiring insulation

Industrial machinery

How the Plastic Extrusion Process Works

Here’s a step-by-step guide outlining how a plastic extrusion machine operates

  1. The hopper sends thermoplastic feedstock to the feed barrel. A vacuum usually transfers the material from the hopper to the feed barrel, but this process can be done manually.
  2. While the feed barrel fills with feedstock, rotating screws push the material forward
  3. The movement of feedstock creates friction, which produces heat. The heat melts the feedstock, turning it into a liquid plastic material. This process is called drag flow.



Plastic Profile Extrusion

Plastic profile extrusion is a horizontal process that’s used to make continuous shapes that feature a long cross-section, or profile. Here’s what happens after the thermoplastic liquifies:

  1. The profile is pushed into a cooling tank filled with cold water.
  2. The water cools the liquified thermoplastic, causing it to harden.
  3. Haul-off rolls separate the profile from the die.
  4. A commercial cutter then divides the material as needed.

How Rainbow Belts Help Optimize the Extrusion Process

At Rainbow Rubber & Plastics, we’re the experts in custom plastic extrusion. We use the highest quality materials and implement the latest industry techniques to improve the plastic extrusion process for your business. We stay a step ahead of our competitors by producing a large inventory of best-in-class belts and prioritizing exceptional customer service for every client.

The Plastic Extrusion Industries We Serve

The Rainbow Rubber & Plastics team has served various markets over the years, including those that:

  • Pipe extrusion
  • Profile extrusion
  • Medical Tubing
  • Wire and Cable Manufacturing
  • Pulltrusion

The Custom Rubber Belt & Plastic Extrusion Solutions You Need

Rainbow Rubber & Plastics has over 50 years of experience providing industry-specific belting solutions to American and Canadian customers across industries. Want to learn more about how our plastic and rubber belting solutions can benefit your plastic extrusion business? Contact us for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

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