Profile Extrusion – What Is It and How Does an Extruder Work?

Plastic profile extrusion has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by allowing the creation of continuous plastic profiles with a constant cross-section.

But how exactly does it work and what is extrusion? If you want to learn more about the profile extrusion process, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will delve into the inner workings of plastic profile extrusion and how it has become an indispensable process for a wide range of industries. We will also examine the different applications of plastic extrusion and how it has transformed the way we manufacture plastic products.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about profile extrusion.

Contact Us

What Is Extrusion?

Extrusion Definition

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.”

When talking specifically about profile extrusion, the extrusion process involves melting solid, raw plastic material—known as polymers—and shaping it 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 profile extrusion machine through a customized die opening that changes its shape. As the fluid cools, it turns back into a solid shape.

Profile Extrusion Applications

Manufacturers use profile extrusion to create custom-shaped objects with a constant cross-section. Common materials used in profile extrusion include plastics, metals, and rubber. Profile extrusion products have a wide range of applications in various industries.

Some common applications of profile extrusion include :

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

The versatility of profile extrusion makes it an ideal solution for creating high-quality, consistent products with complex shapes and tight tolerances.

How Does an Extruder Work?

what is extrusion - plastic profile extrusion process

Here’s a step-by-step guide outlining how a profile 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.
  4. The profile is pushed into a cooling tank filled with cold water.
  5. The water cools the liquified thermoplastic, causing it to harden.
  6. Haul-off rolls separate the profile from the die.
  7. A commercial cutter then divides the material as needed

Many items can be thus created with shapes changing according to the die used.

Custom Plastic Extrusion

Custom plastic extrusion is a manufacturing process that involves the production of plastic products with unique shapes, sizes, and features according to specific customer requirements.

During the extrusion process, a manufacturer melts the thermoplastic material and forces it through a custom die to shape it into a continuous profile with a uniform cross-section. This process allows for the creation of complex shapes with tight tolerances, making it an ideal solution for a variety of applications such as tubing, channels, profiles, and rods.

Custom plastic extrusion can be used to produce products with various properties, including high or low flexibility, resistance to UV, and chemical resistance. With the ability to tailor plastic products to meet the specific needs of each customer, custom plastic extrusion is an excellent choice for producing high-quality, cost-effective solutions.

Learn more about custom plastic extrusion

How Quality Industrial 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.

Our high-quality rubber belts are designed to optimize the plastic extrusion process. Made from durable materials that are resistant to wear and tear, our industrial machinery belts ensure long-lasting performance.

By using our belts, manufacturers can reduce downtime, minimize waste, and increase productivity. Our team of experts can also help customize belts to fit specific machinery and production needs, ensuring a perfect fit for each unique application.

With Rainbow Rubber & Plastics, manufacturers can improve their plastic extrusion process and achieve greater efficiency and profitability. 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

Extruded aluminum using an extruding machine made in collaboration with Rainbow Rubber & Plastics

The Custom Rubber Belt & Plastic Extrusion Solutions You Need

Rainbow Rubber & Plastics has over 50 years of experience providing extrusion-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.

Get In Touch

Comments are closed.