Clear Plastic Tubing
Clear plastic tubing products are hollow, transparent, or semitransparent channels used to transport liquids, gasses, and solids (though solids that are moved through tubes are usually granular or free-flowing).
Quick links to Clear Plastic Tubing Information
Applications of Clear Plastic Tubing
There are many applications for which the use of clear tubing might be required. Many banks feature drive-through services, and the transportation of money, checks, and receipts between vehicles and indoor bank tellers requires the use of vacuum tubes and a mobile container.
Many industries require a container being shipped to be visible in the shipping tube, therefore the tube must be clear. In healthcare settings, clear medical tubing is required to measure and monitor the flow of liquids in intravenous medication delivery and the movement of fluids between equipment in laboratory settings. Marine and automotive products and services industries, municipalities, and many other industries make extensive use of plastic tubing for a variety of purposes.
Materials Used in Clear Plastic Tubing
Plastic tubing can be made from nylon, high or low-density polyethylene (HDPE and LDPE), PET, polystyrene, polypropylene, ABS, polyurethanes, and many other raw plastic materials. Many of these materials can be engineered to be clear. The most commonly used materials for the creation of clear plastic tubing are acrylic and vinyl because of the high level of transparency they can achieve.
There are many methods by which raw plastic materials are formed into usable products. Before they can be formed, though, they must be engineered. PVC, for example, is among the more easily identifiable varieties of plastic material. But PVC does not always appear in its trademark opaque, off-white form. It can be engineered to be semi-transparent, as can many other plastics that more frequently feature opaque surfaces. Only plastics like acrylics, which are naturally clear, do not require special engineering to become transparent. Once engineering of raw materials is complete, raw plastic materials meant to become plastic tubing are usually fabricated by extrusion.
Manufacturing Process of Clear Plastic Tubing
Plastic extrusion is one of the thermoforming (heat forming) processes used to turn raw plastic materials into usable products. The process begins with a collection of raw plastic (or stock) in a hopper suspended above a conveyance channel. Once dropped into the channel, the stock is compressed and heated by a long turning screw. The stock is heated until it reaches a molten state and is then forced through a die, which is a tool used to shape raw materials. The stock emerges on the other side of the die in its new tube shape, after which it is allowed to cool and harden. The new tubing is then cut to length and prepared for shipment or additional processing.
Benefits of Recycling Farm Plastics
One of the many challenges with any industry, specifically the farm industry, is how to dispose of single-use products and plastics. The agricultural industry uses a large quantity of plastic products, ranging from clear plastic tubing to plastic bags from compost and other farming supplies.
In the United States, over 100-million pounds of agricultural waste from plastic products are disposed of each year. When this is placed in landfills, it takes a huge toll on the environment and the resources of the landfill who must dispose of the plastic. 20 million pounds of plastic waste is too much to store each year, so the facilities must dispose of the plastic by recycling it or using it in some other way.
Some recycling centers are now encouraging farmers and other agricultural businesses to recycle their plastic tubing and other plastic products to create other plastic products, such as plastic bags and containers. This cuts down on waste and helps the environment and the landfills in the area. Many agricultural businesses had ignored the option to recycle because many recycling centers charge for the disposal of plastic waste.
No farmer wants to spend money just to get rid of trash, which is why recycling plastic agricultural waste is not popular. However, some companies around the country have eliminated the fee for recycling plastic. This benefits the farmers by providing them with a place to dispose of their waste products, while benefiting their pocketbooks and the environment at the same time. The more recycling centers that engage in this practice, the better off the environment will be. There will be fewer new plastic products, less waste in landfills, and higher profits for farmers. This is a triple win that benefits many industries around the world.