Coextrusions are made through the extrusion of multiple layers of material simultaneously. The process of coextrusion utilizes two or more extruders to melt and convey an even-paced volumetric throughput of different viscous plastics to a single extrusion head, or die, which extrudes the material into its intended form. In short, coextrusions are uniquely formed extrusions.
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Materials Used in Coextrusions
The most common materials used in coextrusions are:
- Rigid or Flexible PVC
Coextrusions can also have a variety of custom feature options, like sizes, colors and color coding. To meet your requirements and specifications, most manufacturers also offer options related to flexibility, differing levels of gas or fluid barrier properties, conductive layers, mechanical requirements, chemical resistance, lubricity and cost efficiency.
Coextrusions make for a smart investment for a number of reasons. One polymer cannot satisfy all the needs of all applications. Coextrusion works around this problem by optimizing a wide range of properties, like oxygen permeability, strength, stiffness and wear resistance. Coextrusions eliminate the need for complicated engineering and multiple extruded components by combining elements into one single design. They also reduce production costs by using less expensive polymers in non-essential areas of the custom design. What’s more, extruded materials may be used with other extrusion processes, such as blown film, overjacking, sheet and tubing. Layer thickness is controlled by the relative speeds and sizes of the individual extruders being used with the materials. Coextrusions are incredibly useful in a number of industries, such as medical, aerospace, electrical, automotive, fiber optics, oil and gas, critical fluids transfer and defense. Coextrusion applications within these industries are nearly endless. Here are just a few of the countless applications: profiles, tubing, living hinges, RFI/EMI gaskets and shielding, electrostatic discharge (ESD), ground water monitoring, specialized medical tubing and electronic and electrical parts used in cameras, computers, switches, displays, instrumentation and controls.