Plastic Rod Manufacturers
Plastic rods are solid plastic shapes made either through the process of plastic extrusion or plastic coextrusion. They contrast plastic profiles and plastic tubing, which are hollow. They are used in a variety of industries, such as aerospace, electronics, marine, petrochemicals, and transportation. In these industries, plastic rods often serve as raw materials to be machined into parts for gaskets, seals, bearings, corrosion-resistant pieces, sleeving, static control, insulation, and more. They are also used in industrial, construction, and commercial industries, serving applications related to the structural support of industrial equipment and point of purchase displays.
Quick links to Plastic Rod Manufacturers Information
Benefits of Plastic Rods
Each plastic grouping presents pros and cons. For instance, thermoplastics are generally easier to mold and faster to produce than thermosets. On the other hand, thermosets tend to have superior strength components and, unlike thermoplastics, they retain their strength when heated. Furthermore, each plastic material offers manufacturers different attributes that they may want their product to have as well. For example, PVC has high fire, heat, and chemical resistance and is popular for building exteriors, metal anodizing, chemical processing, and sewage treatment. Acetal plastic rods have very low water absorption and they are chemically resistant, but they are relatively weak and susceptible to the effects of high heat. Therefore, they work well for food processing applications that do not require especially high heat resistance or strength. Manufacturers that produce flexible and/or scratch resistant products are likely to use plastics like HDPE or acrylic. Both of these plastics are also valued for the ease with which they can be manipulated.
Thermoplastics and Thermosets
The plastic formulas used to extrude plastic rods are diverse and many, but despite this, most formulas still fall into one of two groupings: thermoplastics and thermosets. Of the two, thermoplastics hold the majority of plastics. Thermoplastics consist of plastics that can soften and melt when heated or reheated and harden when cooled. They may be heated and remolded over and over again. This category includes plastics such as PVC, ABS, polyethylene, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and polystyrene. Thermosets will also become molten when heated and will also harden when cooled, but, unlike thermoplastics, they cannot be successfully reheated, reshaped, or rehardened. Examples of thermosets include polyesters, phenolics, silicones, and epoxies.
Types of Plastics in Plastic Rods
No matter the exact material or materials used to extrude or co-extrude plastic rods, all plastic rods share some of the unique properties of plastic materials. These properties include non-conduction, low density, low porosity, structural integrity, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and ease of shaping. However, manufacturers have the opportunity to produce rods with different materials and chemical combinations. In doing so, they can create products with the particular properties that they want.
Plastic Coextrusion Method
In addition, despite having the word "plastic" in their name, plastic rods are not actually always completely made of plastic. Instead, they can sometimes be coextruded with materials other than plastic, like metals. What, exactly, is coextrusion? Coextrusion is an altered extrusion process by which single products are made from two or more different materials. To make this happen, multiple extruders pointed at a single die melt the polymers intended to make up the product. After they become molten, the materials are forced into the die at an even pace and volume. They enter the die at the same time, where they fill it out in layers. In general, the goal of co-extrusion is to endow a product with properties or qualities that it cannot get from just one polymer. The choice to co-extrude a plastic rod with a different type of plastic or with another material altogether is usually made either to lower material costs or strengthen the rod's core. Low-cost coextrusion materials are usually only used with applications that require little structural strength. In the case of applications requiring structural support, metal is usually the material that fills the rod. Co-extruders frequently seek other qualities, including increased stiffness, increased wear resistance, and oxygen permeability.
Secondary Processes for Plastic Rods
While it is not needed every time, some manufacturers may choose to further fashion their plastic rods with secondary processes, such as drilling, deburring, powder coating, painting, labeling, notching, and industrial finishing. Generally, plastic rods may be clear or come in any color, including custom-matched colors. This versatility and plastic extrusion's wealth of material choices are two of the many reasons that manufacturers love working with extruded plastic rods so much. Plastic rods are an excellent choice for people looking for quick, inexpensive, durable parts and products.