Repeatable Memory Polymers
There has been an amazing discovery in the plastic industry.Researchers have discovered a polymer that is able to change shapeautomatically and repetitively. The shape shifting is prompted by thetemperature and when the material reaches a pre-determined temperature then theplastic will shift into the new position. Once the plastic cools it revertsback to the original form. This new innovation, known as a “polymer actuator”,has the potential to be utilized in a wide range of industries. One of the mainadvantages of this new polymer design is the fact that it requires no outsideelectricity to create a linear motion.
Another interesting innovation in the plastic industry is handmoldable plastic. This plastic has a very low melting point and can easily beformed into any desired shape. This product is ideal in situations where ahandcrafted plastic solution is necessary perhaps for an attachment orcomponent replacement. The process to utilize this innovation is simple; heatthe plastic between 136°F - 140°F and then it is ready to be molded. A bigadvantage with this type of plastic is it can be reformed an infinite number oftimes. This moldable plastic is ideal for prototyping, quick fixes and uniquedesign.
These two advances in the plastic industry are only examplesof the innovation potential from the industry. The repeatability and usabilityof these products are key factors to their success. Certain applications thatrequire linear motion could greatly benefit from the self sustaining feature ofthe polymer actuator. Further manipulation of these materials on the molecularlevel will expose a plethora of discoveries that can be beneficial forconsumers as well as manufacturers.
Plastic shapes are specially-formed plastic objects that have been processed by a plastic shaping process. There are many plastic shaping processes, and they include molding, extrusion, casting and other methods. Each method is intended to create a different kind of plastic shape. Molding, for example, is the process best suited for the creation of complex, discrete products. Examples of discrete products include fasteners, pallets and cases for small electronics. Extrusion, on the other hand, allows for the creation of complex, continuous products. Examples of continuous products are trim, hoses and tubes.
Industry and commerce require broad access to discrete plastic shapes as well as plastic shapes produced by continuous manufacturing processes like extrusion. Extruded plastic products like PVC pipes, plastic hoses, plastic tubes, trim, channels and coextrusions are used extensively in all kinds of applications. Plumbing, gardening, chemical processing, building construction and furnishing depend heavily on extruded plastics. A wide variety of plastic materials can be extruded including high and low density polyethylene, butyrate, vinyl, polypropylene, polystyrene and acrylic materials. The extrusion process involves heating and pressurizing these raw materials and then shaping them with a die into usable products.
The plastic extrusion process takes place in a few steps. First, the raw thermoplastic material, in flake or pellet form, is poured into a hopper. From there it is fed down into a conveyance channel where it is heated by the turning of a large shearing screw. The friction caused by the turning of the screw combined with heat from electric heating elements causes the plastic to become molten by the time it reaches the end of the channel. At the end of the channel is a die, which is a tool used to shape raw materials into useful products. In the case of plastic extrusion, the die is a specially-cut shape in a metal plate through which the molten plastic passes. Once the plastic has become molten, it is forced through the die and emerges on the other side as a newly extruded plastic shape. Once extruded, the shape is allowed to cool and harden. It can then be cut to the appropriate length and either sent for shipment or prepared for additional processing like painting or labeling.
More Plastic Shapes Information
Plastic Shapes - Polytec Plastics, Inc.
Plastic Shapes - Polytec Plastics, Inc.