At its core, custom plastic extrusion is a process during which some type of raw material – be it metal or plastic-based – is inserted into a die, which is then used to create a finished component. At Spiratex, one of the most common materials that we work with during this process is UHMW plastic, otherwise known as Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. It’s a tough plastic with a high resistance to both wear and abrasion and is also known for being able to perform in even the most extreme temperatures.
When people hear a term like “custom plastic extrusion,” they usually call to mind images of machine shops filled with workers creating various parts and products that they’ll never actually interact with. In reality, the reverse is true – custom plastic extrusion has created a wide range of important items, many of which are around us right now.
The Power of Custom Plastic Extrusion
One of the most common applications of custom plastic extrusion that people may not realize actually has to do with door and window surrounds. If you’ve had one of the doors on your home replaced in the last decade, custom plastic extrusion was likely employed to make sure that your newly installed option was the perfect fit. That surround may look like wood, but it really isn’t – all while offering superior weather resistance and a lower overall cost when compared to alternative resins.
Speaking of homeownership, many of the pipes and tubes in newer homes in particular are also the result of this process. This is true for a few different reasons. For starters, the pipes and tubes used for applications like plumbing tend to have a consistent shape and length – ideal for the extrusion process. Likewise, options like UHMW/PE tubing can be conformed to even the tightest of tolerances, both in terms of Outside Diameter (OD) and Inside Diameter). They can be met to meet strict standards with regard to wall thickness and more.
To put it into a larger context, whenever you’re dealing with a component that is hollow, you need to make sure that all tolerances are met consistently across the entirety of the item. Custom plastic extrusion goes a long way towards guaranteeing precisely that.
Of course, there are a wide array of professional applications for custom plastic extrusion as well. At Spiratex, we leverage our skills to create a lot of products for customers in the automotive and material handling industries, for example. We’ve also done work with conveyors, wires and cables and even in the military and defense sector. The point is, this is a complicated and versatile process that has long proven valuable under the most varied of circumstances – making it the right choice for your next big project.
If you’d like to find out more information about the types of things that custom plastic extrusion creates that most people don’t think about, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own needs in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Spiratex today.