Not many people pay a lot of attention to the objects or things that they pass by. As a result, they often walk by various things and probably, do not even register them. Consider the example of a person walking hastily to reach the office. This individual will seldom have the time to notice the things that the person is passing by. Because of this, many people do not realise how certain things pervade various aspects of their lives.
For instance, you might know that plastic is a very popular material. It comes into use in a diverse range of industries and applications. From plastic display cases in retail stores to plastic utensils, you will be able to find a wide range of products made from plastic. But, you will probably not realise the extent to which you use or rely on plastic products.
Many industries rely extensively on fabricated rubber, plastic and acrylic items. To cite an example, the food and beverage sector invariably uses a wide range of plastic products on a day-to-day basis. Establishments in this sector use bins, dispensers, sheet trays, straws, lid holders etc. made from plastic. Similarly, commercial offices throughout Australia use desk organisers, cardholders and sign holders made from plastic as well.
It is worth mentioning that you will probably come across fish tanks, pet toys, storage bins and a number of other items made from plastic in your home as well. These examples illustrate the manner in which the use of plastic objects has become so widespread in contemporary times.
However, despite the numerous ways in which people use plastic products, not many people will even deign to think of how such products come into being. The workers employed in plastic fabrication companies are the people responsible for producing such a diverse range of objects. These workers form, bend and machine plastics to emerge with the desired products. In many facilities, these workers will use Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) techniques for designing the product and fabricating it thereafter. These techniques enable the workers to produce an array of products that come into daily use.
An Overview of Plastic Fabrication
The term ‘plastic fabrication’ denotes the processes involved in the manipulation of plastic for producing a wide range of products. It refers to the design, manufacture or the assembly of various products made of plastic. Plastic fabricators use these design and fabrication processes for creating all kinds of plastic items.
In many ways, plastic fabrication is quite similar to metal fabrication. This is because both processes help in shaping a material into different forms. But, fabricating plastic can be advantageous in certain applications. Unlike many metals, plastic is malleable and affordable. It is durable and versatile as well. Thus, it comes into widespread use in a wide range of business sectors and domains.
Some of the most common methods for fabricating plastic include:
Welding: This process uses heat for melting two or more workpieces together. Adhesive binding usually does not work on thermoplastics. In this scenario, plastic fabricators will weld thermoplastics together. Welding typically involves fusing individual workpieces with a filler material in between. The process of welding itself features different methods such as hot gas emissions, contact welding, spinning or high-frequency vibration.
Compounding (or Blending): This process combines two or more plastics into an amalgam, prior to forming them into a single part. Workers will usually mix molten plastics to exact specifications. Then, they will form them with shaping tools such as moulds or dies. Plastic fabrication companies often use compounding to make it easier for the workers to work with a specific material or to enhance the performance of the resulting product.
Lamination: This method serves to create a barrier along the surface of another material. As a result, the product becomes more durable and stylish. In some cases, laminating makes the product more attractive too. Film and resin are the most common types of laminations used. Workers apply heat and pressure to a fabricated film, which adheres the film to the moving substrate.
Moulding: The process of moulding involves giving the plastic a specific shape. Workers heat the plastic to make it pliable. Thereafter, they place it around or within a mould to cool and harden. Injection moulding comes into use in producing dishware. Rotational moulding is useful for producing hollow plastic products such as buoys, toys etc. Blow moulding helps in creating containers such as fuel tanks, bottles etc.
Extrusion: CNC routing and machining companies often use this method for creating tubes, pipes or sheeting components. Profile extrusion and sheet extrusion are among the most common processes that fabrication workers employ.
Foaming: In this process, the workers shape the polymer composites through a process involving physical or chemical blowing. The form products thus formed can take on a variety of different shapes. Round, sheet, film, solid plank etc. are some of the most common configurations that fabricators employ.