Companies that manufacture plastics invariably use several processes for producing high-quality plastic. In many cases, they use plastic injection moulding machines for making plastics. One of the most common processes that these enterprises use for producing plastic goes by the name of extrusion moulding. This process involves squeezing a certain resin inside the machine for producing a fine thread of plastic fabric. The injection moulding process involves heating the compound to a specific temperature. Thereafter, workers squeeze this into a mould by applying considerable pressure. This enables the mould to harden rapidly. This process is useful in businesses that produce large numbers of plastic toys, cups etc.
However, it requires immense levels of expertise and skill to fabricate plastic on an everyday basis. The kind of plastic that a business establishment uses typically depends on the kind of products it manufactures. Some of the most common varieties of plastic that fabrication companies in Australia work with comprise:
- Bakelite: This is a hard, dense and laminated variety of plastic. To produce this, workers need to apply heat and pressure to layers of paper, cloth or cotton fabrics assimilated with various synthetic resins. These materials offer good mechanical strength. In addition, they have superb dielectric properties. This makes ideal for producing electrical terminal boxes, aircraft cable pulleys, bearings and transformers.
- Nylon: This is perhaps the commonest engineering thermoplastic in use these days. There are several grades of nylon for engineering purposes. This is invaluable for making technical parts, gears, wear pads, pulleys etc.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): This form of plastic has excellent insulating properties. It is self-extinguishing as well. In addition, it is non-corrosive, chemical resistant and oil resistant. Moreover, workers can cut, shape, weld and fabricate this variety of plastic with minimal fuss. Electrical parts, laboratory equipment and chemical tanks usually feature this material.
- Acrylic: Many people refer to acrylic as Perspex. It is an ideal replacement for glass in many areas. It features superlative weathering capacity with high levels of clarity. It is less than half the weight of glass. But, it can resist breakage as much as 15 times more than glass. This makes it ideal for use in signs, lighting, machine guards, instrument covers, display units etc.
- Polyethylene: These come in various sub-categories such as:
- Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE): This is useful for making floor tiles, sidings and shower curtains
- High Density Polyethylene (HDPE): This kind of plastic can resist a wide range of chemicals. They offer no moisture absorption. They have superlative insulation properties. In addition, they can even maintain their properties at low temperatures. This makes them ideal for making cutting boards in food processing areas.
- High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (HMWPE): For general engineering purposes, this variety of plastic is the best. It offers a suitable compromise in terms of price and properties. The only difference between this variety of plastic and its ultra high counterpart is that HMWPE does not offer abrasion resistance.
- Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE): This kind of plastic does not merely have the highest impact strength. It offers the best levels of abrasion resistance among all varieties of thermoplastics as well. It comes into use in the food and packaging industries for making star wheels, chute linings, scraper blades etc.
- Polycarbonates: This variety of plastic has the reputation of being the toughest glazing material in contemporary times. This is because it has an impact strength that is approximately 250 times greater than that of glass having similar levels of thickness. People use polycarbonates for making safety, vandal resistant and theft deterring glazing. Many schools, factories and bus shelters use this material. It is highly useful for making machine guards, safety visors, riot shields and window shields in forklifts and cranes.
Teflon: This material offers the best chemical resistance among all varieties of plastic. It has exceedingly good electrical properties. It offers high levels of electric resistance. In addition, the fact that it has a very low coefficient of friction make it unique. It is useful for making gaskets, insulators, bearing pads etc.