How is plastic made?

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The plastic manufacturing process involves transforming crude oil and natural gas into polymer plastics, which are then molded into various shapes using injection, extrusion, blow, or rotational molding. Each process produces different types of plastic products.

The plastic manufacturing process refers to the series of steps required to transform crude oil and natural gas into plastic products, such as cups, hoses, tubes and straws. It is a very complicated process that begins with the transformation of oil and natural gas into hydrocarbon monomers which are then linked together in long chains known as polymer plastics. Based on the type of monomers linked together, the process can produce a variety of different types of polymer plastics, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Once these plastic polymers are created, the next step in the process is to transform these simple polymers into complex consumer products. The four sub-processes that can be used to do this are injection molding, extrusion molding, blow molding and rotational molding. Each process produces a different type of plastic product.

Injection molding is a plastic manufacturing process in which plastic polymers that have been compressed into plastic pellets are placed into an injection molding machine. These machines shape the pellets into the correct shape and add additives to give them the correct color and texture. This process produces plastic products such as butter pans, yogurt containers, closures and fittings.

Extrusion molding is pretty much the same as injection molding in that it molds plastic pellets into shapes. The difference is that this process also uses a shaped mold to give the plastic mold a tube-like shape. Therefore, this plastic manufacturing process is used to create pipes, tubes and cable insulation.

Blow molding is a more complicated process used to create hollow plastic products with an opening or neck. The two types of blow molding are injection blow molding and extrusion blow molding. Both processes involve making plastic pellets into molds and then injecting air into the molds to make them hollow. The difference is that injection blow molding can only produce small containers, while extrusion blow molding is not limited by size.

The fourth plastic manufacturing process, rotational molding, is the most complicated and expensive. Like the other processes, it turns the plastic balls into a mold. The difference is that the mold is then rotated to create complex hollow shapes. The difference between rotational molding and blow molding is that the hollow products it produces are completely closed and do not have an opening. Such products include toys and plastic furniture.

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