Polymer Extrusion Equipment
Diamond America conducts extensive research and testing before designing polymer extrusion equipment, ensuring the extrusion process produces exact final product quality.
Properties of Polymers
Polymer properties are defined by the molecules they are made up of and their arrangement within the polymer chain. These factors, known as the polymer microstructure, determine how the polymer material behaves physically, as well as chemically.
Additives may be combined with the polymer to further enhance or improve the polymer’s final characteristics or behavior for extrusion.
Naturally occurring polymers include amber, rubber, shellac, silk and wool, as well as cellulose which forms paper and wood.
Synthetic polymers include:
- phenol formaldehyde resin (or Bakelite)
- polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl)
- synthetic rubber
Polymers respond well to the extrusion process; loaded into the extruder hopper in pellet form, they can be continuously extruded into a very wide range of products, from large pipes and posts to fine blown films.
The main design consideration with polymer extrusion is die swell, which is difficult to predict but must be allowed for in custom die design.
Polymers can be molded into:
- Film and Sheeting – hard or soft, from thin, clear wrap to sheets that are several inches thick.
- Insulated Wire – extruded around electrical wire for protection from corrosion or abrasion.
- Profiles – long cross-section shapes for gutters, vinyl siding, wiper blades and auto trim.
- Solids – round, square, rectangular, hexagonal extrusions as well as planks and decking.
- Tubing and Piping – Huge PVC water and sewer pipes to micro-miniature medical tubes.