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The Plastic Industry

Plastic industry is an industry in the chemical industry that deal with the manufacturing of polymer usually called plastic. The plastic industries offer services in plastic utilized by different industries, including electronics transportation, construction, packaging. Additionally, polymers with its major component being mineral oil classifies the plastic industry as petrochemical industry.

The production of plastics date far back as the 1950 when plastic was produced at 1.7 million tons per year. Over the years plastic as it has been widely accepted in industries due to its cheapness, durability, and its ability to be easily modified. This is why as at 2014, the plastic production as increased drastically to 311 million per year.

The plastic as been incorporate into a daily live and we can’t go a day without utilizing them. Water bottles, plates, school chairs are made for from plastics. Furthermore, plastics contributes a huge percentage of waste of world, bottles are littered around in the streets, and 10% of ocean waste is plastics. We will talk about plastic processing and recycling.

Plastic Processing

The plastic industry requires raw polymeric materials for production of fine and finished article. The following company sells polymeric material at reasonable prices – http://www.poundsofplastic.com/cat-plasticproduct/pom-copolymer/. The industry receives raw materials in the following forms

  • Uncompounded materials in powdery forms which are mixed with addictive
  • Compounded polymeric material in granulated form  
  • Polymeric sheet, rod and foil materials to be further processed
  • Liquids and solid that can undergo polymerization

Compounding

Compounding involves the mixing of polymeric material with additives.  Extruders and high-speed propellers are employed for this purpose.  Ranging from chemical types, some of the most important additives include:

  • Stabilizers
  • Plasticisers
  • Fillers
  • Lubricants
  • Blowing agents
  • Colorants

Conversion process

Conversion process basically involves the conversion of polymeric material into a plastic state. This can either be done by application of heat or catalyst or application of both heat and catalyst at the same time. The following processes are used in conversion

  • Compression molding- This entails pouring polymetric material in powdery of granulated form and heating till it with a high pressure till it becomes plastic and takes the shape of the mold. Articles like bottle caps, electric plugs, toilet seats are made from compression molding
  • Injection molding: This is quite different from compression molding in that the polymeric material is heated in a barrel separate from the mold. The material is heated to a fluid and take the shape of the mold when it hardens.

Other conversion processes include

  • Extrusion
    • Calendaring
    • Blow molding
    • Film casting
    • Rotational molding
    •  vacuum forming
    • laminating

Finishing Process

Plastic finishing involves the welding of plastics and polishing into fine product. A number of techniques can be used plastics welding

  • solvents – chlorinated hydrocarbons, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and toluene, are used to bond plastic sheets
  • Radiofrequency- Combining mechanical pressure, electrochemical radio and frequencies ranging from 10-100mHz, radiofrequency is used to weld together flexible materials in manufacturing briefcases, children push chairs
  • Paints and adhesives

Plastic Recycling

Plastic recycling involves processing collected waste or scrap plastic into other useful products. Plastic recycle is aimed at minimizing the rate of plastic pollution  environment and ocean.

Plastic recycling involves a lot of process which involves collecting, separating, washing, shredding, heating and challenges come up when there are mixed plastic or hard-to-remove residue on plastics. This is why it is important that plastic bins are sorted according to different plastic type, this way are easily sorted for recycle.

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