Plastics and plastic manufacturing are an integral part of everyday modern living, and this is reflected in the statistics – according to Wikipedia, 80% of the total output of the chemical industry (companies that produce chemicals for other industries) is comprised of polymers, with man-made fibers such as nylon and polyester making up the rest. Popular plastics include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), more commonly known as vinyl and frequently used as floor covering and upholstery, and polystyrene, familiar to most as packing foam. Everywhere you look you will see plastics in use, such as shopping bags, the casing of your cellphone, plastic chemical storage tanks, etc. The prevalence of plastic is the result of multiple factors that put it ahead of other materials such as wood and leather (and, increasingly, metal); namely, its cost-effectiveness, its inert chemical nature, its corrosion resistance, and in some cases, its strength.
Plastic manufacturing companies – who, and where are they?
It’s not likely that you can tool up and begin plastic manufacturing of your own parts or products any where near as quickly or as well as the known trustworthy plastic manufacturing companies. For reasons of cost and scale, a high proportion of plastic manufacturing companies are based in developing nations. In India, plastic manufacturing makes up one of its largest industrial sectors. Another major player in plastic manufacturing is China.
Get Con-Tech International to help you wade through the myriad of plastic manufacturing companies; legal problems; trust issues; outsourcing and procurement frustration; and shipping regulations.
What are the types of products made by plastic manufacturing companies?
Plastic as a class of material falls into two main categories: thermosetting plastics, which make up plastic products manufactured to a specific shape and will decompose if reheated, and thermoplastic (or thermosoftening), which is malleable under heat and can in theory be reshaped as many times as desired. Most plastic components are thermosets, and include Bakelite, used in insulators and bakeware; polyamide, which is used for steel drum parts and IBC coponents such as bung plugs (trade name nylon); and Duroplast, which is used for car components such as dashboards.
What are some of the manufacturing methods?
Rigid plastic parts are most commonly made using injection moulding. Moulding machines employ a heating unit and a press which can exert pressures of up to 8 tonnes per square inch, depending on the plastic being used. The mould itself is usually made of hardened steel, aluminium, or copper alloy. Polyamide is favored for high-volume intricate parts for steel drum or IBC part manufacturing because it can be shaped in a press similar to steel.
The future of plastic manufacturing
In recent years, plastic prices have been rising along with the sharp increases in prices of oil and petroleum products. This has prompted research into petroleum-free options, known also as bioplastics. One of the more promising alternatives is the plant sugar fructose. In 2006, researchers at the University of Wisconson succeeded in turning fructose into a precursor of a plastic commonly used for drinking bottles. A Chinese plastic manufacturing company makes injection moulded plastics that are derived from corn starch and cane sugar, used for disposable items such as plastic cutlery.
This suggests that plastic manufacturing will still have an important place in our post-oil future.
Plastic Manufacturing Companies
Factories like DuPont make the plastics like nylon, polypropylene, and polyethylene and sell them to manufacturers. It is these plastic manufacturing companies that use the plastics for the production of parts.
Con-Tech is a major supplier of custom manufactured plastic parts used in several industries and applications, including but not limited to steel drum parts and intermediate bulk container components.